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Emergency Services Unit

Mission Statement

The Fall River Police Department’s Emergency Services Unit (ESU) is a well trained, disciplined, tactical team that is able and prepared to respond to any major crisis within the city. Their primary mission is to resolve high-risk incidents and preserve human life. The unit was first established in 1975 as the Heavy Weapons Drill Team. In 1982, the name was changed to the Emergency Reaction Team and later to the Emergency Response Team. In January 2011, the role of the team was expanded and it was named the Emergency Services Unit (ESU).


The Emergency Services Unit is a team, whose members are recruited, selected, trained, equipped, and assigned to resolve critical incidents involving a threat to public safety which would otherwise exceed the capabilities of traditional law enforcement first responders. The purpose of the Emergency Services Unit is to safely resolve critical incidents and quell quality of life issues. The training and proficiency of members of the team is of the highest level and it is maintained through monthly/yearly training and development. This high level of performance is maintained in support of the Emergency Services Unit mission, which is the preservation of life and property during critical incidents and high-risk operations. The Emergency Services Unit is called upon to respond to situation which include but are not limited to: high-risk warrant services, armed barricaded subjects, hostage rescue incidents, active shooter incidents, personal protection services, terrorist events and threat response, crowd control, and search and rescue incidents.


All members of the Emergency Services Units undergo an assessment process prior to being selected, which includes the evaluations of their communication skills, physical fitness, firearms proficiency, and their ability to multitask and make difficult decisions under stressful conditions. Upon being selected to the team, members are sent to a Basic SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) School, where they receive a concentrated introduction to numerous tactical skills. Their training does not end there, as members are required to attend additional basic and/or advanced specialized trainings to further enhance their capabilities and expertise. No member is permitted to participate in a team activation without complete training and proficiency in tactical deployment. Members must dedicate a significant amount of time to training each year in order to remain steadfast in their professional development to support the aforementioned mission requirements. Once a member is elevated to active status, they are expected to be available at short notice, twenty-four (24) hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five (365) days a year.

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