S.W.A.T. Team Trains
A Special Weapons And Tactics team from Sumner County conducted a training exercise Feb. 24 on the main campus. The S.W.A.T. training, conducted every two weeks by the team, was held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in a vacant house on Fourth Street just north of the Oscar Kimmell Dormitory. Students in Elvin Hatfield’s Administration of Justice program at Cowley participated in the drill. “It’s hard for us to find locations to train to add the realism that we need,” said Mike Yoder, patrol captain and S.W.A.T. team commander for the Sumner County Sheriff’s Department. “It’s nice to find buildings we haven’t seen. It’s also hard to find people who make good people to train with. We wanted to try to make this as real as possible. We wanted people to act like they think they would in a situation.” Seven Cowley students participated in the morning and seven new ones in the afternoon, Hatfield said. Other students who did not participate observed throughout the day.
Yoder, who went through Hatfield’s program in the mid-1980s but is just shy from finishing a degree, said the biggest thing the S.W.A.T. team relies on is diversion and surprise. “In a real situation, the bad guys wouldn’t have a clue,” Yoder said. The S.W.A.T. team from Sumner County has 13-15 people from several jurisdictions. Besides staff from the Sumner County Sheriff’s Department, two Wellington Police Department officers, one from Clearwater, one from Conway Springs, and five emergency medical personnel will be among team members. “We’ve done some cross training with the Wichita Police Department,” Yoder said. “We have a mutual aid agreement with them. We’re their backup and vice-versa.” Yoder said when the team arrives, it numbers the sides of the house, all windows and doors. “Floor plans are real important to us,” he said.