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Scott Usry: Patrol members are the true first responders of any agency. These men and women are the backbone of the agency and handle more calls each year than any SWAT team.

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Scott Usry is Director of Training at GTI Government Training Institut in Barnwell, South Carolina (USA).

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Advanced firearms and tactics should be the new norm for all members of your agency

The Article

In the law enforcement community, a lot of time and money is spent on training and equipping Tactical or SWAT Teams.

The reason for this is obvious, because the members of these elite teams have got to be the best at what they do, when they need to do it.

There is an old saying among the teams that goes “when the public needs help they call the Police, but when the Police need help they call SWAT”.

While this saying still holds true today, the environment that law enforcement is operating in has evolved and became more and more unstable and more dangerous.

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Historically, agencies would respond to certain types of events and set up a perimeter and wait for SWAT to arrive and resolve the event.

This was the norm until the Columbine School Shooting.

On April 20, 1999 the norm in Law Enforcement changed forever.

At that time, responding agencies handled the situation like any other one that they were not trained nor equipped to handle.

The agencies surrounded the school and held a perimeter while SWAT responded and entered the school.

SWAT’s response was to enter the building and clear the rooms one by one until they found the shooters.

We now know that this caused a delay in locating and neutralizing the shooters.

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Patrol members are the true first responder of any agency

Advanced firearms and tactics should be the new norm for all members of your agency; especially the men and women of you patrol division and school resource officers as they will be the ones protecting our children and loved ones.

I believe that every member of these divisions should be allowed to attend some sort of Basic SWAT or Advanced Tactical Patrol Officer training.

The goal of this type of training is not to make every patrol officer a SWAT member, but rather better enhance their abilities to perform their duties.

For this reason the patrol division needs to be trained and equipped to handle the situations that they are facing in this ever changing and evolving environment.

The Operator

Special Edition February 2022: Tactical Training

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Photos by Dave Young | GTI

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