Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Training Day

I spent the day in my school, helping the SWAT team train in a school environment, walking them through problems, helping them solve issues.  I quit doing SWAT work in 1991 when I realized that I had lost a few steps, gained a few pounds, and realized that it was time to lay down my gear in favor of the younger guys.

It looks all fun-and-gun when you see it on TV, but the plain truth of the matter is that SWAT work is heavy, tiring, sweaty work.  I hoisted one of the vests they wear today, and with all the comms, the fancy toys, and the armor, the darned thing probably weighed 40 lbs.  Their new helmets are nicer than the Kevlar pots we wore, and much better than the steel pots before that.

Still, I'm glad that the young'uns are the ones carrying all that gear and I don't envy the few perks they get from the job.  I'm glad we've got them.


Gerry N. said...

I am of two widely divided minds on the subject of Police Swat teams. The militarization of civilian police is coming to the point where even I, at age 68 with a history of family members wearing the blue uniforms, am beginning to think of "Officer Friendly" as part of an occupying force. I no longer donate to police organizations, and am loudly vocal in City Council meetings when the discussion of policing arises. At the last one the Chief said that the most important consideration was officer safety. I rose in response and told him and the city council that if that was what was important to the police, perhaps they had best remain at home in bed for the duration of their respective shifts and save themselves some anguish.

Old NFO said...

That is STILL 17 lbs lighter than our kids are taking into combat... I'm sure you 'still' have a trick or two to teach the youngsters though! :-)

Phil K said...

As much as I appreciate the police and their job, I am beginning to be concerned by all of the "dynamic entry" that is used these days. There is an obvious need for SWAT type capabilities and training for active shooter responses.

I hate hearing about SWAT type teams serving drug warrants etc. Just seems wrong somehow, probably because I can envision them getting my address by mistake and then getting killed when I respond to what seems to be a home invasion. I have heard of too many instances where the home invaders are yelling that they are cops - how do I know?

Sorry to be so pessimistic - I have an acquaintance who used to be an officer and her husband still is; they constantly talk about "civilians" when talking about non-cops and also use a lot of us vs them language.

Ack - better quit now; after all, that is NOT what your post was about so I am way off topic.

Pawpaw said...

No sweat, Phil, I understand the concern. I'm one of those who bemoan the militarization of the various agencies. These guys were training for an active shooter scenario in the school

Gerry N. said...

One of the problems with Police Swat Teams is that like little kids with their first pocket knife or hatchet, Police Chiefs can't restrain themselves and just have to get 'em out and start hacking up things. That's when you get wrong address no knock entries and innocent citizens being murdered by cops who have no personaly responsibility due to absolute immunity laws.