The Franklin Police Department’s SWAT Team is made up of 14 Officers. Franklin Police Officers who apply to be a SWAT Officer undergo rigorous physical agility and marksmanship testing, and must meet a set of stringent requirements above and beyond that of others applying for special assignments within the Department. “When citizens are in danger, they rely on their Police Department to help them,” said Chief Deborah Faulkner. “SWAT is immediately dispatched when the call for service is high-impact and requires the expertise of our team members – their training, special tactics, and equipment are key to stopping the threat and ending the danger to innocent victims.”
Last week, the Department’s SWAT Team underwent intense training by Tactical Energetic Entry Systems, of Mississippi. Their motto: Training for the Worst Case Scenario. The training focused heavily on ambush attacks, as well as dignitary and event protection. “The training combined classroom education with real-life scenarios,” said Detective Herman Gomez, the Department’s SWAT Team Commander. “Last week stretched our team to critically think and work through rapidly evolving situations where seconds matter. It made our team stronger, and better-prepared us to face the unthinkable.”
Franklin Police SWAT Officers continually train and condition their minds and skills to respond to a variety of situations. Training locations include closed Franklin businesses, like movie theatres, schools, and other locations where violence has occurred in other communities. FPD SWAT recently trained with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department SWAT Team, and plans to co-train with several other municipalities in 2016. Members from across the entire Franklin Police Department recently briefed with the FBI on active shooter threats and response.
Since 2008, FPD SWAT has received high-level awards at the Gastonia, NC International SWAT Competition, testing their skills against big-city SWAT teams, like San Diego Police and the United States Military – Special Operations.
FPD SWAT is regularly used in known-risk warrant arrests, search warrants, and other dangerous situations, and remains at the ready to respond to unexpected crisis. Chief Deborah Faulkner said, “Members of the Franklin Police Department continually plan and train for the worst case scenario. Our SWAT Team is committed to being in a constant state of readiness by using state-of-the-art methods. Should anyone decide to endanger our community, we are using all resources available to be ready – this is extremely important to us.”
Today marks the three-year anniversary of the violence at Sandy Hook Elementary. That community and their loss are never far from our hearts.