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Members of the Clarksburg Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) held its monthly training at the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center (RGPAC) in Clarksburg on Thursday, January 10. The team had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the RGPAC during the training in preparation of ever having to enter the building in an emergency situation.
The team began with a formal tour of the facility. This allowed the team to gain an understanding of every room and its current or potential usage. The tour gave the team an initial idea of its entry and exit points, as well as a general idea of how secure the facility is on a day to day basis. At this point the team was made aware of how the crowds would be shuffled during public and private events at the RGPAC.
During the Team’s monthly trainings it is a goal familiarize themselves with different buildings in the area such as local schools, hospitals, and various other buildings like the RGPAC. The Team takes part in routine training drills like room clearings, shield work, firearm training, door breaching, and victim extrication in the event of a mass shooting. In addition to familiarizing themselves with the overall layout of the building, the SWAT Team focused on learning the angles of each room so the Team can safely clear the room in an emergency situation. Stairwell drills were also a focal point of Thursday’s training, as well as learning the angles of the balcony and covering full areas while still protecting each other. The Team developed the best strategies to keep themselves and those uninvolved in a situation safe while looking for the suspect at large. Traditionally, going into most situations the Team has a general idea of what is going on and where the incident is taking place.
The Clarksburg Police Department’s SWAT Team has various members that have taken on certified roles in their Swat unit. Members are Flash Bang certified, trained and certified for officer down and officer recovery, and one member is certified as a medic. The SWAT Team Commander is certified by the State of WV. The team currently has 8 members.
The SWAT Team is called out 8 to 10 times a year on average, and is implemented for man hunts, active shooters, executing search warrants, assisting the Drug Task Force, and various other roles in the community. The Clarksburg Police Department’s SWAT Team can assist other area department’s teams and can also assisted by those departments.