North Hills Special Response Team
The North Hills Special Response Team (NHSRT) was established in 2005 in an effort to effectively counter increasing occurrences of violent confrontations between police and criminal elements. The Team was a culmination of efforts by 4 original member officers from Ross Township following the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. As the name suggests, their main area of operations is Pittsburgh’s North Hills. The North Hills Special Response Team serves approximately 204,919 residents in 17 municipalities.
As a part of Region 13, the Team may also be used to assist other SWAT teams within the area. The combined unit provides a highly trained, better equipped and larger number of officers to safely and effectively address the most serious of police confrontations. NHSRT is responsible for responding to:
- Barricaded subjects
- High-risk warrant services
- Hostage situations
- Sniper situations
- Other unusual occurrences beyond the tactical capabilities of normal police resources
NHSRT is also dedicated to providing advanced tactical training and consultation to police departments seeking the knowledge and skill sets that SRT members can provide.
The North Hills SRT team operates under an Administrative Oversight Committee, which governs the unit’s organization and operation. The Administrative Oversight Committee is comprised of 3 Chiefs of Police from participating agencies within the North Hills Council of Governments. The participating agencies are:
- Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office
- Etna Borough Police
- Franklin Park Borough Police
- Hampton Township Police
- Indiana Township Police
- McCandless Township Police
- Millvale Borough Police
- Northern Regional Police
- O’Hara Township Police
- Ohio Township Police
- Port Authority of Allegheny County Police
- Reserve Township Police
- Ross Township Police
- Ross / Westview EMS
- Shaler Township Police
- West Deer Township Police
- West View Borough Police
Tactical team members, known as operators, have attended basic and advanced SWAT schools through the National Tactical Officers Association. Additionally, many operators have also attended advanced schooling such as:
- Explosive Breaching
- Firearms Instructor
- Hostage Rescue
- Less Lethal Instructor
- Tactical Combat Casualty Care
Sniper / Observers & Medics
The tactical team is also composed of a Sniper / Observer Element and Tactical Emergency Medicine or TEMS Element. Sniper / Observers have attended basic and advanced sniper schools in addition to their basic and advanced SWAT training.
TEMS Medics are all highly trained Paramedics with Ross / West View EMS. Many of them have years of service with various Volunteer Fire Companies, bringing additional skillsets to the Team.
Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT)
These officers have skillsets in assessing individuals during a crisis situation in order to determine their propensity for violence and willingness to have dialogue. They are able to discreetly enter a crisis zone and initiate dialogue with suspects, hostage takers and others during times of great stress. CNT members are also trained in the use of various surveillance equipment.
Solve Forsit is Latin for “Solve the Problem.” The North Hills Special Response Team does exactly that every day. Whether as team or as individual officers, members pride themselves in being force multipliers for the North Hills and the Region.