In addition to this article: SWAT raids common in Prince George County Maryland; 195 tactical entries in six months.

A statewide report on SWAT team deployment did not include data from the Somerset County Sheriff’s tactical unit, even though sheriff’s deputies had sent the information through the right channels.

The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention released a report detailing statewide uses of special weapons and tactics teams. It was an oversight on the agency’s part to leave out the information from Somerset, which it had in fact received, said spokesman Bill Toohey.

He added that GCCP staffers will review the full report for any other possible errors or discrepancies.

Somerset Chief Deputy Ronnie Howard said his High-Risk and Entry Tactics, or HEAT, team was used once each in September, October and November of last year to serve search warrants for drug cases.

“It’s been sent up,” he said of the data. “I won’t speculate on their part why they don’t have it.”

As required by a 2009 state law, all sheriff’s offices and police departments across Maryland using SWAT teams are now required to explain their use. The law stems from a July 2008 incident where a Prince George’s County Sheriff’s SWAT team stormed the home of the mayor of Berwyn Heights, Md. They were following a package of drugs that was sent to his home. Police shot and killed his two dogs.

The mayor was found to have no involvement with any drugs, and that his doorstep had been used as part of a drug smuggling scheme.

The law now requires reporting for six-month periods on SWAT activity. This first-ever report, released in February, covers the second half of 2009 and collects data provided by 37 different police agencies.

Read more of Brian Shane’s story at

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