Botetourt County hosts S.W.A.T. team training

Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 6:45 PM EDT
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BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - In high-stake and high-stress situations, law enforcement agencies typically look to their S.W.A.T. teams to answer the call and keep people safe.

This week, deputies and officers from across the country are training with the National Tactical Officers Association in Botetourt County to learn more about what it means to be a Special Weapons and Tactics member.

“I’ve learned a lot so far and hoping to soak the rest in like a sponge and be the best I can be in this new role,” Deputy Andrew Mioduszewski said.

Mioduszewski is one of three Botetourt County Sheriff’s deputies joining the department’s S.W.A.T. team.

“It means a lot to be here this week; this is something I have strived to do ever since becoming a law enforcement officer here in Botetourt County,” Mioduszewski said.

They’re learning alongside officers from all different jurisdictions.

“We have guys from out of state all the way up to Indiana that are coming to this school,” Botetourt County Sgt. John Claterbaugh said.

The officers will train 40 hours this week and practice handling things like a barricaded suspect, an active shooter and other scenarios they will see out on the job.

“Basic S.W.A.T. school is what this is, and it’s just getting their feet wet for being on the S.W.A.T. team and they are just going to continue to learn throughout their career,” Claterbaugh said.

It is tough work and includes a lot of training, but it’s the purpose behind the badge that makes it all worth it.

“Of course, at the end of the day the goal is to save lives; this is an opportunity to do that in the most stressful situations out there, with the best-trained guys out there,” Mioduszewski said.

In Botetourt County, the department’s S.W.A.T. team is made of 18 deputies. Every month they perform 16 hours of training to keep them ready to respond.

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