Northern Regional SWAT team ready for action

WOOD COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) - Northern Wood County's new SWAT team will be ready for action next week. The Northern Regional SWAT Team has been in basic SWAT training all week, and on Thursday they took a hands-on approach.

"When it's game time, you just do what you normally do in training. You just do it," said Joseph Ball, commander of the Northern Regional SWAT Team.

Two Oregon police officers joined the 17 members of the Northern Regional SWAT Team for training at the Owens Community College Center for Emergency Preparedness.

"The exposure that these guys are getting this week is a base that they're going to be able to download when they're doing this stuff in real life," Ball said.

The new team contains a mixture of experienced and newer officers.

"We're all out here training together. Even I'm jumping in," Ball said.

"We gave them a scenario of a convenience store robbery, and the suspect ran through the neighborhood and ended up making his way into a bank. When he got into the bank, he theoretically scared all the occupants of the bank out," said Patrick Fiorilli, the president of the Ohio Tactical Officers Association.

The team had to safely take the suspect, played by an actor, into custody.

They also learned how to distract a suspect when making entry into a building.

"If they get no response and actually have to get inside the residence forcibly, they'll deploy a sound flash diversionary device. What that does is affords them the proper protection so the team can safely get into the house," Fiorilli said.

Fiorilli said exposing these SWAT members to multiple scenarios gives them the experience they need before hitting the streets.

"We're trying to put them in situations that they may actually encounter when they're operational," Fiorilli said.

The Northern Regional SWAT Team will be available for work once training is complete on Friday.