CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil announced Thursday he's disbanded the agency's SWAT team and rejoined a county-wide one.
The new partnership with the Hamilton County Police Association will provide improved services and save taxpayer money - $400,000 in the 2018 budget alone, Neil said in a prepared statement.
"I couldn't be more proud to be rejoining the HCPA SWAT Team," he said. "It makes sense for us and it makes sense for them to pull together all of our talent, all of our resources, and provide a better product at a lower cost."
Neil said 13 deputies have been reassigned include a commander, sniper, K9 handlers, and tactical and general SWAT team members.
The merger will bring the HCPA SWAT Team to a total of 60 members, making it one of the largest in the Midwest.
Sheriff's tactical vehicles, weapons and equipment also will be integrated into the existing SWAT team, giving them enhanced resources, he said.
The Hamilton County Police Chief Association was formed in the 1930s to allow local police departments from various agencies to collaborate and share services when possible. The group created their own SWAT team for high-risk incidents, adding police officers and sheriff's deputies working side by side for decades.
In 1995, however, the sheriff's administration at that time pulled their deputies out of the SWAT team and started their own Sheriff's Special Response Team, equivalent to SWAT.