Local officers have been training with area departments

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Jim Wells County Correspondent

"Rescue, rescue!" shouted a SWAT officer as more than a dozen officers moved in unison to surround a vehicle during a situation that could have turned deadly during a mock run hostage situation at a training session at the Alice High School parking lot Tuesday.

Seventeen Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) officers from the Alice and Kingsville police departments shared experiences and tactic maneuvers Tuesday in efforts to refine each other's lingo and moves.

"We started training together," said Sgt. Richard DeLeon with the Alice SWAT team. "Last week, we trained with Portland's SWAT police department."

Officers said that by training with other law enforcement officers and deputies in the area, they can utilize and share resources in case they need back up in the future.

"Now with Homeland Security and the threat of terrorism, we want to pool our resources and share with each other our experiences and learn what language the Alice Police Department uses and form a common language," said Rick Salinas, a SWAT trainer with the Kingsville Police Department.

Salinas said in high-risk situations, such as a hostage takeover that sometimes can take hours, they hope to be able to tag team with other police officers such as Alice so their officers can rest in between the long hours.

The training was performed inside the high school and outside in the parking lot. They used the hallways to perfect movements and also familiarize themselves with the school and its floor plan, DeLeon said.

Deleon said that SWAT training will be conducted on a weekly basis with other officers from the area in hopes of organizing a regional SWAT team.

"It's like a football game with a playbook," DeLeon said. "You want to have as many plays as you can."