Tactical Officers Train In East Texas

SWAT school is an intense, week-long training that teaches tactical officers from across the state how to handle potentially deadly situations in their communities.

Brett Maisel, NPD training sergeant, said, "These officers are called upon to respond at a moment's notice at critical incidents and other places where violence may be ongoing, and they use their specialized equipment to reach their goal, which is the preservation of human life."

After learning how to get in and out of a chopper while shielding themselves from gunfire, all 16 officers were flown to a secret location in Nacogdoches where they tried to effectively solve a crisis and save innocent lives.

Nacogdoches Police Officer Jonathan Adams, said, "Every situation is different and every situation has a new set of circumstances you have to work through. This has taught us to think outside the box and come up with new ways to get stuff done."

The officers involved in tactical operations volunteer for this extra training; lessons that often take more than 14 hours a day.

Maisel said, "The emphasis is on not only the safety of hostages or innocent bystanders or even the suspects, but also the safety of the police officer, because what we're asking these police officers to do is to go into an incredibly dangerous environment and try to solve the problem."

And solving those problems the right way can mean the difference between life and death for an officer, even one with specialized training.

Several agencies are involved in the SWAT school. They include the Nacogdoches police and fire departments, the sheriff's office, school district and Narcotics Task Force.