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Northwoods law enforcement considering emergency response team

Respond B 5606 (Download MP3)
Respond A 5605 (Download MP3)

RHINELANDER, Wis. (WSAU) - Rhinelander Police Chief Michael Steffes would like to see emergency responders ready to go if there's an incident in the city.

There's a proposal before the city council to authorize their portion of the North Central Emergency Response Team. The planning would enable officers to more quickly respond to an emergency. "Create a mutual ­aid response team that can come to any municipality or if a county decided they would also like to be on the team...so in the event of a major incident that is going to exhaust all the resources we have available here in the city of Rhinelander we'd have additional resources already set."

Steffes says he talked with Oak Creek's police chief about that communities' response during the mass shooting at the Sikh Temple. He says the local team would be already trained and coordinated to help out wherever needed without having to first determine what the response should be. He's talked with other departments in the region. "So far I've met with the Antigo police chief, Merrill police chief, Woodruff police chief, and all of them have bought into the idea. So we're hoping to be able to be able to pass the ordinances that will begin what will become a large scale mutual­ aid response team in the Northwoods."

Steffes says he also has discussed the matter with Oneida County Sheriff Grady Hartman.

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