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North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
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Special Services Unit

We respond statewide to methamphetamine labs, explosive devices, and bio-hazards.   This unit also coordinates the SBI Special Response Team (SRT) which responds to hostage situations, barricaded suspects, high risk search warrants and arrests, and high-level security events.
The Special Services Unit has six specialty areas:
                               •   Clandestine Laboratory Response Program
                               •   Criminal Apprehension Program
                               •   Crisis Negotiators
                               •   Special Response Team
                               •   Technical Services
                               •   Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) / Bomb Squad

SBI agents who serve in these units are required to maintain a high level of expertise in tactical operations and specialized equipment.   Each unit is coordinated by an Assistant Special Agent in Charge.
Clandestine Laboratory Response Program
The SBI created its Clandestine Laboratory Response Program in 1988 to respond to hidden drug laboratories such as meth labs.   Agents assigned to the program receive extensive training in hazardous materials, site safety, and confined space operations.
The SBI has approximately 100 agents trained to respond to drug labs, including five full-time agents who are responsible for the technical and safety SBI response to these sites.   Full-time agents also conduct how-to-spot-meth-labs training for local law enforcement, first responders, social service workers and others.   The agents also maintain response vehicles and safety equipment.
Clandestine lab response teams include crime scene agents, arson agents, crime lab agents, SRT agents, DECU agents, and general field agents.   The SBI currently has clandestine laboratory response vehicles located in Asheville, Charlotte, Clinton, Hickory, Raleigh, and Sylva.
Criminal Apprehension Program
The Criminal Apprehension Program began in March of 2007 and works to locate hard-to-find fugitives, homicide and drug trafficking suspects, and missing/endangered persons at the request of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

Crisis Negotiators
More than 30 SBI agents make up the Crisis Negotiation Team which conducts negotiations with barricaded subjects and hostage takers to try to resolve situations peacefully.   The team works with ongoing SBI operations and responds to requests from local law enforcement.
Crisis Negotiation Team members work with the Special Response Team to provide intelligence information obtained via negotiations that may be used for tactical purposes.

Special Response Team (SRT)
The SRT provides quick services to SBI investigations as well as to other law enforcement agencies to save lives and apprehend lawbreakers.   SRT agents are proficient in the use of special equipment, skills, and tactics.  
The team responds to variety of situations such as hostage rescues, barricaded felons, dignitary protection, terrorist acts, meth labs, and high-risk arrests, drug buys and search warrants.   SRT agents also maintain a regular case load at the district level and undergo continuous training to keep their skills sharp.

Technical Services
Agents provide expertise in audio, video, and other surveillance to law enforcement agencies in criminal investigations.
Technical Services agents also maintain and operate the Mobile Command Post vehicle which is used for command and control of large-scale operations like major crime scenes, hostage situations, and special events where intensive security is required.   The Mobile Command Post houses state-of-the-art communications equipment, enabling multiple agencies with different radios and frequencies to communicate.

Weapons of Mass Destruction/Bomb Squad
The Bomb Squad helps the SBI and other law enforcement agencies by rendering explosive devices safe and disposing of them properly.   Bomb Squad agents are proficient in the use of special equipment, skills, and handling procedures involving explosives.
There are currently twelve agents assigned as bomb technicians including two full time agents. An Explosives Detection Canine works with the Bomb Squad to perform protective sweeps as well as assist in finding evidence related to explosives and firearms.   Bomb squad response vehicles are located in Asheville, Greenville, and Raleigh.

Special Services Unit:     Deputy Assistant Director Van W. Shaw