LMPD's SWAT team prepares to go full-time
Last month, Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad announced the formation of a full-time SWAT Team.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - The Louisville Metro Police SWAT team is preparing to go full-time after Chief Steve Conrad announced the change last month.
The unit responds to some of the most dangerous situations in the city. On Wednesday, WDRB News was there as they trained at the old Colgate factory in southern Indiana.
"What were working on today is called 'bound and cover movement,'" said Lt. Brent Routzahn. "And basically, that's just us getting from one point to another on a suspect who knows we're there."
The LMPD SWAT team is currently made up of more than 40 part-time members. Lt. Routzahn says a lot of the officers already on SWAT will be part of the new 21-person team.
SWAT leaders say they've been dealing with an uptick in calls over the years.
"And it's more and more violent people that we're dealing with," Lt. Routzahn said.
With the part-time set up, he says officers have to respond from wherever they happen to be.
"The benefit of having the full-time team is you have an element already in place, ready to respond," Lt. Routzahn said.
The full-time team will train every Monday. When the officers aren't executing high-risk warrants or addressing an emergency, Lt. Routzahn says they'll be proactive.
"We'll have days where we assist other units, such as robbery, the 9th Mobile fugitive unit."
The goal is to better protect the public, and this unit deals with situations that could mean life or death.
"We wanted the opportunity for a long time to do this," Lt. Routzahn said. "Everybody believes in the mission that were about to start. and we want to make Louisville safer."
The LMPD SWAT team is expected to make the switch to full-time by Nov. 1.
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