Specialized Units

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K-9 Unit

Established in 1993, the K-9 Unit of the Mercer County Sheriff's Office began with just two specially trained dogs. Since then, it has grown into an extensive law enforcement unit specializing in the pursuit of missing persons, criminal searches, explosive detection, tracking and much more. Today, Federal, State and local law enforcement, including Presidential security details and post-disaster recovery teams depend on the unit’s specialized services.

Having served in the K-9 Division of the Trenton Police Department early in his career, Sheriff Jack Kemler supports the significant role K-9 units can play in demanding and extraordinary law enforcement situations.

Explosive detection dogs respond to the needs of every law enforcement agency in Mercer County and the surrounding area for bomb threats and suspicious packages. The unit participates with the NJ Detect and Render Safe Task Force to assure homeland security and provide infrastructure security checks. The K-9 Unit plays a major role in protecting the terminal areas of the Trenton-Mercer Airport, mostly called on to search unattended luggage and suspicious packages. The unit also assists at large sports venues, transit stations, special events, and dignitary details. The K-9 Unit responds swiftly on requests for missing children and adults, Alzheimer's patients and the search for fugitives. The unit also responds to crimes and special situations including disturbances, street fights, public unrest, and building searches for dangerous suspects. K-9 teams generally average over 150 assignments per year.

  • Sheriff Jack Kemler
  • Unit Head: Lt. H. Harbourt
  • K-9 Supervisor: Sgt. C. Drew

Teams

Explosive Detection (Handler and K-9)

  • Ofc. Papero and K-9 Baron
  • Ofc. Caruso and K-9 Porter
  • Ofc. Conover and K-9 Argo
  • Ofc. Jantos and K-9 Ragnar

Tracking - Bloodhound (Handler and K-9)

  • Ofc. Smithson and K-9 Maverick
  • Ofc. Restuccia and K-9 Flash

Patrol (Handler and K-9)

  • Sgt. Drew and K-9 Norbo
  • Ofc. Caruso and K-9 Porter
  • Ofc. Conover and K-9 Argo

All requests for emergency K-9 services or demonstrations should be made to the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office at (609)-989-6111.


Sheriff's Emergency Response Team (S.E.R.T.)

Since 1990, Mercer County’s S.E.R.T. team members are trained and equipped to handle almost any type of situation that falls outside of the day-to-day duties of uniformed sheriff’s officers. Known traditionally as the Sherriff’s Office “SWAT team”, their primary role is to execute high–risk arrest warrants, most often called on to enter unsafe or barricaded buildings. S.E.R.T. members are tactical firearm experts and are required to maintain the highest level of firearm qualification. Their duties may include extraordinary situations, such as confronting heavily armed criminals, active shooters, performing hostage negotiations and rescues in the County Courthouses or Airport, VIP protection, and high-risk trial security.

Mercer County’s S.E.R.T. members are self-motivated, highly disciplined individuals in peak physical condition. Before joining S.E.R.T., candidates must successfully complete strenuous physical and cognitive evaluations, oral interviews and advanced tactical training.

The Secret Service, U.S. Marshal’s Service, Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, and all 12 of Mercer’s local police departments routinely call upon S.E.R.T. for assistance. S.E.R.T. also provides added law enforcement response in the capital city of Trenton by supporting the County Prosecutor’s Special Investigations Unit (the merged Trenton Police Department’s Vice Unit). S.E.R.T. also has a unique relationship with the West Windsor Police Department S.W.A.T. unit, which routinely shares comparably trained tactical officers when needed. Princeton and Princeton University routinely call on S.E.R.T. to assist in protecting international dignitaries and when special protective services are required.


Detective/Fugitive Unit

The Detective / Fugitive Unit is responsible for serving warrants issued by the Superior Court and the Probation Department. Warrants are issued for non-appearance, non-support, violation of probation and violation of any other judicial edict. The Sheriff's Office is responsible to make every attempt to apprehend the individuals on these warrants.

The Detective / Fugitive Unit is responsible for serving warrants issued by the Superior Court and the Probation Department. Warrants are issued for non-appearance, non-support, violation of probation and violation of any other judicial edict. The Sheriff's Office is responsible to make every attempt to apprehend the individuals on these warrants.

The Mercer County Sheriff's Office participates in the bi-annual "Deadbeat Dad" raids in conjunction with the New Jersey Sheriff's Association. Detectives dedicate their time on the non-support warrants in hopes of receiving cash purges for plaintiff's or getting wage garnishments implemented.

Members of the Detective /Fugitive Unit have many other responsibilities which include:

  • Megan's Law Notifications
  • Extradition of fugitives from out of state
  • Participation in local and state fugitive raids
  • Conduct investigations of suspected criminal activities
  • Collect and preserve evidence obtained in criminal cases
  • Maintain current computer information on criminal and domestic bench warrants
  • Execution of bench warrants
  • Participation in federal and county task forces involving narcotics, weapons and fugitives