Metropolitan Emergency Tactical Response Operations (METRO) SWAT Unit

The METRO Team consists of sworn police officers from the University of Illinois, Urbana, Rantoul, Mahomet, and Parkland College Police Departments as well as the Champaign County Sheriff's Police. This specialized unit of officers to respond to a variety of police situations that require special training and a team approach, including:
  • Barricaded armed subjects
  • Civil disturbances
  • Counter sniper operations
  • High risk search warrants
  • Hostage situations
  • Protective operations
  • Surveillance


The METRO team was formed in 1985 when the University of Illinois and the Champaign County Sheriff's Police pooled their resources and formed the Tactical Response Unit. In 1991, the Urbana Police Department joined and the name was changed to the Metropolitan Emergency Tactical Response Operations (METRO) Team. In 1997, the Rantoul Police Department joined the METRO Team. The Mahomet Police Department and Parkland College Police Department are the latest agencies to provide resources to the team. The METRO Team is managed by a governing board of command officers from each department.

Selection Process

Officers undergo a selection process that:
  • Assesses the applicant's ability to operate calmly under high stress situations
  • Assesses the applicant's ability to solve problems in creative ways
  • Takes into considers the applicant's previous police experience
  • Tests their physical fitness


Team members are sent to a state-certified basic Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) school and other specialized tactical training as required. METRO team members train together monthly. Individual disciplines within the unit, snipers, chemical munitions team members, and negotiators, participate in additional training, as required.