S.E.R.T. is utilized in the resolution of extraordinary criminal events that are beyond the response capabilities of most individual deputies and warrant a coordinated team approach. These may include hostage or barricaded gunman situations, the service of high-risk arrest or search warrants, dignitary protection details and the like.
The team is comprised of a Team Commander who oversees both S.E.R.T. and the Crisis Negotiations Team (C.N.T.), a Tactical Commander, and 24 tactical sergeants and deputies. S.E.R.T. is segmented into four basic components: Entry Team, Sierra Team (Sniper/Observer) and Delta Team (Tactical Command Post Operations) and a separate medical cadre (Gold Team). The Gold Team is led by a full-time tactical deputy and is made up of 5 to7 doctors who are either Sheriff's Office Reserves or Technical Volunteers. Team members work full-time in various sections and divisions within the Sheriff's Office and are available for S.E.R.T. duties on a call-out basis when needed. The team trains together at least once a month to ensure that they are prepared for any assignment.
The S.E.R.T. and Crisis Negotiations Team work closely with each other, usually responding on major assignments together. Both are available to assist other Santa Clara County law enforcement agencies on request and have done so numerous times during their 30-year history. Gold Team (Medical) is also available to separately support any local agency's tactical operations when needed, on a mutual-aid basis.
Requests for S.E.R.T. Personnel or the Crisis Negotiations Team should be made directly to the Sheriff's Office at (408) 808-4410. Emergency requests can also be made by contacting County Communications at (408)299-2311.