'We are ready': Alachua County SWAT team responds to Gainesville Police SWAT resignations
“We are no stranger to the City of Gainesville,” Joshua Crews, SWAT Team Commander for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.
Crews has been in the Alachua County SWAT team for 16 years.
As a team commander---he now has responsibilities within Alachua County and the City of Gainesville.
“We do anything from Alzheimer’s dementia and mental illness-relates patients who are in the woods who wonder off to tracking armed criminals, to dealing with armed barricaded subjects who are unwilling to come out of a residents,” says Crews.
With the recent resignations of several Gainesville SWAT team leaders, Alachua County will be responsible for their SWAT calls at least until next month.
Crews says they receive around 50 calls a year.
“We are not hugely concerned about this,” says Crews. “We’ll be there to handle any calls that they have, and so far, it’s been minimal.”
The Sheriff’s Office uses Marion, Clay and Jacksonville SWAT teams as reinforcement, and say, if they ever need help, they will not be short staffed.
“Everyone on our team is very aware of what we are doing and how we will address situations that come up,” says Crews.
The Sheriff’s Office is also helping the Gainesville Police Department find and train new leadership.
“I’m communicating directly with their young leadership, and I’m offering whatever resources I can,” says Crews. “I will work with them, I will help train them, I will do whatever I can to help them be safe.”