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THE MAKING OF A SWAT TEAM

Published Jun. 7, 1998|Updated Sep. 13, 2005

HD: ONE TEAM, ONE MIND

In the past three weeks, SWAT officers have been in the news. Last month, people watched as SWAT officers from several law enforcement agencies surrounded a Shell station in Hernando County where Hank Earl Carr holed up after killing a child, two Tampa detectives and a Florida Highway Patrol officer. Last week, SWAT officers again were called out when a Tampa teenager was reported to have fired shots and barricaded himself in a house. It turned out he merely had a BB gun and had shot a bottle rocket. As SWAT police were deploying in Tampa, 27 men and one woman were breaking down doors, deliberately exposing themselves to gas and crawling through the woods in the hot Pinellas sun learning how to be SWAT officers. Shown here, bursting into a room in an unused building at the VA Medical Center at Bay Pines, are trainees from the Pinellas Park, St. Pete Beach and Largo police departments, the Sheriff's Office, the Largo Fire Department and Pinellas County Emergency Medical Services. The exercise was part of a lesson in seizing buildings and rooms where criminals are barricaded.

STORIES AND PHOTOS: PAGES 11-13.

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