Reno P-D'S SWAT Team members train every month. This training session at the abandoned Americana Inn in downtown Reno gets them as close to the real thing as they can hope for.
Lt Jon Catalano says the team does't often get an opportunity like this. " We've had many a SWAT call out from downtown Reno in one form or another. We've had to make approaches and calls on different hotel and motel rooms. And anytime there's a building like this that is going to be demolished, if we can do some training before that happens,
just helps us with our skills, and its real life."
The exercises included forced entry...vehicle assault...and something I volunteered for hostage rescue. "We are looking for team tactics, team movements, we have very specific tactics we use to lessen the threat and danger to ourselves and the public." says Catalano
The real flashpots...can be frightening at first, but after the third exercise you get use to them.
But in a real scenario, the bad guy won't know when to expect them. The loud bang and in a darkened situation--bright light can temporarily disorient the suspect--giving SWAT Team members the upper hand says Catalano. " We try to overwhelm and cause the suspect to surrender rather than a gunfight type confrontation."
Lieutenant Catalano says these exercises are a good way to work out the kinks...and if someone on the team discovers a better way to do something they can try it during the exercise. Making them even better prepared for when the real hostage or vehicle assault takes place.