Friday, February 27, 2009
Tuesday night, I got to play cops and robbers with the Kansas City SWAT team. They do training exercises and I got to participate by role playing the bad guy. I got a pistol with simulation bullets that had paint in them rather than lead. (this helps in maintaining the general health of the participants) The SWAT team had varying weapons including pistols and assault rifles, along with a defensive shield. We were all wearing bullet proof vests along with helmets to further assist in protective gear.
The scenario simulated was that someone had gone on a rampage and was holed up and negotiations had been unsuccessful. I hid in an apartment on a floor of an abandoned apartment complex. The SWAT team then cleared the adjacent apartment to simulate what they would do in a real scenario to prevent errant bullets from striking innocent people.
They then entered the one I was in and cleared the first part of the apartment before finding me. I was hidden in a closet and we had a verbal altercation but I ended up giving up that time. The 2nd scenario, I hid in a different apartment and was behind a kitchen counter. When they found me and said show me your hands, I did but came up firing with the SIM gun. They proceeded to pepper me with rounds of their own. My gun ended up jamming and I resorted to wrestling/grappling with them. Of course 6 well trained SWAT officers put me down in short order.
We then role played a couple hostage scenarios where I held one of them and used him as a body shield. I didn't think there would be any way they could hit just me and not the hostage but they popped me a couple times on the side of the head.
The whole adrenaline, accelerated heart rate, antsiness of waiting for them to find you, and tense muscles gave a good perspective on how a real scenario might go down. It was very cool all around. They are very good at what they do.
Photo by Granada America