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SWAT officers wrap up two weeks of advanced training
SWAT members participate in training exercises during a two-week training course on Friday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
As they practiced techniques for clearing the mock college building — the old Manchester Police Department on Chestnut Street — some of the participants had to be thinking about Brentwood officer Steven Arkell, who was shot to death as he opened a front door, responding to a complaint about a loud domestic argument May 12.
“I think that reinforces the need for going slow,” Tarleton said.
Three other officers will train later, he said, as the department prepares to establish a SWAT unit.
Merrimack has 36 sworn officers and Tarleton said: “We’re going to share everything with guys on patrol.”
For the time being, he said, the trained Merrimack officers will operate as a containment team, calling on either Nashua or Manchester SWAT, if the need arises.
Manchester police have had a SWAT unit since 1975, with the current co-leaders Nate Boudreau and Sgt. Brandon Murphy.
One of the key elements of the advanced training is communication, he said. With multiple teams on multiple floors, it is critical for a successful resolution of the situation. “We’re all on the same sheet of music,” he said.
Manchester worked with the Lawrence, Mass., SWAT and New Hampshire Seacoast Emergency Response Team doing house-to-hour searches in Watertown until Tsarnaev was found.
As the five eight-man teams, each with a training leader, moved into and through the building, it was stop and go, sometimes to correct a major error.
Participants were from Manchester, Nashua, Keene, Strafford County Regional
Boudreau said the training is a major commitment on the part of the departments sending members, because their normal work shifts have to be covered for two weeks.
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