CPA member Jenny Coats (front) prepares to enter a room as Jeff Jamail and Julie Muniz receive additional instruction. Deer Park SWAT team officers showed CPA members simple tactics at last weekend's class. Photo by Bobby Vasquez.
Editor's note: This is the ninth installment of a series on the Deer Park Police Department's Citizens Police Academy. Editor/Publisher Bobby Vasquez is a member of the academy.
Every little now and then, a situation develops that requires more than a patrol officers' regular training, tactics and weapons. When citizens need help, we call 9-1-1. When police officers need help, they call the SWAT team.
Although they are rarely activated, the Deer Park Police Department maintains a team of five-to-10 officers for its Special Weapons and Tactics team. Sgt. Joe Cooper and Officer Doug Nettles talked to us about their weapons, training and how different items are used in different situations. They even brought some weapons and gear to show us.
While there are a lot of good police officers in DPPD, not all of them would make good SWAT team members, Cooper said. Getting on the team is difficult, and they may sound a bit "clique-ish," but there is a good reason.
If there is a history of disharmony between two officers, it could jeopardize the safety of the team, citizens, suspects and the successful completion of their assignments. Even though it's possible to let bygones be bygones, if a past argument is in the back of someone's mind, then it's still in their mind.