Wednesday, April 26, 2017

SWAT On My Street

I used to live on such a quiet street, so quiet that during the day you could hear the birds twittering in the trees and squirrels skittering across our roof. When there was noise, it came from leaf blowers and kids playing in the street.

Then the Great Construction Period started. For the last six years or so, there’s been one house or another under construction on the block. The bang of hammers and rat-a-tat-tat of jackhammers has become the new normal.

Last week, it got more interesting. We received a notice on our doorstep that the local SWAT team would be doing a training exercise on our block, using a house that is slated to be torn down. (Yep, another one.) They warned us there may be loud noises during this period. We’d be allowed to observe as long as we stayed in the designated areas.
SWAT vehicle parked in front of house and a few observers on the right.

SWAT preparing to go in

The thought of a police training exercise happening just two doors down from us filled this writer’s heart with joy. The first evidence of activity was someone going into the designated house and hearing them talking about their plans.

When the SWAT vehicle arrived, I headed outside to do a little gardening...and see what was going on, of course. (Yes, I really did do some weeding and deadheading of roses. It wasn’t just an excuse!) A few people hovered around watching. I met the developer who’d bought the property and his children and grandchildren, all there to observe.

Finally, the SWAT team was ready to start. They breached the front door of the house followed shortly after by a flash bomb. The boom set off two car alarms on opposite ends of the block and brought out a concerned neighbor who hadn’t gotten the memo about the police training exercise. Some time later, another boom. Then, an hour or so after that, they were done and the street returned to normal.

The part of me that likes a quiet street was happy they disrupted the neighborhood as little as possible. They didn’t block the road or cause excess noise. Other than the two booms you wouldn’t have known anything was going on. But the writer side of me was disappointed there wasn’t more to observe. The construction fencing prevented us from seeing a whole lot. Still, it was interesting to see what they were doing.

There’s enough construction going on in this city and the surrounding ones, the police shouldn’t have any trouble finding another house to train in when they need one.

On a separate note, I found that sentence I was looking for the other day. Yep, it wasn’t as great as I remembered but, at least I found it! Now I have something to revise.


John R. Corrigan (D.A. Keeley) said...

Thanks for sharing this. Much more exciting than my week! Naomi Hirahara talks about the law-enforcement agencies offering something of a citizens' police training academies. She attended a FTA course. Loved it. I live in a remote location, so SWAT and citizen academies are probably out. Great stuff.

Sybil Johnson said...

We have several opportunities for Citizens Academies around here. I've never participated, but know lots of people who have. Someday...