Albany Dougherty Metro SWAT gets new leader - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany Dougherty Metro SWAT gets new leader

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August 27, 2007

Albany-  The Albany Dougherty Metro Specialized Weapons and Tactical Team is under new leadership. Monday the seven member board named Major Daryl Smith interim commander of the unit. Smith who also serves as commander of the Albany Dougherty Drug Unit will get started right away to develop a policy for the new SWAT unit.

It was the second meeting this month of the Albany Dougherty Metro SWAT Board. Monday the seven members emerged with a new leader for SWAT, interim commander Major Derrell Smith.

"I think Derrell Smith is well qualified for the position so he was selected and he will be allowed to select a deputy and others on the team that he feels he needs in a leadership position," said Albany Police Chief and Albany Dougherty Metro SWAT Board Chairman James Younger.

Smith who served as commander of SWAT previously replaces Captain Mack Green. Green was a source of controversy for several former members because of his lack of tactical experience. Smith must now develop a policy for the board to vote on.

"Team structure, selection criteria, goals and commitments of the team, we will look at staffing, we'll commit to staffing the team ensuring that people are given the time to go to the training," said Dougherty County Police and Albany Dougherty Metro SWAT Vice-Chairman Chief Don Cheek.

Questions over who can call the team out have also been resolved along with each member of the board a second layer of commanders have been put in place.

"It was decided that the level one watch commander from each of the agencies could make the call to call out SWAT," said Younger.

Training is still ongoing for 11 potential members who have been working for the last four weeks to complete the required 40 hours.

"We not only need to train members that are currently on the team we need a standby pool of people that have at least had some experience training wise in case we do lose members," said Cheek.

Smith must also decide how former members who resigned can rejoin the team. According to Chief Cheek the issues that caused many to resign have been addressed and almost all are willing to sign up again.

Smith will take control of the team immediately. He hasn't set a time line yet for putting the new team policies in place.

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