Hospitalized SWAT trainee dies - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Hospitalized SWAT trainee dies

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 by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Former chief of police Paul Suba knows all to well the rigorous training officers must go through to be a part of GPD's elite unit. Back in 1977 he was with SWAT for a decade.
      
"The training is intense," he said. "There's phases of training initial phases usually are designed to weed out the candidate. If they can't physically or cope with the training however even after the initial phases of training the weeding out process there's continuous training. Through the SWAT members career."

It's a career according to Suba that requires teamwork. "They work in pair or in a group and they train that way and they have to rely on each individual member and they move as a unit as a team so this training requires all of that to be in sync," he said.

But less than a week into GPD's SWAT Cycle 9 training and three officers were taken to island hospitals, one of whom passed away this past weekend. 49-year old Siegried 'Dove' Mortera collapsed last Wednesday during training he had been in critical condition at Naval Hospital for several days until the police department Sunday night announced his passing. He was a 17 year with GPD. A statement read, "As we mourn the loss of our brother in blue, the chief of police, along with the men and women of the Guam Police Department convey our deepest condolences to the Mortera family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dove's wife, parents, children and grandchildren. "

As for the two other trainees, they were being treated for dehydration.   Chief of Police Fred Bordallo has said that an investigation is underway. Additionally GPD announced that the training had been modified and that classroom instruction would be extended to give students time to cool off and hydrate. In addition, the trainings are also being evaluated to ensure they're complying with SWAT standards.

Although Suba could not speak on behalf of the current training cycle, he did offer his prayers and support to the officers. "I salute the gentlemen and personnel of the SWAT team and also all law enforcement for the trainings they must endure because of the sake of protecting our people," he shared.     

An autopsy performed Monday afternoon confirmed Mortera died as a result of a heart attack.

Meanwhile KUAM News has learned that committee chair on public safety Senator Frank Aguon, Jr. will be holding an informational briefing with the Guam Police Department in the next couple weeks. Senator Aguon says he met with Chief Bordallo last Friday to discuss several issues involving the department. He confirms the situation with the swat training was one of the items that was discussed.

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