DRAPER (News4Utah) – The Salt Lake City Police Department (SLCPD) put 22 of their SWAT school training candidates to the test Sunday morning.
“It’s a tough, challenging course. It’s basically six days of real tough work. Not necessarily a hell week, everything we do is for a reason. They’re either learning or we’re accessing their physical fitness for their thinking capabilities,” said Lt. Derek Dimond with SLCPD. “There’s a lot of pride to be a SWAT cop, cause it’s challenging. Not everyone can be a SWAT cop. A lot of people try, but it’s only the best of the best that make it through.”
The SLCPD’s SWAT school is known for its intensity and rigor. Instructors said the complex obstacle course tests each candidate’s physical stamina, leadership skills, and teamwork abilities.
“That’s one of the biggest things. We want guys who can think when they’re really sore, really tired, and just worn out. Because when it gets really bad, we’re trying to access how they’re going to react under a bad situation,” said Lt. Dimond.
Sunday’s group consisted of candidates from the Air National Guard and multiple local law enforcement agencies.
“We’re making a merit list on who’s going to fill positions on our SWAT team and for the other agencies. They’re getting good training and if we need extra bodies, they can be thrown in because we know they were trained the way we were,” said Lt. Dimond.
While not all candidates will be selected for the SLCPD Swat Team, Lt. Dimond said making it through SWAT school is an achievement of itself.
“You can see the faces when we welcome them here and they’re scared. They don’t really know what’s going to be happening and on that last day, you see they build a lot of confidence and they’re proud of what they’ve done,” said Lt. Dimond.