Dangers and preparations for serving warrants

DEWITT, Iowa (KWQC) - Earlier this month, a sheriff's deputy was shot and killed while serving a warrant in Rockford, Illinois. A few days later, a Chicago officer was also shot while doing the same thing.

Clinton County Sheriff, Rick Lincoln says he's luckily never had to experience an assault while serving a warrant, but he knows how dangerous it can end up being. They try and prepare as best they can so no lives are lost.

“Officer safety is paramount,” said Lincoln.

Tons of research is done by police before attempting to serve a warrant, in hopes every officer involved is in the safest position possible.

“We try to get as much intelligence information as we can about the house layout, about who might be in the house,” he added. “If any of our deputies or if any law enforcement officers from another agency have been in the house, we try to get an understanding of who might be in there or what the layout might be.”

If a situation seems too dangerous for a routine warrant, more help will be called in.

“We belong to the gateway area SRT team, Special Response Team, and that is a team that's trained and has the extra tactical training, tactical equipment,” Lincoln said. “So for a high risk search warrant we would use the team to go in.”

With the proper gear and training available, that team can be more prepared for a dangerous situation.

“On a standard search warrant, the officers would have their typical daily equipment,” Lincoln said. “On a high risk, the tactical team has additional safety equipment and additional weapons that they would utilize.”

In the end, Lincoln said it's all about covering every last detail.

“All these factors come into play. We make sure we have adequate training, adequate equipment, adequate intelligence.”

But, with the job comes risks, and unfortunately, sometimes losses.

“Anytime we learn of an officer, deputy, trooper, any law enforcement person that dies in the line of duty - we all feel that,” he said.

Lincoln said although these two shootings happened within the same week, it isn't something he would consider common. He says the Clinton County Sheriff's Office is sending their thoughts and prayers to the McHenry County Sheriff's Department during this tough time.

The Chicago officer who was shot while serving a warrant survived and is doing okay. The young woman accused of shooting him was just denied bail. She's charged with attempted murder.