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WOOD COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) -
A newly-formed, multi-agency SWAT team has been busy deploying to several high-stakes crime scenes.
The Northern Region SWAT Team was formed last June to serve northern Wood County. Previously, the entire county was served by a multi-agency team out of the sheriff's office in Bowling Green. The new team cuts response times in half.
"A SWAT team's role is to respond to situations that are outside of the scope of normal police capabilities," said Officer Joe Ball of the Perrysburg Township Police and the Northern Region SWAT Team. "Basically, when police have to call 911, they call the SWAT team."
The Northern Region SWAT Team is made up of 18 members from six departments in northern Wood County – villages and townships that some would consider quiet.
"Evil-doers of the world don't know jurisdictional boundaries," said Chief Mark Hummer, of the Lake Township Police. "So we have to be as prepared as our larger counterparts in the urban areas to deal with the exact same type of situations that they do."
In the last six months, the team has helped apprehend a pair of brothers wanted in connection with the murder of a Perrysburg Heights woman, assisted the DEA on high-risk narcotics busts, and helped Lake Township with an armed gunman who allegedly killed his ex-girlfriend, their son, and then himself.
Chief Hummer said he hopes to do more.
"I envision growing this team to do more than just response," Hummer said. "I'd like to see them work together in drug interdiction, and tactical patrol. So if we're having an issue in one area, they can work together."
The team started with a shoestring budget of $18,000. Each year, departments pay $1,000 per officer they have on the force. That pays for body armor, helmets, ammunition, and other necessities.