F.Co.Officers Train Side by Side for SWAT Missions

 Victoria Fregoso reports, vfregoso@k2tv.com

 Fremont County law enforcement agencies are training to work on future SWAT missions together.

 

 Officers with the Riverton and Lander Police Departments, along with the BIA are putting their SWAT skills and knowledge to the test this week.
But it isn't just their tactics they are brushing up on, for the first time these three agencies are coming together to work as one team.

"We like the rural area we're in, for them to not be working together in case something bad does happen, we're really missing out on opportunities," said Eric Heiser with the Rural Justice Training Center at Central Wyoming College.

Each department has their own Special Response Team, but this joint effort will provide the departments with back up help.

"It will make sure that we have replacement guys so they're not taking up half of our police department," said Captain Eric Murphy with the Riverton Police Department. "The SRT team will consist of Lander Police Department, hopefully the BIA and so we have a broader spectrum of guys to work from."

Officers with the Riverton Police Department's Special Response Team respond to calls through out the entire county, not just within the city limits.

"So if we get called out on the reservation, it's really nice to have the BIA be part of the team," Murphy said. "They know a lot of the cultures out there and the things that we don't and so it would be really nice to partner with them."

The officers are going through 45 hours of training this week at the Central Wyoming College Rural Justice Training Center.
A portion of the lessons are taking place in the classroom, but a majority of it is hands on, working side by side.

"When, not if, but when something happens, they'll all be familiar with eachother and hopefully be comfortable with the situation," said Heiser.

These drills will also make sure the minds of all 20 officers participating are thinking alike.

"That's really important when you're going through these high stress situations. You kind of know what the other guy is doing and so this will get us on the same page," Murphy added.