Lafayette, LA – Becoming SWAT- Public Venue Training
Every operator with the Special Weapons And Tactics team, as well as each of the eight members who work SWAT full-time at the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, has already proven himself as deserving of a spot on the squad–but a lot more goes into becoming SWAT than just making it through the tryouts.
Team assessments for LPSO made it evident that high-stress situations are not only part of daily life on the job for SWAT operators, stress is a pretty big part of their training too.
“Train in the real world, under realistic conditions. Put my men under as much stress as I can in a training environment so that they’re better prepared for the real world,” said Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber.
That’s why the team trains more than consistently.
“We’re always trying to anticipate the needs and the situations that we’d be placed in, or may be placed in all kinds of different environments. So, we take the opportunity to practice and train in these environments,” said LPSO Public Information Officer Lt. John Mowell.
About 80 percent of all SWAT deployments in the U.S. is to execute search warrants …most of which involve high-risk suspects and narcotics, according to a 2012 report by the ACLU. Around seven percent are in response to hostage, barricade or active shooter scenarios, and the rest are a mix of other specialized incidents.
“Ever since taking office, we’ve invested a tremendous amount in training and preparation so that we can be prepared for, let’s face it we don’t choose the time and place of when something’s going to happen. The bad guys choose that,” said Garber.
The operators in Lafayette train regularly with firearms. They also practice for situation-specific incidents and bring in highly respected instructors to teach top-notch courses.
Programs like Tacflow, which came out to Cajun Field to work for the SWAT team, and other departments from across the country and Canada. The training was an active shooter session for large venues, like a stadium.
“Festivals, parades, protests, civil disturbances or just simple football games where large crowds are gathered and there may be a soft target,” said Tacflow Lead Instructor Sean Harris.
As the trainees move one step closer to becoming SWAT–the sheriff said on this team, training comes second only to safety.
“It’s about being prepared. We are investing in the future of being prepared, and that’s something that never stops,” said Garber.
Originally Posted by ABC 3 KATC.com