The U.S.R.T. (Underwater Search and Recovery Team) was developed over 50 years ago to establish the capability for underwater search of evidence and victims of water related incidents.
The Macomb County Sheriff’s U.S.R.T. is currently comprised of 13 full time deputies who are highly trained and certified through the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI), the largest certifying agency of divers in the world.
The U.S.R.T. is the sole underwater search and recovery team in Macomb County. As such, the Macomb Sheriff U.S.R.T. uses its resources and personnel to assist any public safety agency in Macomb County. As members of the Region Two Search and Recovery Team that includes neighboring counties, our unit has also participated in mutual aid operations.
Through County, State, and Federal funding, the team is outfitted and trained with the latest equipment and technology. U.S.R.T. is equipped with the latest state of the art equipment such as Side Scan Sonar, Underwater Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV), Underwater Wireless Communications and Underwater Propulsion Systems.
Upon reports received that a drowning has occurred the U.S.R.T. supervisor and team leader would proceed to the body of water to be searched. After making assessment of water depth, clarity, credibility of information received, associated risks to divers, a determination is then made for search plan, time, and location of team activation. Upon team arrival at scene, when required, high tech imaging side scan sonar devices and an underwater robot are utilized. Upon confirmation, various methods of searches are performed, which will lead to a successful recovery while minimizing the dangers to the U.S.R.T. members.
Selection and training
Macomb Sheriff U.S.R.T. members are selected based on their S.C.U.B.A. skill levels and their coping abilities underwater in confined spaces. The diver's ability to function in zero visibility conditions, while encapsulated in a tri-laminate dry suit, under duress, is also used for consideration. All team members receive training up through the certification of Master Diver. The U.S.R.T. conducts monthly training exercises year round in preparation of conducting recoveries in virtually any weather or water conditions.
Scope of operations
In the past, the U.S.R.T. has assisted the Department of Roads in underwater bridge structure inspections on the Gratiot Bridge in Mt. Clemens, the Michigan DNR Fisheries Biologist in obtaining specimens from the bottom of Lake St. Clair in Anchor Bay, our Detective Bureau in recovering everything from murder victims to weapons used to commit crimes, narcotics, stolen property, and victim recovery.
The members of the Sheriff’s U.S.R.T. are dedicated to serving the community and providing answers and closure to the families of the victim’s located in the waterways of Macomb County and Southeast Michigan.
Our Honor Guard is a volunteer unit comprised of sworn officers from all divisions of the department. Its mission is to enhance the professional image of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, and the County of Macomb. However, the unit’s priority is to honor and pay respects to fallen Officers and their families.
Our members dedicate their personal time to attend funerals and memorial services for our brothers and sisters in Law Enforcement, Fire Services and EMS that have lost their lives protecting and serving our citizens and our communities. Many times, during these funerals our team is requested to perform different honors during the service. In the past we have assisted as the standing color guard, casket team and casket watch.
In May each year, we travel to Washington D.C. to participate in the National Law Enforcement Memorial Week. This is to represent our department with thousands of other departments to Honor and pay tribute to the men and women who have served and sacrificed to make our society safer. A few of the events include escorting the surviving family members of Fallen Officers into the National Police Memorial and guarding the Memorial Wreath. We also compete against Honor Guards from across the country in Drill and Ceremony competitions.
Every year we have continued to honor our own fallen officers by participating in wreath laying ceremonies honoring their sacrifice for their communities. The unit attends and provides services during retiree funeral services. Honoring the commitment and service that these members gave to the department and the community during their careers.
Our Honor Guard also participates in local community services such as Shop with a Cop, Macomb Fallen Heroes Memorial, Law Enforcement Appreciation Night at Jimmy John’s Field, and the Macomb Charitable Foundation. The unit regularly participates these events be presenting the national colors and other details.
Our Honor Guard has been honored to represent the National Law Enforcement Memorial by presenting the National Colors for the Detroit Red Wings Law Enforcement Night and the Detroit Tigers Law Enforcement Night.
The Honor Guard is self-funded unit. All our financial support has come solely from Honor Guard Members and donations we receive from citizens. The donations allow the unit to purchase uniforms and equipment for each new member.
If you have any questions regarding the Honor Guard, please contact Sgt. Jason Conklin at Jason.Conklin@macombcountymi.gov
The Macomb County Sheriff's Office has a contingent of BMW motorcycles, and a couple of Harley-Davison motorcycles, a group of deputies who, in addition to their regular responsibilities are trained in the operation of the motorcycles. The deputies utilize the bikes for the following duties:
- Traffic enforcement
- Dignitary protection and escort
- Parades and special events
- Educational and school activities
Deputies who are trained and qualified to operate one of the Sheriff’s motorcycles can opt to ride a motorcycle or use a police car on their regular patrols in the event the weather permits or if circumstances dictate. The Motor Division is augmented by a group on reserve deputies who serve at the whim of the Sheriff. The Reserve Motor Officers provide their own motorcycles and their own equipment. They work primarily in a public relations capacity and provide their help at no expense to the Sheriff’s Office or to the County taxpayers.
The Sheriff recognizes that conducting an effective investigation of criminal offenses often requires the use of specialized tools and techniques. The canines’ superior sense of smell and hearing, these K-9’s are an invaluable enhancement to the routine patrol activities and in assisting with specialized police investigations. The Macomb County Sheriff Office is proud of the services our canine teams provide to our community. Each team being a dog and handler. Currently, there are two K-9’s in service with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, both are German Shepherd breed. Their training consists of tracking, apprehension, article searches (evidence recovery), handler protection and building/area searches. Each dog is also cross trained in either narcotics detection or explosives detection.
