Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

November 24, 2006

Pinpoint precision

S.W.A.T. team comes together Monday

By AJ Narasimhan

As the sun pierced the crystal clear sky, so did the sniper shot fired from 100 yards away into the suspect’s vehicle.

“Assault, assault, linear right assault,” was shouted above the crackle of gun fire.

Within seconds, the vehicle was surrounded, guns on each person inside and the team cleared the scene.

This was a typical training day for the seven members of the Corsicana S.W.A.T. team, led by Sgt. Darrell Waller.

On Monday, the team gathered near Lake Halbert to hone existing skills and learn some new tactics for the department.

The vehicle used was a 1980’s model blue Cadillac sedan. The first simulated exercise was in the approach to the vehicle.

The team used four different approaches, a rear approach, a right side linear, a left side linear and a front approach.

Waller said he does not like the front approach due to the glare and being visible to the suspects.

The team first went through the simulation with no weapons to try and get the footwork and positioning down.

Many members of the S.W.A.T. team had not slept much the night before, as some of the officers were on duty before the noon training session.

“It is hard to schedule training with everyone here, some have been up for several hours,” Waller said.

The key to the exercises was repetition, Waller said.

Once the team progressed, simulation rounds in pistols were used.

The intensity amongst the team picked up dramatically and verbal commands were shouted with authority.

“Police, hands up, hands up!” echoed trough the country side.

The second training exercise involved an undercover officer in a bad drug deal. The team had to rescue the undercover officer and take down the suspects.

Another exercise involved a sniper initiated assault on the vehicle. In this model, a sniper was positioned nearly 100 yards away and shot through the back window of the vehicle. Once he did so, the team assaulted the vehicle. It was all over in a matter of seconds.

The S.W.A.T. team is made up of officers, corporals and one sergeant.

Justin Williams, Todd Morris, Trent Parker, Sean Eggleston, Scottie Dechaume, Scott Tidwell and Waller were all on hand.

“We had 16 on the team a couple of years ago, but have lost a bunch,” Waller said. “I think these guys are doing pretty well so far.”

—————

AJ Narasimhan may be contacted via e-mail at ajn@corsicanadailysun.com