Posted: 5:43 p.m. MST
Members of a special enforcement team from the Yuma Police Department fulfill their monthly training requirement at Yuma Proving Ground Thursday.
"They have some great facilities out here,” said officer Joe Franklin of YPD. "The Yuma police department SET Team … [is] practicing [it’s] tactics: Building entrance, door breaching."
Once officers decide they need to gain access, they have an assigned breacher. But before officers make their move, they have precautions to take.
“SWAT isn't like what you see on television,” said Franklin. “We don't go in there with gun a'blazing. We're very methodical." Constant training is required of these officers so that the tactics they implement become instinctive.
“The number one goal is: No one gets injured,” said Franklin, “whether it's officers, suspect, bystanders. With any types of these situations, there's always the risk of that. If we can lower the risk to a bare minimum, that's what we're going to do."
Safety being a priority, training becomes even more demanding as new strategies become available.
"A lot of teams like us have gone to patrol apprehension dogs,” explained Sgt. Jeff Ruby of the Yuma Police Department. “So we can use police K9 [dogs] to assist with the apprehension. That's considered a less lethal option. A lot of the bean bag or sponge rounds started getting better on the market so we have those options."
But with more options comes a positive outcome.
"Easily 95 percent of our callouts end with us using one of our less lethal options or we just negotiate the guy out," said Ruby.
An officer of the special enforcement unit trains an average of 16 hours each month.