Special Emergency Response Team (SERT)

Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) are in trouble after leaving targets on their pistol range that included real life images. PREMIER Peter Beattie has volunteered his own photograph for police target practice after controversy over the use of real-life images in anti-terrorism training. Police Union president Gary Wilkinson also said he was happy for his photograph to be shot at while Police Minister Tony McGrady, who has had a number of run-ins with the police union, said officers were probably already shooting at his image. Indigenous groups expressed outrage at the practice when shot-up photographs reached the media including three images of indigenous people. SERT officers appear to have left the pictures behind at a Brisbane shooting range. Reality check! It is the only way of training operators to the high standards required. To explain. In a hostage situation operators (read SASR or State Police SERT Teams) are trained to enter a room by blowing away the door using semtex (a military explosive) and then, in time measured in parts of a second, enter, identify and kill the terrorists leaving the hostages alive (albeit startled). To train for this, life size targets or dummies with facial features, clothing, equipment and body language that indicates terrorist or hostage are used. Dummies representing woman, children and even Prime Ministers (Hawke in my time) are put together with a great degree of accuracy to help train the operator. Operators rehearse this movement hundreds of times before they get it right. If you don’t like the thought of a professional and real approach to problems of the world as dedicated people work very hard to save you then reconcile yourself with the thought: Freedom isn’t Free.