Bartlett PD Citizens Police Academy Week 6, Part 2, SWAT

The second half of this class was all about the SWAT division and man, was it cool! Men decked out in SWAT gear with their big-ass guns and vehicles and vests and manliness and whatnots. YAAEESSSS! Sign me UPPPP! Testosterone for daaaayyysss! It was what I’d imagine it’s like having the Extraction team there in real life. (Have I mentioned I’m single and ready to mingle? No?)

Before we could get down to brass tacks and lay hands on everything (never fear, no mens were touched, just their gear) we were given a presentation on all things SWAT.

Grilliot from SWAT (can’t remember if he’s a Detective or Officer, but I’d call him “sir” regardless just to stay on his good side) was our instructor for this portion and he came with fun gear for us to learn about, hold, crawl around on and in, and generally use as props for us to pretend for a few minutes we were all as badass as he is. Felt damn good.

In the United States, a SWAT (special weapons and tactics) team is the generic term for a law enforcement unit that uses specialized or military equipment and tactics. Although they were first created in the 1960s to handle riot control or violent confrontations with criminals, the number and usage of SWAT teams increased in the 1980s and 1990s during the War on Drugs and later in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. There is no actual “born on date” for SWAT. However, Daryl Gates, from LAPD, is considered the father of SWAT. You can do a Google search for a lot more information on the subject.

In Bartlett, it takes one hour on average for the team to respond when called because most of them are full time officers and part time SWAT, so they have to get together, get geared up and get rolling. The Bartlett division came about in 1995 and was called SRT before finally landing on “SWAT”. The team is currently made up of 14 members. Their highly coveted patch has a scorpion on it, which when asked why they went with a scorpion, the answer was simply because no one else had one. I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but either way it’s pretty dang cool.

The big tank looking vehicle is called a MRAP ~ (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) MRAP is a term for United States military light tactical vehicles produced as part of the MRAP program that are designed specifically to withstand improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and ambushes. It is NOT a tank. Yep, civilians can buy MRAPs. They are perfectly legal in every way. What you are not buying is all of the heavy machine guns and military-grade accessories that these vehicles are otherwise ready to be outfitted with. These MRAPs are even street legal. They suck on gas mileage, though, so I’d opt out on that reason alone with gas prices as high as they are these days.

If you do a search on the innerwebs about these vehicles, you can find out a lot more really cool features, as well as to why police actually use ‘em, and it’s not for the reasons you may think.

This MRAP is a veteran. I believe he said it served time in Afghanistan and was just sitting empty in the desert, and still had some sand and shell casings in it when it arrived at the Bartlett PD. By the way, these vehicles cost around a cool mil when being built for military use, but once decommissioned, there’s a program so that police departments can buy them for around $5k. There is no cost to the citizens of Bartlett, as everything is maintained in house.

There was a lot of gear, guns, flash bang thingies and otherwise really super cool stuff that we got to see, hold and learn about. I’m not gonna go into any actual details on the rest of the gear because, quite honestly, I started doing Google searches on SWAT guns and gear, etc, and freaked myself out and decided to stop in case I got flagged for said searches. I guess I watch too much Dateline and now I need to go Google kittens and rainbows and unicorn farts to even it back out. Ain’t nobody got time for no Dateline level BS.

All in all, I must say that this was one of the coolest classes we had until we did Field Day, but I’ll save that for the next post. Oh, and in the actual SWAT van (a totally different vehicle which was quite plush, all things considered), there was an actual sign that said “No Farting” and it was at that exact moment that I knew I’d found my people.

As I previously said. This was our last class of this 6 week course. It was bittersweet when I left to go home. We had a field day this past Saturday that was one of the most fun days I’ve had in years and I’ll be sharing those details in the next post. The only thing I WILL say about it is this: When a cop tells you to drive this police car like you stole it…go for it ‘cause it’s the biggest adrenaline rush of your life.

Published by Kimber

I'm a TV and International Radio host, contributing columnist to DeVille Magazine, motivational speaker, podcaster, blogger, and so much more. I love my fur babies, I love Memphis, Elvis, and all things music! Having toured internationally as a singer/songwriter in the past, it's my joy to once again be working on new music for 2022. There are so many new things on my horizon in the new year, won't you join me?! Authentically, joyfully, beautifully broken, and loudly ME.

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