SWAT Training Needed Now More Than Ever - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

BOSSIER PARISH - April 14

SWAT Training Needed Now More Than Ever

More than 30 police officers and sheriff's deputies are on a mission to get SWAT certified through the North Louisiana Justice Academy.
"It's all a challenge.  Your heart is beating fast and you don't know what lies behind those doors," says Homer, LA Police Chief Russell Mills.
The training comes almost a year to the day after the Virginia Tech Massacre.
Since that campus shooting, numerous other shootings have taken the lives of students across the country -- including three people at Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge in February. 
"Gone are the days where you can say it happened somewhere else," says Bossier Sheriff's Lt. Ed Baswell.
Bossier deputies say local agencies used to set up a perimeter around an active shooter and wait for a SWAT team to arrive.
"Now we don't have that luxury.  We have an active shooter, our patrol deputies have to be equipped with the equipment and the skills to take care of the business at hand before SWAT arrives," says Lt. Bruce Teutsch.
SWAT Team members carry a ballistics vest with extra food and ammunition and tear gas.  They're also equipped with an M-16 rifle.
The training includes everything from how to walk, search, and even hold a weapon during a crisis situation.
"Your muscles will get tired if you hold a weapon a certain way for a long period of time," says Teutsch.
These men and women say they want to learn as much as possible in order to protect their community and themselves.
"The small details can get you killed," adds Teutsch.
The North Louisiana Criminal Justice Academy's course will take the rest of the week.
Deputies and police officers will learn more about ammunition, chemical weapons, and bus and vehicle assaults.
Story By Ben Wolf

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