Training never stops for SWAT officers with the Richardson Police Department.
The specialized trained unit practices new techniques and tactics to make sure they are prepared for potential threats.
“All of these guys are well trained and very disciplined,” SWAT Commander Lt. Steve Moore said. “Each officer has a specialized skill. Some are master marksmen, or chemical operators, explosive breacher, but all are trained to make a dynamic entry.”
There are 17 officers who are a part of the SWAT team, which is very selective.
“The application process is lengthy, but it’s worth it," Moore said. "You have to be in great physical shape, they are all expert marksmen, and you have to pass another psychological exam. We have had some guys who excel in every area, but our psychiatrist felt that they did not have the emotional maturity to withstand the pressure and demands of the job."
Training as a team is key.
“We are a unit," Moore said. "You don’t enter any room by yourself, you’ve always got someone to go in with you. Because each officer trains and works hard, we have confidence and trust in one another.”
Every two weeks, the SWAT team trains on a different technique.
“Two areas that we are focusing on are open-air assaults and rappelling," Moore said.
The team practices each technique with different scenarios.
“When we are called in, it’s usually a dangerous situation, so we have to be very good at what we do," Moore said. "The level of expertise you have to have requires a considerable amount of training.”