Four suburban Dallas police departments are combining forces to combat the expense of SWAT staffing and equipment.
North Texas Metro SWAT is comprised of police departments from Coppell, Farmers Branch, Addison and Carrollton.
Anthony Kresta of the Carrollton Police Department, is now special operations commander of the regional effort.
"We realized that none of us on our own could handle any kind of major incident of any magnitude," Kresta said. "And we were going to need to rely on each other for support."
The departments have pooled manpower -- 54 total officers -- and equipment, such as a new armored personnel carrier recently acquired by Carrollton.
"It's now available to all four municipalities in response to critical incidents," Derick Miller, NTMS platoon commander, said.
Sgt. Mike Vincent said the regional SWAT concept is perfect for his Addison department.
"The regional team is nearly as big as the entire police force of Addison," Vincent said. "Being a small city but with a lot of urban and commercial, and hotels, and banks, and everything else, there's a high probability that we would need something like that but we would never be able to do it on our own."
In fact, regional efforts are a growing trend in law enforcement. A number of suburban cities are now also sharing dispatch centers, which allows smaller departments to stretch their budgets in lean economic times and still expand the protect and serve mission.
KDFW FOX 4
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