The Boerne Emergency Response Team (BERT) is comprised of officers forming two units – negotiations and tactical – which work together to preserve life and keep citizens safe during high-risk and crisis situations. BERT is commanded by Assistant Chief Cody Lackey and Sgt. Bowen "Bo" Patton.
The Negotiations Unit is trained to respond to suicidal and/or barricaded persons, as well as hostage situations. Its members attend a specialized course to become Certified Hostage Negotiators and train together monthly, including instruction-based and scenario training. Negotiators are skilled in the planning and gathering of vital intelligence to relay to the Tactical Unit should it be deployed.
The Tactical Unit is trained in the areas of breaching, clearing buildings, team movements, officer extractions and high-risk warrant service. Its members are committed to minimizing risk to both the public and police officers. The members of the Tactical Unit are certified SWAT operators.
The Boerne Police Department acquired an armored vehicle (MRAP) through the Military's 10-33 Program – a government program that distributes vehicles and equipment the military no longer uses to law enforcement agencies throughout the nation.
This vehicle was acquired not only to assist the efforts of law enforcement when responding to high-risk incidents such as active shooters, barricaded subjects, and high-risk search warrants, but also as a rescue vehicle. The operational deployment of this rescue vehicle shall be undertaken only as a lifesaving measure. This rescue vehicle will be utilized to respond to a natural disaster or catastrophic event without a criminal nexus (e.g., hurricane, tornado, flood, earthquake, or wildfire) where lifesaving access to areas that cannot otherwise be achieved is critical. The rescue vehicle may also be used to transport injured police officers or civilian victims to a hospital or trauma center if necessary for urgent medical purposes.