S.W.A.T. Team for a Day

swat 3

swat 9Our local service group, the Exchange Club of Hillsdale County, had a guest speaker who was a member of the SWAT team. He came to talk about his experience as a member of the regional Special Weapons and Tactics unit. He spoke about hostage situations, robberies, suicides, and VIP protection.

swat 8They use a lot of high tech equipment for video surveilance in certain situations that include the use of  robots, snakes, and balls. He demonstrated a self righting ball that is tossed into a conflict area. It is weighted on one side and almost always comes to rest in an upright position. Then a remote controlled video camera can be operated from a distance to spy on the subject.

swat 2The officer also brought weapons and safety equipment. I got to be the guinea pig to suit up as a team member. It started with a bullet resistant vest to protect my upper torso and vital organs–it was HEAVY. An estimated 50-60 pounds of armor was draped over my shoulders and cinched up to fit snugly. A 5 pound helmet was added to protect my head.

swat 6Then I was given a 50-60 pound shield to carry. A neck harness was used to help support the weight. The shield has a small window and a user controlled spotlight. Missing from the outfit were the bullet resistant chaps to protect the legs, special boots, gloves, and face shield. With a total combined weight of around 150 pounds for all of the equipment, these officers must be in pretty good shape to be able to work while carrying this protection for up to 12 hours at a time.  After about 10 minutes, I was ready to lose the shield.

swat 1A new respect was given to these police officers who are trained to handle hostile situations. Every attempt is made to provide the SWAT team with protection and equipment to give them an advantage in any confrontation. The intense technology and training make me happy that these guys are on our side.

Life is good in Jonesville.

 

Mike Venturini

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Published in: on September 30, 2009 at 8:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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