Regional SWAT training in Lafayette evolves to include tactical medicine

Lafayette Parish

LAFAYETTE PARISH, La. (KLFY) — Law Enforcement from across Louisiana and beyond are in Lafayette this week for basic SWAT training, but “basic” might not be the best way to describe what these special teams go through.

Before the gun range, before the obstacle course, or any other equipment, Special Weapons and Tactics training starts in the classroom. SWAT history, team organization, and how to safely enter and clear a room are all covered, but not necessarily the same way each year.

“Tactics evolve. Technology evolves. People evolve. So every single year that we teach this SWAT school, there’s new information that we present,” explained Corporal Adam Bradford.

Bradford has been on the Lafayette Police Department SWAT team for six years, and for the first time, he and his fellow team of instructors have added tactical medicine to the curriculum.

“The officer’s ability to perform first aid whether on another officer or the public they serve is an essential skill these days,” Bradford said.

The course is the only one of its kind offered in Acadiana, and it attracts law enforcement from even outside Louisiana. Deputy first-class Justin Crawford will be bringing the skills he’s learned to the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.

According to Crawford, “Practice makes perfect, so that’s why we’re out here. Constant repetition as much as we can, so that it becomes first nature with us.”

Another added benefit of the course drawing in so many different departments is whenever big responses need to happen and others need to be called in, they are all on the same page. SWAT also specializes in a variety of non-lethal weapons and tools whenever they make a response.

“The SWAT team is needed whether it is a high-risk warrant, a hostage situation, or just these high-priority dangerous situations. You want people that are a little more specialized with certain individual training, certain individual weapons, a lot of non-lethal weapons. You want the most specialized and trained people to handle those scenarios to have the best outcome,” stated Cpl. Matthew Benoit, public information officer with the Lafayette Police Department.

Each officer or deputy agreed a SWAT teams goal is to keep people safe, and 60 hours of learning, training, and simulations over five days ensures that the most highly trained team is ready to answer the call.

As Bradford stated, “We want it to end safely, right. So we have the tools ready to do that, and the training that allows us to safely conclude a resolution.”

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