Law enforcers undergo SWAT training
Friday, January 9th 2015, 11:48 AM ChST
Guam - If you've drove passed the Judiciary of Guam in the last week, you may have seen dozens of men lined up, performing drills.
What you don't know, is these men are working towards a medallion to mark their certification in basic SWAT.
They represent the best of the best in their respective agencies in terms of physical fitness.
Vince Naputi said, "What we have is outside agencies all coming together to train. We have marshals, probation, the DOC, Guam Customs, Airport Police, and we have the Guam Police Department."
And for the next eight weeks, the over two dozen men will undergo rigorous trainings - both in the classroom and in the field - as part of the Cycle Three Basic SWAT Course that kicked off bright and early Monday morning.
"It's important because I think when you talk about any terroristic acts on Guam or any active shooter events, it's going to take law enforcement as a community to come together. No longer can we say it's only the Guam Police Department's fight. Now it's everybody's fight," he added.
According to Naputi of the Guam Marshals Division, these men will learn it all - rappeling, close quarter battle, active shooter, and dignitary protection - and they'll be the first responders when duty calls.
He said, "This standard here for the SWAT basic is actually a higher standard than what you got with the post training program. This is a high intensity, high level, advanced officer survival training. So you're going to be the best of the best. When these guys are finished they'll be operators in a tactical environment. So if there was a need if an active shooter occurred then these are the guys that would probably respond to it."
And this cycle marks the first time each of the island's law enforcement agencies is represented. Filling nine of the slots, Department of Corrections spokesperson Jeff Limo says he's excited to have so many corrections officers to qualify for the course - what he believes will improve safety for the overall community.
"Its very important that all agencies and law enforcement work together. It makes a quicker response and the unity between all law enforcement into one especially when you go to special operations," he said.
Limo, who is a graduate of Cycle Two, gives these words of advice:
"Its very extensive training. Like I told the gentlemen from doc, its going to be tough course. Some won't make it. If you don't', you got to work on getting yourself physically fit especially with the POST standards coming up. We have to take our physical fitness to its limits," he said.
The SWAT basic course is just one way law enforcement are shaping up. Guam law now requires all peace officers to meet a new minimum physical fitness standard which mirrors that of the US Air Force fitness test.