LCPD SWAT: What it takes to make the team - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

LCPD SWAT: What it takes to make the team

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The Lake Charles Police SWAT team is made up of 20 officers. It was formed in 2002, when Chief Don Dixon was appointed. Since then they’ve successfully completed 271 operations – including 17 operations this year.

"There are certain types of situations -- the kind that goes beyond the scope of training of a regular police officer. That again is high-risk search warrant entry. It allows us to equip and train a small group of individuals and specifically train them for that type of operation,” said Cpl. Larry Moss.

In addition to serving high-risk warrants, they respond to violent and hostile situations. This is all on top of their normal duties within the department.

Getting on the team isn't easy. Officers must have at least two years under their belt with the department. Applicants must also pass an interview and qualify on a shooting course, which they shoot a score of 90% or higher.

Perhaps the most challenging part of the entire process is the physical fitness test.

"It starts with a one mile run. Once you get back from the run: It’s 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, and 300 squats. Then on top of that run another mile. All of that has to be done within one hour. The middle part (pull ups, push ups, and squats) can be broken down. However, the applicant would like to break it down. We usually break it down into 20 sets of 5, 10, and 15,” explained Moss.

It’s not one and done. Staying on the team can be just as hard. Officers must qualify twice a year.

“Is it tough? Absolutely… but it's more mentally tough than physically demanding,” Moss.

The demands and sacrifices are worth it. They've yet to be unprepared when a situation arises.

“When things step off or things are about to get bad… It's all about the guy next to you. And that's what it's all about. Because you want the best guy out there that you could possibly have next to you. And for me -- I want to be that guy for the guy next to me,” said Moss.

It's also important to note that they work very closely on occasion with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office SWAT team, which is also among the top teams in the state. Both teams usually rank within the top three at state competitions.

LCPD State Rankings:
2011: 1st Overall
2012: 2nd Overall
2013: 2nd Overall

2014: Helped Host, didn’t compete.

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