Law enforcement officers from two agencies had a week of SWAT training to help prepare them for real world scenarios.
There were a total of 11 officers from Alice Police Department and the Duval County Sheriff's Department who trained to earn their basic certification in SWAT.
“We are teaching fundamentals that can be used in any crisis situation they may encounter,” said Threat Assessment Group instructor Al Perez, a retired officer from Hidalgo County. “We give them the fundamentals and they build from there.”
The training was requested by the Duval County Sheriff and by Alice Police Chief Rex Ramon.
During the training, the officers learned about proper strategies, building entrances and approaches, and confronting suspects in a range of scenarios. The officers sat in a classroom for a couple of hours each day and then applied what they learned during staged scenarios.
“It's better for officers to have this training and not need it then need it and not have the training,” Perez stated.
Officers used Glock model 22, tactile lights and short barrel rifles such as a FN Scar.
The officers learned how to handle a gun malefaction if they were to encounter one during an actual call. The 11 officers were in full uniform and their protective gear in the hot weather and battled the mosquitoes.
“Being in SWAT takes a lot of dedication from the team members. They need continuous training,” Perez stated.
Instructors advised the team on the correct techniques when approaching a building with potential shooters and hostages.
“Things can get very dangerous for these guys,” Perez stated. “They don't have time to check every room of a home or building. They have to go where they hear the shoots being fired.”
There is more to being an officer than stopping people for speeding. Officers need to be trained for every situation they will encounter throughout their law enforcement career, Perez stated.
“What people don't realize is that this training is not just for the officers,” he said. “This helps ensure the safety and protection of the community.”