Glendora Police Chief Rob Castro remembers how in 2004, when he was a lieutenant, he led a research committee tasked with creating a regional SWAT team of the San Gabriel Valley’s finest police officers to service the region.
While local agencies enjoyed larger budgets then, some agencies, preferring to stick to a local approach, said the idea would not work.
But eight years later, the Foothills Special Enforcement Regional SWAT Team made up of members from the Glendora, Monrovia, La Verne and San Marino police departments, is still going strong
The team recently earned the distinction of “SWAT Team of the Year” for the state of California by the California Association of Tactical Officers.
Throughout the eight years, FSET has been at the scene of some very high profile incidents, including the December 2011 shooting rampage at the Southern California Edison offices in Irwindale. As a disgruntled employee continued to fire rounds, FSET members were first at the scene and located injured victims. The team has been credited in saving many lives that day.
The regional concept of FSET has helped the team secure more grant dollars. To date, FSET has secured about $1 million in grant funds to equip the team with state of the art equipment to respond to highly dangerous situations.
“It was a true honor for FSET to receive this recognition,” Castro said in a written statement. “It proves that it is not the size of the department or budget that determines a capability of a team, but rather the dedication and commitment of team members.”