FOX 10 embeds with special response team for jail raid - Fox 2 News Headlines

FOX 10 embeds with special response team for jail raid

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PHOENIX -

When dangerous people commit serious crimes, they are arrested by police and then sent to jail. But what happens when those same dangerous people commit crimes inside jail? Who polices them?

We are going to take you inside an operation in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's 4th Avenue Jail for a high impact raid to clean up a problem group of inmates.

This is no drill. It's the real thing.

"We have reason to believe there are drugs in the pod."

A search operation will be conducted here because the drugs have to go.

"We're not here to humiliate anybody, just to do our job and conduct that search safely," said Operator Montoya.

Leading this raid is the highly trained special response team, a SWAT team inside the jail. I am allowed to embed with them on this mission. Time to move out.

We are heading down the stairs now going to the second level. The inmates have no idea we are coming and they are in for a big surprise.

The idea is to go in making a lot of noise, almost a shock and awe type thing.

As the team I'm with moves into place, a second team readies itself to enter the cellblock from the opposite side.

It may seem a little heavy handed. But the special response team says the aim is not to hurt anyone, it's to come in loud and confuse the inmates just long enough to subdue them.

You can see how the sound of the flash bang rounds sends them to the floor -- keeping the inmates controlled and the officers safe.

The inmates and their cells are then searched.

All kinds of things were found -- from things seemingly innocuous like homemade pencils. To prescription pills and a nice sized chunk of heroin. And that's not all -- 27 bottles of hooch.

The hooch -- homemade booze -- and drugs are pulled out of the cellblock, and literally right in the middle of this operation another call comes out. An inmate who's fighting with jail staff.

He's been tased and put into a safe room, but he still has a spit guard in with him that he could use to possibly choke himself.

The special response team has to go in and get him. Within seconds they have him pinned and cuffed. He will be taken to the psych ward to get checked out.

"He refused to be handcuffed, so we had to use a chemical agent on him. Then we used the pepper balls on him then we had to go in with the shield and he still fought us," said Lt. Alcala, Jail Special Response Team.

But after that fight, he's not hurt. Neither are the officers. And in this dangerous job, that is a good measure of a mission's success.

The special response team is able to move around to any jail run by Joe Arpaio.

They are called in when front line corrections officers have exhausted all their other options.

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