Terry Nichols hadn’t started work yet as Brownwood’s police chief when a sergeant on the police department said the department needed to form a tactical response team.
    That conversation happened on a May morning at Brownwood City Hall, when Nichols was introduced as the Brownwood Police Department’s next police chief.
    The sergeant “thought this was a priority for the agency, to have this capability, because we don’t have it. I did not disagree with him at all," Nichols said.
    “But what I’ve said from Day One is, if we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it right, and it’s going to be a process.”
    Nichols said he envisions a regional a tactical team that includes officers with multiple agencies including the Brownwood and Early police departments and the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, which currently has a tactical team. The sheriff’s office’s tactical team’s functions have included executing narcotics search warrants.
    Nichols said a tactical team would be the same as a SWAT team. He said a fully functioning SWAT team needs a minimum of about 20 officers, and he’s had conversations with others including Sheriff Vance Hill and Early Police Chief David Mercer about a regional tactical team.
     Nichols said a tactical would respond to situations including a barricaded person, a hostage-taking and an armed suicidal person.
    The Brownwood Police Department has started the process of forming its portion of a tactical team, and seven officers have applied, Nichols said. The process for selecting the officers includes interviews and physical agility tests. The department is also applying for a grant that would provide funds for equipment that includes ballistic helmets, gas masks, vests that would stop rifle rounds and a ballistic shield. The shield the department currently owns has exceeded its expiration date, Nichols said earlier.
    “This is a work in progress. This is not going to happen overnight,” Nichols said.
    He said the police department previously had a tactical team. The team probably existed before his predecessor, Mike Corley — who was police chief from 2010 until 2016 — came to Brownwood.
    During the Corley era, Nichols said, the police department other priorities including achieving a nationally recognized accreditation status. Creating a tactical team as a recognized department would have meant “very strict requirements … a lot of standards you have to meet.
    “So what we’re doing now — we’re recognized, and we’ve started stepping into the process of having a tactical team. We’re following the recognition guidelines as to how you go about forming a tactical team.”