In 2010, the Sheriff’s Office formed a Special Vehicle Response Team due to increasing need in the community. Cabarrus County fills an area of 364 square miles containing approximately 173,000 residents. Even though Cabarrus County is one of the more populated areas in the state, the eastern and southern parts of the county are classified as rural with farmland and forest. With increasing population in the county, incidents have developed where the standard resources of local law enforcement needed to be enhanced and supplemented to provide effective service to the public.
Special Vehicle Response was established to assist officers where incidents or scenes are not located near adequate roadways. Crime scenes occur away from residences or roadways and have only been accessible in the past through walking or having civilians provide assistance with a privately-owned all-terrain vehicle. The Sheriff’s Office has been involved with incidents of runaways or mentally-ill subjects who have run off to avoid contact and put themselves in dangerous positions due to the environment, weather, or their mental state.
Another purpose for the Special Vehicle Response Team has been with large population events. Three weekends a year Cabarrus County is the host to NASCAR races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. By having vehicles that can maneuver over changing terrain and around obstacles, officers can patrol larger areas and can answer calls for service, handle vehicle accidents and maintain the peace by preventing or stopping conflicts, domestic disputes and assaults. The Sheriff’s Office also provides security at other large population events such as the Cabarrus County Fair and at parades and celebration events around July 4th and Christmas in the towns of Mt. Pleasant, Harrisburg and Midland.
The Special Vehicle Response Team also supplements an already established team provided by EMS known as S.T.O.R.M. (Special Tactical Operations Response Medics). The team is made up of highly trained paramedics with a variety of experience and specialties. This team's primary response missions are: disaster response, tactical medical support, spectator event coverage and mass casualty incident management. The Special Vehicle Response team supplements man-power and equipment, and provides a law enforcement element that can be integrated in scene response.