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Friday, August 17, 2012

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) in cooperation with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and Greenville County Sheriff’s Office will host a waterborne operations training class at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, August 15 on Lake Murray.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said Beaufort County sheriff’s deputies will conduct tactical waterborne operations training for Lexington County sheriff’s SWAT deputies, Anderson County sheriff’s deputies and Greenville County sheriff’s deputies between 1 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday on Lake Murray. The training will be conducted at Rawl’s Point, which is located on the shores of Lake Murray at the end of Campground Road near Gilbert.

During the training, tactical operations officers will deploy into water from helicopters and boats, Metts said. Officers will jump into Lake Murray from helicopters that will be operated by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department and SLED. Officers also will enter the lake from boats that will be operated by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Lake Murray Marine Patrol.

The goal of the training is to enhance the readiness of tactical operations officers with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and Greenville County Sheriff’s Office to conduct waterborne tactical operations, Metts said. Lexington County Sheriff’s Department SWAT conducts weekly training for deputies who serve on the team as a collateral duty assignment.

The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department utilizes a rigorous selection process for SWAT members, including a physical fitness test, marksmanship assessment and personal interviews that are conducted by a selection board, Metts said. The mission of SWAT is to protect the lives of fellow law enforcement officers and citizens in Lexington County.

SWAT members accomplish their mission by using specialized equipment, training, tactics and teamwork, Metts said. Deputies who are assigned to SWAT must maintain a high level of physical fitness and proficiency with weapons that they are trained to use.

SWAT members are on call 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, Metts said. They are prepared to respond on short notice to any situation. SWAT members can be deployed to incidents that involve persons who have barricaded themselves in a home or business and persons who are threatening to harm themselves or other persons. SWAT members also can be deployed to execute high-risk search warrants and high-risk arrest warrants.

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