Officers take basic SWAT training - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Officers take basic SWAT training

SWAT members use lots of protective gear, similar to this. SWAT members use lots of protective gear, similar to this.

January 16, 2004

Lee County- South Georgia officers were perfecting taking down a school bus Friday.

That is what it will take if a school bus and the children on it are held hostage.

"The possibility of terrorist attacks, especially against schools is very high, and we need to be able to protect our schools and our students as best as possible," said Capt. Chris Prokesh, with the Leesburg City Police Department.

That's part of the reason South Georgia officers from several different agencies are going through SWAT team training. It's to teach them how to handle any type of high risk situation.

Protecting schools is a big part of it. "They want their officers trained on how to handle a situation that may arise on a school bus," said Mario Martinez, CEO of High Risk Training.

"How do you get your officers onboard to deal with a situation where you have an irate parent or a felon on board that is taking innocent children hostage," Martinez said.

With these techniques and teamwork, they will be ready for a scare like this. But what they're learning even helps with their every day work.

"Really teaches you to think, teaches you to act tactically, to not get in an exceptional hurry or something that's going to put you at exceptional risk," Prokesh said.

But whatever the risk, they'll be ready. Because that's what it takes to help keep us safe.

posted at 4:10 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com

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