In a remote area of Centralia, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team stood focused and ready for their mission.

During this training exercise, the WSP team wasn’t alone. The Lewis County Regional SWAT Team linked-up with Troopers to conduct joint tactical exercises over two days.

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SWAT Teams have sharp uniforms and state-of-the-art equipment, however, their greatest strength comes from their ability to work effectively and efficiently with other agency teams.

The WSP SWAT Team’s commitment to on-going joint training has translated into successes in the field. This recent training operation is just another example of their dedication to excellence and preparedness.

Sergeant James Prouty explains agency partnerships are vital to any SWAT operation. “In real-life situations – such as an active shooter – multiple agencies from around the area will respond to the scene. Our personal skills have to be sharp but more importantly, so does our ability to communicate and work quickly with all participating agencies. The more prepared we are and the more practice we get in now, the better we will be if a situation arises. We need to be as ready as possible, and practice under realistic circumstances often.”

He adds, “We highly value our partnerships with all the different law enforcement agencies around the state. The training and skills accrued coupled with the relationships built help every agency and every law enforcement officer be ready to answer when called on.”

The Washington State Patrol SWAT Team falls under the Investigative Services Bureau and is trained to respond and manage barricaded persons, sniper incidents, hostage situations, terrorist confrontations, dangerous drug laboratories to execute search warrants, and other high-risk arrest situations.