SWAT holds tryouts for recruits - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

SWAT holds tryouts for recruits

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July 18, 2007

Albany  --  Law enforcement leaders from Dougherty County agencies will meet with the city manager and county administrator Thursday to try to clear up communication problems that caused a SWAT team crisis.

Meantime, the Albany Police Department is trying to get the numbers on the team back up. Thirty applicants suited up Wednesday morning to try out for the Albany Dougherty Special Weapons and Tactical Team.

A string of recent resignations cut the squad to just seven members. Many veterans resigned in part to protest the way the Albany Police Chief runs the unit.

Today, Chief James Younger said morale was high as potential new members gave it their best.

Encouraging screams and chants could be heard outside the gates as 30 officers were put through the paces during tryouts for the SWAT Team.

"We have a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of officers turned out," Albany Police Chief James Younger.

Standup Tryouts were closed. We were kept outside the gates about 100 yards from where they were training, but inside Chief Younger liked what he saw. "Yes, I'm very pleased."

Among the 30 officers, four women. The officers came from Albany Police, ASU, and Dougherty County School Police. Today try-outs included exercises similar to this video shot last year during SWAT Training.

"They go through an obstacle course, which consists of several phases, they go through a rope climb, under pressure they have to assemble and disassemble their firearm and then go through the fire arms course," Younger said.

SWAT hopefuls also have to prove their marksmanship skills, scoring at least 90 percent on the shooting range. Chief Younger said today isn't the end for SWAT hopefuls, they'll undergo a psychological examination and a personnel file review. Younger hopes the enthusiasm seen today continues.

"I think that says a lot for the level of morale in the department. I think that says a lot for people who really believe this is going to be objective and an objective selection process."

So the department can rebuild numbers and confidence in their SWAT Team.

No one from the Dougherty County Police Department or Dougherty County Sheriff's office signed up to participate in today's tryouts which were scheduled before last week's resignations.

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