THURMOND - When they say move, you move. Officers from three police agencies trained for real-life special response situations in Thurmond Wednesday.
Nick Mooney works with the Fayette County Sheriff's Office but teaches the SWAT classes through his business, New River Tactical.
“Especially when you're new to something like this -- as stressful as it is -- it's great to have some good instructors there to coach you through,” Montgomery Police Patrolman Damien Batten told WOAY.
Batten said his Montgomery department is seeing an increase in high-risk search warrants and drug activity. Over in Summersville, the department is in the early stages of forming a SWAT team.
“We're all really excited about it,” Cpl. Alec Andersen said. “We'll have to continue our training with one another through what we've learned here at New River Tactical.”
Jess McMullen is one of the instructors.
“They don't care to put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public,” he said. “It's what they like to do. It's extremely dangerous -- the types of situations. When they use this training, they're going to be put in those situations.”
Wednesday is part of a 40-hour entry-level course, but it's no walk in the park.
“We make it stressful for them,” McMullen said. “We make it real life. What you seen today is just baby steps. Later on in the week, we'll get a little more aggressive, and we'll put them in more real life scenarios and stressful situations to see if they're capable of doing what they need to be doing.”
“It's pretty intense,” Batten told WOAY. “You have to make sure that you pay attention to every detail because you never know what's around the next corner.”