"We generally contact Douglas County SWAT in cases where there is a potential for an armed conflict," said Stan Ross, Elizabeth Chief of Police.
"We notify them anytime we know ahead of time there is a possibility where something might turn into a barricaded or armed suspect situation just to give them a little advance warning in case their services might be needed.There are not enough officers from all of the agencies in Elbert County combined to handle some of the situations that we run into.The seriousness of the charges also plays into the whole risk assessment."Hemphill is a convicted felon who has an extensive record with arrests in the state of Mississippi that date back to 1990.His
arrests include possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. The number of officers was necessary to ensure safety of the citizens in the center of Elizabeth
and to execute the search warrant in a timely manner, said Ross
."We wanted to surround the building and ensure he
did not escape through the back door," said Ross
."We wanted to make sure we had all of our bases covered."While Hemphill did not resist arrest, the operation was not without incident.Just as police were prepared to enter the Hemphill residence, an employee of a nearby restaurant pulled up directly in front of the home to report for work.The occupants of the car were ordered out of the vehicle at gunpoint."We identified them immediately and one was an employee of the restaurant," Ross