One of the SWAT team's newest members qualifying is paramedic Brandon Brown
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
Albany Dougherty Metro SWAT team members had to prove their marksmanship skills Wednesday, taking qualification shooting tests.
With so many high profile mass shootings recently across the country, SWAT team members say they must be ready to handle any dangerous situation that might come up. The Albany Dougherty SWAT officers have their own standards, and they hold these qualifying exercises every six months to make sure the team is ready in case of the worst.
The Albany Dougherty SWAT team qualifies with their weapon systems, firing M-4 and MP-5 rifles under the close eye of supervisors and training officers.
SWAT Team Commander Captain Tim Hanington said, "To make sure our officers who carry the particular weapon system they carry, are qualified and can fire it in an accurate manner."
One of the SWAT team's newest members qualifying is paramedic Brandon Brown. He has been a tactical medic for the SWAT team for two years, but was not armed, because you have to be a POST certified police officer.
Brown attended the Police Academy, graduating in December, so he could become a full fledged operator with the team, as well as medic. Brown said he "Wanted to become a member of the team so obviously I could operate as a medic. Team camaraderie and personal gratification to be able to work with the team, as their paramedic and for the citizens."
"The necessity to have a trained emergency medical technician along with the team to give first responder aid to one of our members or somebody else who may be injured in a call out situation," Hanington said.
The 25 officers from several different law enforcement agencies in Albany and Dougherty County hold training sessions twice a month. They are called in when police need special tactics to handle difficult situations.
Recent deadly events across the nation make them know how important the training is. "There is nothing that says it can't happen here, so we like to stay up on top of the news."
And trained and ready to respond when needed. The SWAT team doesn't want people to think they are a killing squad. While they are qualified with these heavy weapons, the SWAT officers say people should know they also carry non-lethal weapons and are trained with them, and always want to resolve issues without deadly force.
The SWAT team is voluntary. The officers do not receive extra pay for their service.