The South Suburban Emergency Response Team (SSERT) is a multi-jurisdictional emergency response team currently comprised of thirty-two police departments in the south suburbs of Chicago, IL. The team is responsible for the protection of approximately 750,000 residents in an area that is over 150 square miles. There are approximately one hundred team members including command personnel, entry, react, and containment team members, marksmen/observer teams, negotiators, medics, logistics, scribes, and board members. The Matteson Police Department currently has three officers assigned to SSERT as well as one command officer who sits on the SSERT Board of Directors.
Team members are selected through an extensive interview process with SSERT command staff, which includes an oral interview, physical assessment and marksmanship qualification. All SSERT team members must complete the SSERT ninety hour basic SWAT school. Team members also attend advanced SWAT related courses as well as position specific training. Training focuses on areas such as hostage rescue, explosive and mechanical breaching, and active shooter response. Additionally the team trains as a whole for sixteen hours monthly to maintain proficiencies and fulfill annual qualifications. The presence of a highly trained, highly skilled police tactical unit has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of injury or loss of life to citizens, police officers and suspects.
SSERT was designed to provide member agencies with a tactical response to critical incidents. Critical incidents are defined as, but not limited to: Armed/Suicidal Subject's, Barricaded Subject's, Hostage Situations, Sniper Situations, High-Risk Apprehension, High-Risk Warrant Service, Dignitary Protection, Civil Disturbances, Disaster Assistance, Terrorist Incidents, Special Assignments. SSERT has provided services to the Cook County Sheriff's Police HBT, FBI, DEA, United States Secret Service, and the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force.
The South Suburban Emergency Response Team is a non-profit organization that relies on annual dues from participating agencies to purchase equipment, maintain vehicles and provide quality training for the officers. An annual fundraiser held in August also supplements the team's needs.
Proudly serving the communities of: Blue Island, Bridgeview, Burbank, Calumet City, Chicago Heights, Country Club Hills, Dolton, East Hazel Crest, Flossmoor, Glenwood, Hazel Crest, Homewood, Lansing, Lemont, Lynwood, Markham, Matteson, Midlothian, New Lenox, Oak Forest, Oak Lawn, Orland Park, Palos Park, Park Forest, Posen, Richton Park, Riverdale, Sauk Village, South Holland, Thornton, Tinley Park, and Willow Springs.