Founded in 1996 by Albert Wesker and chief of police Brian Irons, S.T.A.R.S (Special tactics and rescue squad) was a small but elite special forces unit of the RPD (Raccoon police department). Similar to paramilitary units, S.T.A.R.S incorporated special forces training with specialized equipment normally disallowed by standard issue regulations (one picture of the team even depicts members as carrying assault rifles, though this has never been viewed within the games).
S.T.A.R.S was headed by Captain Albert Wesker, who also served in the capacity as field leader for Alpha team, comprised of Marksman/Point man Chris Redfield, omni man Joseph Frost, machine expert Jill Valentine, weapons specialist Barry Burton and rear security/Chemical protection/pilot Brad Vickers. Bravo Team possessed a similar structure, with S.T.A.R.S second in command Enrico Marini leading a team made up of Kenneth J. Sullivan (point man and biochemist), Rebecca Chambers (medic), Edward Dewey (Marksman/Co-pilot), Kevin Dooley (pilot), Forest Speyer (Marksman/Demo-expert/Omni man) and Richard Aiken (Rear Security/Communications officer).
S.T.A.R.S Bravo team was the first to be deployed in response to the string of murders near Raccoon Forest, in the Arklay mountains. Out of the team, Rebecca Chambers would be the only survivor. Following their disappearance, Alpha team was deployed, with the second S.T.A.R.S team similarly decimated by the T-Virus infected creatures of the Arklay mountains. Only Barry Burton, Brad Vickers, Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield and Rebecca Chambers survived the ordeal, though Wesker was later revealed to have survived.
Despite the survivors' claims that Umbrella had been behind the entire incident, Chief Brian Irons (secretly on Umbrella's payroll) shelved the investigation of the incident, replacing S.T.A.R.S with the short lived Raccoon Select Police Force (SPF), of which both Kevin Ryman and Leon S.Kennedy would later become members. However, the legacy of S.T.A.R.S overshadowed the S.P.F which later met its destruction during the T. VIRUS outbreak in Raccoon city, roughly 2 months after the mansion incident.