A behind-the-scenes look into a tactical response

Posted at 6:38 PM, Jul 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-28 18:49:45-04

KENT COUNTY, Mich. --  Last week, 23-year-old Adam Dickinson avoided police while holding his one-year-old child inside his Cedar Springs home.

That four-hour standoff ended peacefully thanks to some interesting tactical maneuvers.

Police tell us they inserted an infrared pole cam into Dickinson's home to see where he was in relation to his child.

"We were able to place several officers close enough to the home to put the camera inside the house and we were able then to see the suspect was away from the child, it was a really important tool as we need to have a safe way for officers to approach," said Kent County Undersheriff Michelle Lajoye Young.

In addition, police used what they call a 'throw phone' which allows them to dial in to speak with a suspect, but it doesn't allow a suspect to dial out.

As for transportation, police used a bullet proof Humvee, which gives them the ability to safely approach the home and contact those inside.

Although it was not used in last week's standoff, the Kent County Sheriffs Department also has a command bus, equipped with a satellite, phone, internet and a camera that can see for half of a mile away.

"The way we get eyes inside a residence or make communication within the residence has changed from using a blow-horn and yelling from across the street to delivering throw phones inside a house to make communication inside," said Kent County Sgt. Randy Kieft.

"It's basically designed to keep our officers safe, to get intelligence inside a residence and attempt to make communication with whomever may be inside we need to talk to," Sgt. Kieft said.

In this case, it was Adam Dickinson. With the help of a camera, a throw phone and bullet proof Humvee, officials were able to approach the home with Dickinson inside.

"It's imperative that not only our department, but other departments stay up to date on technology," Young said.

Young says this technology allows for a smaller tactical response team, but most importantly, it allows for their team to be more effective all with the goal of keeping everyone safe.

Most of the equipment used in these scenarios are from grants and that Hum-V was from a military surplus program.