The Kansas Highway Patrol is dedicated to assisting other law enforcement agencies in Kansas, and the members the Emergency Services Unit work hard to uphold that mission. The 2 tactical components that make up this troop (the Special Response Team and the Canine Unit) are frequently requested by other agencies for guidance, expert assistance, and support. Emergency Services Unit members are highly skilled troopers who receive additional education and provide training in their area of expertise.
Special Response Team The Patrol maintains a Special Response Team (SRT) trained to effectively respond to extraordinary incidents. SRT members are trained to peacefully defuse hostile situations without injury or loss of life. Team members train each month to remain prepared to handle a variety of critical incidents. The SRT frequently assists other law enforcement agencies in Kansas, and may be called to respond to situations requiring more tactical expertise or specialized equipment than another agency's regular officers.
The SRT is comprised of a tactical commander, team leader, assistant team leader, marksmen/scouts, negotiators, and operators. Experienced negotiators are trained to resolve tense situations without use of force. Working with a subject's family and local officials, negotiators gather information needed to obtain a positive outcome, should forced entry become necessary.
Activities Examples of SRT activities include:
Conducting surveillance and intelligence gathering
Eradicating marijuana and other illegal substances
Executing search/arrest warrants in situations with high probability of encountering an armed and dangerous person
Negotiating and concluding hostage and critical incidents
Removing barricaded subjects
Resolving major incidents such as riots
Police Service Dog Unit
The Patrol, as many other law enforcement agencies, formed a Police Service Dog Unit (PSD) to utilize canine skills to further public safety. Canine trainers are assigned to the Emergency Services Unit, and canine handlers are assigned to the Patrol’s field troops throughout the state. The canines and their handlers successfully locate weapons and explosive devices, track missing persons, and apprehend criminal offenders. The canine teams have an established reputation in detecting illegal drugs and paraphernalia. While ensuring the safety of the public, the dogs also provide handler protection.
The police service dogs are proven great assets to the Patrol and other local and state agencies. Other law enforcement agencies in Kansas often request the assistance of the Patrol's canine units to search buildings and vehicles, locate missing persons, or track an offender who fled from officers.
Training and education are important activities for the canines and handlers. The teams train frequently, as well as coordinate training with other Patrol units and outside agencies. They also perform thousands of public demonstrations each year to educate Kansans about how law enforcement is enhanced by the assistance of well-trained working dogs.
Hazardous Devices Unit
The Hazardous Devices Unit (HDU) was formed to respond to areas of Kansas not adequately served by existing bomb squads. The unit contains personnel who are certified bomb technicians through the FBI Hazardous Devices School.
The HDU team undergoes much training throughout the year. The training includes explosive breaching, clearing vehicles, and other exercises.