6 - December 2, 2011 | Salem Community Patriot Police Department’s Citizens Academy Learns About Special Ops Unit During Final Class
Sgt. Kevin Fitzgerald demonstrates how weapons are held when making entry into a building.
by Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz SWAT is an acronym for Special Weapons and
Tactics, and that really sums up what a SWAT team is about. Last week the Salem Police Department’s Citizens Academy discussed the history and tactics of the Southern New Hampshire Special Operations Unit (SNHSOU). The unit was formed in 1998 and was the first regional SWAT team in the state. Much training was put into starting the unit and the training continues constantly. Salem Police Captain John Lozowski still trains officers for the SNHSOU but retired from the team several years ago. The team has trained with Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), New York City Police Department (NYPD), and Boston Police Department (BPD). Between the three large agencies everything from shield tactics, riot control, high risk warrant arrests and searches, hostage negotiations and more have been drilled into the officers that make up the SNHSOU. In addition to the three large agencies SNHSOU has also trained with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Navy SEALS, Secret Service,
Lisa Beckham tried on Sgt. Kevin Fitzgerald’s SWAT gear. It is a lot heavier than it looks.
United States Marshals and the Israeli Army. Salem residents should be extremely proud to
know that over one-third of the officers that make up Salem Police Department are SWAT trained. “We benefit greatly by having a SWAT team
available to us. Salem residents should be quite confident that not only are Salem Police Officers very well trained but that we have many officers who are SWAT trained. They know the tactics inside and out and are very capable of using these techniques at any given time that they are needed,” Captain John Lozowski said. Officers who are approved for the SWAT team are held to higher standard than patrol officers. Their physical requirements, psychological exams, and fire arms efficiency are more intense and are also tested more often than patrol officers. Captain Lozowski and Detective Sergeant
Kevin Fitzgerald both say that SWAT tactics have changed over the years, with a major change in tactics being made after Columbine. “What officers did at Columbine was exactly what they were trained to do, but it resulted in a
Ron Penczak and Captain John Lozowski demonstrate how a line of officers make entry and how they make silent communication to each other.
lot of lives lost. What happened was that citizens called for help and the patrol unit responded, set up a perimeter, and waited for nearly 40 minutes for the SWAT team to respond. The entire time there were active shooters inside and innocent people were being killed. Since that has happened patrol units are now trained that they are first on the scene and they make immediate entry with weapons drawn and they hunt down that suspect, engage and end that threat immediately. No longer does an agency wait 45 minutes for a SWAT team to respond,” Captain Lozowski explained. All the lessons learned that day changed SWAT teams and police agencies around the country, making them better equipped for active shooter incidents. Captain Lozowski says that when the team was first formed they averaged about 14 to 16 entries a year. Now it is much less. Typically what the SNHSOU does is handle barricaded subjects, hostage situations and negotiations, high risk warrant arrests, high-risk searches, active shooter/ school shootings, stand by for large events, and
airplane assaults. They are specially trained in the use of high-powered weapons as well as less than lethal equipment. Officers approved for the SWAT team must first
pass two classes, SWAT I and II. They are highly trained in the use of weapons issued to them, tactical strategies and must know every piece of equipment they carry inside and out. When they are called out and must make entry to a home or building they prefer to use a shock and awe approach to minimize fatalities. In New Hampshire there are very few regional
SWAT teams. SNHSHOU was the first in the state and helped to set the standard. SNHSOU is compiled of numerous agencies in the southern New Hampshire area including Salem, Windham, Derry, Londonderry, Hampstead, Raymond, Pelham, Hudson, Litchfield, and Atkinson. Every community that has officers in the team benefits greatly from having their resources pooled into the unit. Anytime the unit is needed it is activated and responds as quickly as it possibly can.
Third Annual ‘Run the Highlands’ Race for MS
Sam, Rebecca, Rachel and Hannah Avard - all winners
by Robyn Hatch The third annual Salem Kiwanis “Run the Highlands” for Multiple Sclerosis and KPT1 5K Run/Walk race was held at the beautiful Campbell’s Scottish Highlands Gold Course with close to 100 runners. The race supported the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Class medals were given to the top three winners in each category:
Female overall 1. Rachel Avard (16) 2. Hannah Avard (14) 3. Tara Buoanna (37) Male Overall 1. Emery Bickford (30) 2. Jacob Persons (20) 3. Shane McCarthy (22)
Male Age 1-14 1. Sean Totty (13) 2. Samual Avard (12) 3. Jackson Cain (10) Female Age 1-1 4 1. Emma Wellington (12) 2. Meagan Hanlon (14) 3. Chelsea Dunn (15) Male age 15 - 19
Winner Emery Bickford
1. Matt Persons (16) 2. Tyler McCarthy (19) 3. Jeremy Garneau (17) Female age 15-19 1. Rebecca Avard (16) 2. Katie Page (16) 3. Alexia Arsenault (18) This was an incredible race on an incredible day.
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declaration that, if granted, will make New Hampshire eligible for federal disaster aid to help cover costs resulting from the October snow storm. “This severe storm resulted in historic snowfall levels for the months of October and November throughout many areas of the State,” Gov. Lynch wrote in his request. “Because this storm occurred at the end of October, most trees were still covered with leaves. The record snowfall amounts, combined with high winds with gusts to 35 mph, caused very significant tree damage and produced the second-largest number of utility customer power outages in New Hampshire history.” The Governor’s request is for damage to public infrastructure in Hillsborough and Rockingham counties. Local communities, the State and FEMA assessment teams estimate damage to public infrastructure in those two counties to be nearly $3 million. At the height of the storm, more than 40 state roads and over 250 local roads were closed or severely restricted due to downed
power lines and debris. Some 122 elementary and secondary schools were closed statewide, many for several days. A total of 12 shelters and six warming stations were opened during the storm. The storm also knocked out power to approximately 300,000 utility customers, leaving many without power for up to a week. The storm’s damage was compounded by the fact it occurred less than 60 days after Tropical Storm Irene caused significant damage across New Hampshire. If Gov. Lynch’s request is granted, the federal aid will help
cover costs local communities incurred while responding to the storm, and removal of significant amounts of debris in the storm’s aftermath.
FEMA previously granted a limited declaration for New Hampshire, which would only covered the cost of water, food and other materials such as generators supplied directly by federal agencies. It did not include aid to help cover the cost of response to the storm, including snow and debris removal.
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celebrating Thanksgiving at the Boys and Girls Club of Salem.
‘Pilgrims’ Celebrate Thanksgiving
Staff photos by Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz
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