In early 2010 the SWAT team received its Bearcat. The Bearcat is an armored personnel carrier. This vehicle was purchased with funding from OJA and Homeland Security ($225,000.00). The Green Bay Police Department SWAT team is one of eight teams in the State of Wisconsin that have a Bearcat. The eight teams are all Regional teams. These eight teams are strategically located throughout the state. The Bearcat has been deployed on numerous calls in 2010.
There are many different types of calls that the SWAT team responds to. The SWAT team needs to train for as many potential scenarios as possible. Team members never know when they will be called to put this training to use on a high risk call. Over the past 10 years the SWAT team has done numerous trainings in the Green Bay Public Schools to prepare for the possibility of an active shooter. On 11-29-10 at 5:15pm we received that call. Marinette High School was involved in a standoff in their school where shots had been fired. At the time of the call there were 24 students being held at gun point in a classroom. The Green Bay Police Department SWAT team was asked by the Chief of Police from Marinette to respond and assist them with the standoff. At approximately 7pm the Green Bay SWAT team took over the tactical element. At 8:03pm the Green Bay SWAT team made entry into the classroom as shots were being fired. Once the SWAT team was in the room the gunman took his own life. There were no other injuries from this standoff. Training is very important to what we do and it paid off in this incident.
We added two new tactical officers and five negotiator / radio operators in 2010. Officers Bob Matheny and Rob Bourdelais are the new tactical team members. They are both entry/ marksmen on the team. Officers Scott Stimpson, Joe Hoyer, Andy Weiss, Craig Pakkala, and Detective Lee Kingston are our new negotiators and radio operators. We also had the following SWAT officers retire from the team: Tactical Officers Brain Stanton and Dan Younk, and Negotiators Detective Jim Swanson and School Resource Officer Denise Servais.
As a member of the Regional SWAT teams, the Green Bay Police SWAT Team is viewed as a leader in the northeast part of the state. In 2010 we have extended several offers to other smaller agencies to train and learn SWAT tactics from us. Several agencies have accepted this offer. It’s been very rewarding for us to meet other SWAT Officers and give them a chance to train with us. This commitment to being the leader will benefit all as we strive to make northeast Wisconsin a safer place to live.
The Green Bay SWAT Team is supervised by Rick Demro, SWAT Commander, Brad Florence, Officer in Charge (OIC), and Dave Wesley, OIC.