When law enforcement administrators need help diffusing a situation or capturing someone on the run, they call in a tactical team.
These trained police officers have a skill set like no other.
Whether it’s hunting for accused bank robbers on the run, or a barricaded individual firing at anyone in their path, standoffs are nothing new in police work.
But it’s how police departments handle those calls that determine their outcome.
“SWAT is reserved for what we would designate as those high-risk, most dangerous situations. That would be a barricaded person, someone inside an area armed with a gun, threatening other people,” explains Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler.
And the Florence Police Department is no stranger to those situations.
Florence SWAT Team members deploy across northwest Alabama to help resolve standoffs in the area. Chief Tyler says those officers are highly trained with a skill set that normal patrol officers are not equipped for.
“That’s what the public expects from us, to bring about a successful, safe resolution,” said Tyler. “Often times it requires the use and deployment of a SWAT team.”
According to Chief Tyler, some people in the community think SWAT teams are excessive and not necessary. He disagrees.
“The fact is, it takes time and money to do that, but it’s necessary. SWAT is one of those things were you don’t need them until you need them, and then you really need them.”
And Chief Tyler says that he will always depend on the specialized training by his SWAT Team to bring a safe outcome to hazardous situations.
The Florence SWAT Team normally consists of 12 to 14 members.
In addition to constant physical fitness training, the team does eight hours of tactical training per month, and that’s in addition to patrol duties the officers already have.