About the author : Scott Usry

Director of Training GTI Government Training Institut in Barnwell, South Carolina (USA)

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

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

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.

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.

Patrol members are the true first responder of any agency

The lessons learned that day caused law enforcement agencies across the country to re-evaluate their training and how they respond to active shooter incidents.

Active shooter training was developed and implemented in nearly all agencies, nationwide.

This type of training filled a void, but little did we know at the time, it identified other shortcomings in the way we do business.

SWAT team member have to be precision shooters, so a lot of time is spent on these guys horning their skills.

A lot of the time the SWAT guys will be the best shooter in the agency.

Not that this is bad, but unless these operators are on patrol they will not be the first person on scene of an active situation.

Patrol members are the true first responder of any agency. These men and women are the backbone of the agency and handle more calls each year then any SWAT team.

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.

Advanced firearms and tactics should be the new norm 

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.

The problem with this train of thought is that most agencies have very limited resources and budgets.

Agencies want to train, but don’t have money in the budgets to do any advanced training.

What to do has always been the question agencies have asked, a lot of time with no answer.

What if there was a way to provide agencies with the training that they needed without any out of pocket expense to the agency?

What if there was a pot of money that each agency has access to that they might not even know about?

The easy answer to that is there is.

The Asset Trading Program, offered by the Government Training Institute, is a one of a kind program that allows agencies to take all the old, used, out of date, unwanted or seized equipment they have saved up over the years and trade it in for cash for new equipment and/or training.

This program relieves the worry about how to afford the training that the patrol division needs to be better trained.


GTI Magazine

This article was originally published in GTI Magazine May 2020.

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Article Photos by Dave Young