PERRYSBURG, OH (Toledo News Now) - Wood County already has a SWAT team run by the sheriff's office, but police say the new northern Wood County team is meant to complement what's already there.
The idea is to have many areas working for one common goal, which is why officers from several departments are coming together for SWAT training at Owens Community College this week. Eighteen officers from 6 different agencies are training for the new regional SWAT team.
"I think you're going to see this trend continue- agencies working together, particularly the smaller agencies, as budgets get smaller but the needs don't get any less. We have to be more creative and maybe take down those territorial walls," said Lake Township Police Chief Mark Hummer.
Northwood, Lake Township, Perrysburg Township, Walbridge, Owens Community College, and CSX railroad police are all part of the team, which is expected to be operating as one SWAT unit as early as next week.
Police say they're hoping for better services and faster response times.
"I want our residents in northern Wood County to know that we have their best interests at heart. And we are going to have a very well-trained, well-equipped swat team to respond to any sort of emergency or hostage situation that comes down the pike," said Hummer.
The efforts are not just about Wood County. Officers from outside agencies are training with them, too.
The importance of that is that they have more resources to be able to bring together more personnel, more equipment," said Oregon Police Sgt. Tony Castillo.
Sgt. Castillo says his department and surrounding agencies are looking forward to working with the new SWAT team:
"The addition of the northern team gives them faster response times if they were to have an incident in the northern Wood County area."
The officers will complete their training at the end of the week.