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The City of Portland, Oregon

Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Special Emergency Reaction Team


The mission of the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) is the preservation of life and property during critical incidents and high-risk operations. SERT provides tactical response and expertise in support of all branches of the organization. The presence of highly trained, highly skilled police officers working in conjunction with a Crisis Negotiation Team and under the direction of a Critical Incident Commander has shown to substantially reduce the risk of injury or loss of life to citizens, police officers, and suspects; and recognizing that a well-managed response to critical incidents typically results in a successful and peaceful resolution.

SERT responds to incidents such as barricaded suspects, hostage events, active shooters, block searches for armed suspects, high-risk arrest or search warrants service, terrorist acts, and other events requiring resources beyond the capability of a typical patrol response.  SERT also provides dignitary protection and plays an integral part in providing tactical and medical support to civil disturbance incidents.  All team responses are tiered based on the level of tactical support required. Not all missions require a full team response.


In 2019, SERT completed 175 total missions in 21 different categories. Missions range from full team activations and search warrant services, to limited deployment missions of investigative and patrol assists requiring only minimal resources.*

  • Activation for barricaded subject (Full team)        8
  • Activation for barricaded subject (Limited team) 3
  • Activation for hostage situation 1
  • Activation for block search           2
  • Activation for active shooter response   1
  • Activation for suicidal/ jumper subject (Limited team)     1
  • On Duty SERT     8
  • Search warrant served/Contain and callout  (Full team)   20
  • Search warrant served/ Entry (Full team)               1
  • Search warrant served/ S.O.P. warrant   50
  • Protective detail/  Dignitary (Full team)  1
  • Protective detail/  Dignitary (Limited team)          4
  • Protective detail/  rescue team 19
  • Fugitive apprehension mission/ vehicle  (Limited team)              9
  • Fugitive apprehension mission/ pedestrian  (Limited team)       4
  • Patrol support mission   3
  • Investigative support mission     4
  • Community event            14
  • Outside Agency assist     11
  • Class Instruction               10
  • Site survey          1

TOTAL           175

SERT Sgt. Consults           57

*SERT statistical data is entered into the missions log by the team sergeants, and is maintained in electronic form by the professional staff. In an effort to accurately reflect the totality of SERT’s missions, a single activation could result in several missions. For example, SERT may conduct a high-risk subject apprehension and following this custody, re-group and serve a search warrant at an associated location. This would be considered two missions.

  • SERT training in 2019 was designed around a quarterly model that prioritized and tracked skills training for the year. Bi-weekly training for all team members amounts to over 490 hours annually. This continuing training consists of a variety of tactical skills, decision making and firearms proficiency. Iteration training is closely supported by decision making scenarios and learning debriefs. This training ranges from rapidly evolving mini scenarios, to full complement scenarios including the crisis negotiation team, and critical incident commanders.
  • In 2019, SERT assisted the Training Division with Active Threat instruction at annual in service training.