The Mobile Field Force (M.F.F.) is a multi-agency composite group of local law enforcement officers within Macomb County. The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office and Macomb County Office of Emergency Management share leadership of the composite group. The M.F.F. has over 100 trained officers from Clinton Township, Chesterfield Township, Shelby Township, Sterling Heights, Roseville, Eastpointe, Richmond, Warren, and Port Huron Police Departments. The team is also supported by volunteer paramedics.
The Mobile Field Force (M.F.F.) is designed to provide rapid, organized and disciplined response to civil disorder, crowd control or other situations. They are formally structured units based on a platoon concept with assigned leadership. Tactics used are based on small squad tactics developed by the Office of Domestic Preparedness.
The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. team is a multi-jurisdictional tactical team whose mission is to save lives. It is the S.W.A.T. team’s responsibility to respond to barricaded persons, hostage incidents, emotionally disturbed persons, civil disturbances, work and school place violence situations, terrorist incidents, security details, Presidential and dignitary protection details along with any other special assignments from the Sheriff. Every officer assigned to the S.W.A.T. team is willing to give their lives to save or protect the people living, working, or playing in Macomb County.
The S.W.A.T. team is equipped to function tactically in many different environments including a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive environment (CBRNE). With an eye on current events, the Sheriff has required this training and equipment so the S.W.A.T. team can better respond to an active violence attack, terrorist attack, criminal act, or hostage situation to achieve the goal of preserving life and serving the community.
The S.W.A.T. team has a Sniper/Observer team. These specialized operators all have received training from the F.B.I. They are used in many situations to assist with long range observations of scenes and incidents, providing protection to the public during large scale public events.
Tactical doctors and medics have been added to the team to immediately address injuries sustained by bystanders, officers, and suspects during a critical incident. These tactical doctors and medics are sworn reserve deputies of the Sheriff's Office and participate in all S.W.A.T. team training.
Equipped with some of the newest technology, the team can deploy lethal, less lethal, robotic, drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) and many other tools depending on the situation. Specially trained operators can deploy advanced explosive breeching capabilities when needed. The team is equipped with ballistic resistant vehicles and personnel carriers that allow the team to operate in many different environments for extended periods of time safely.
The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. team is currently comprised of personnel from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, Utica Police Department, Fraser Department of Public Safety, New Baltimore Police Department, Chesterfield Township Police Department and Eastpointe Police Department.
The Fire Investigation Unit continues to provide a much needed service to Macomb County residents as well as a valuable service to the local fire departments in our community. The team continued with ongoing training for all unit members to keep current on the changes in the fire investigation field with NFPA 921 and NFPA 1033.
The C.N.T. continues to use the “836 Technologies” brand CINT (Critical Incident Negotiations Team) Thrown Phone/Command Center equipment. This equipment is compatible with Bluetooth, and Cellular Devices. The 836 equipment includes the ability to complete the FBI HOBAS report for CNT events and provides better monitoring and computer technology. The Mobile Command center has been upgraded to improved Wi-Fi, HDMI cables, and new TV monitors. The Macomb County Crisis Negotiations Team continues to train and respond to calls involving people in crisis situations
The Corrections Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) is trained to deal with unruly uncooperative inmates and riotous situations within the confines of the jail.
The C.E.R.T. has been utilized with inmates who are assaultive and require a restraint chair for safety of inmate and staff.
C.E.R.T. has been trained in the use of taser and pepper ball.
Currently, there are 49 C.E.R.T. trained Corrections Deputies.
The Macomb County Sheriff Crisis Incident Stress Management (C.I.S.M.) Team was formed in the Spring of 2021. The C.I.S.M. team provides an avenue for peer support and crisis management to our employees.
The C.I.S.M. team is made up of 24 members. All members have completed approximately 35 hours of training to be certified with the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF) and registered with the Michigan Crisis Response Association (MCRA) as an internal C.I.S.M. Team. The composite of the team consists of five command officers, nine sworn deputies, six dispatchers, and four corrections deputies.
In addition to peer support, we have developed relationships with seven independent counselors that have specialized training and or experience with first responders. These counselors work with all county insurance and offer a wide range of services to fit our employee’s needs.
The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (U.A.V.) Unit is comprised of fourteen sworn deputies and two sworn sergeants totaling sixteen members. All team members possess a current FAA Part 107.
Airman’s Certificate with a small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) rating. The U.A.V. Unit provides aerial and tactical support for numerous operations within the Sheriff’s Office patrol area and surrounding agencies within the county. The primary function of the U.A.V. Unit is search and rescue, but our drones are also utilized for documenting crime scenes, crash scenes, Mobile Field Force support, Marine Division support, K-9 support, Negotiator support, S.W.A.T. operations, and public relation demonstrations. The U.A.V. Unit trains on a monthly basis at various indoor and outdoor locations throughout our patrol area.
The Macomb County UAV Unit is currently one of, if not the largest teams of its type in the State of Michigan. We currently have ten drones in our fleet with eight being designated for outdoor use and two for indoor applications. The drones were deployed 41 times this year. Most of the deployments were a search and rescue type situation with the remainder involving the search for a suspect that fled on foot from an incident. Several other deployments included assisting neighboring agencies when they requested drone support.
The drones were also deployed by our Evidence Technician 16 times for crash reconstruction and crime scene documentation. Of the 57 deployments this year, there were zero incidents involving pilot error, equipment failure, or any damage to our equipment.