BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — In wake of all of the recent tragedies across the nation, here at home it's safe to say we would all like to know we're just as prepared if anything were to happen here.
That's why our SWAT team is always training, to make sure they are ready, if duty calls.
These officers are ready for anything, including a standoff, a hostage situation, and even a warrant roundup.
"We stay pretty busy. We run over close to 150 warrants a year so that's a lot enough to keep us busy."
These officers have to have special training and qualifications to be a part of this specialized team.
"The more training you get the better a officer you will be were fortunate to have a full time team," said Cpt. Noel Salamoni.
Salamoni says the Specialized Weapons and Tactics Team, or SWAT, is the best of the best, and sometimes they are overlooked.
"We like to stay in the shadows, but the public needs to know they have one of the best units in the country in Baton Rouge to protect them if something were to happen."
Having the most up-to-date equipment is crucial, but what’s more crucial is developing a close relationship within. Cpl. Mike Walker says his fellow officers are not only his co-workers, they are his friends.
“We’re all very close not just the full time guys but all of us are very close and have been very close since we got on the team," he said.
Having close ties helps them when situations get tough.
“So you have to trust the guy going in there with you so I trust them with my life and my families' life,” noted Cpl. Walker.
Walker says he has been working toward this his whole life and once he landed the spot on SWAT, his dreams were becoming a reality.
“Once you become a police officer you want to do everything you can to be the best and swat is the best.”
But he says it didn't come easy and each day is a test.
“You are going to have some situations where you are scared. Everyone gets scared. However, the better prepared you are the better you will take care of the problem."
Captain Salamoni says the team always has its eyes and ears open, just in case.
“We always have someone active looking for the really dangerous criminals,” noted Cpt. Salamoni.
So with the intense training once a month, preparation, and of course a team made of the best officers in Baton Rouge, it is safe to say the citizens in our city can feel safe, if any situation arises.
“Because were called when everyone else has failed to handle it its going to a larger level.”
The majority of the SWAT team works on an on-call basis, but they do have 8 full-time officers that are dedicated to the unit.
(In the video above, Cpl. Mike Weber is Cpl. Mike Walker. Please note change.)