Training keeps SWAT sharp - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Training keeps SWAT sharp

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May 5, 2006

Albany -- The Albany Dougherty SWAT team trains twice a month, to make sure their team work keeps them safe. They go through a number of training exercises using real ammunition and explosives, so they will be ready when a real emergency situation requires them.

The SWAT team moves up, during a training exercise. A sniper takes out one threat-- a yellow balloon representing the bad guy. Then they blow open a door with a breeching charge.

Inside, they locate hostage taker, and stop them. "By the time SWAT is called in for a critical situation, they can't afford to make errors. They have to be on the money, on the mark," Major Bobby Hooper said.

The SWAT team trains often with a number of different scenarios, to be ready to deal with anything. "The more you train with it, and it happens in real life, then you know how to react to it," said Sgt. Vic Camp.

This time the SWAT team's medic is shot, and they have to get him care while still taking out an armed criminal. Sgt. Vic Camp said, "We wouldn't want to get the medic shot, because he is there to save us. But if the medic gets shot, we have to know what we are supposed to do to get him out so everyone stays safe."

The training goes on twice a month. But they have to get it perfect, because when they are called to a real emergency situation, lives are on the line. "They are well trained, they are dedicated, and I'd put them up against any other team in the state," Hooper said.

Practicing again and again, the SWAT team wants to work out any problems here in training, leaving nothing to chance when they are called for real.

The Albany Dougherty SWAT Team is made up of 12 men, all members of the Albany Police or Dougherty County Sheriff's Office.

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