Situations like the one in Boston remind us of the importance of our nations’ SWAT teams.
Being prepared is a matter of life or death for the 10 members of the Ozark SWAT team.
Ozark Police Chief Tony Spivey said, “In today’s ever changing society and ever changing world, you never know when they may be called upon. But it is something that you don’t want to have to do, but you want to be prepared in case that event happens.”
Preparation starts with weekly training and the right equipment.
Spivey said, “And in order to do the mission and be successful you have to give them the tools that they need to keep them safe as well as to do their job that the community would expect.”
That is why the Ozark City Council approved the purchase of 10 new assault rifles to replace the old larger, bulkier model.
“The weapons are smaller and more compact. And these weapons give the tactical members the ability to not be in a position where the weapon can be taken from them very easily.”
With new weapons comes more training, training that will be done on their new and improved firing range.
Hundreds of truck loads of dirt later, the range will double in length and add more firing lanes.
On top of adding more lanes and extending the length of the range, new safety features will be put in place.
Cpt. Bobby Blankenship said, “We’re going to have for lack of a better word a wing of the back range wall so we can contain the shots and be more safe with the officers out their also.”
Keeping the officers safe and at the same time protecting the public.
“Just like with Boston and everywhere else, you have the officers that are firing their weapons, whether it be a long gun or a short gun, you want to have your officers efficient and proficient with their weapons because ever bullet that comes out of that weapon, we’re responsible for," Blankenship said.
The new weapons came at a price tag of more than $12,000.
The department was able to cover the cost by selling their old weapons to a law enforcement distributor.