NATICK, Mass. - USAG-Natick hosted the Central Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (CEMLEC) to enhance the capabilities of the special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams from over 60 municipal law enforcement agencies in the state on a frigid morning in January.
The ability to plan and execute a day of training for the area CEMLEC teams at Natick was a rare chance to work together, enhance the team's effectiveness and work together in creating open communication to more partnership with local law enforcement.
"With a heightened awareness of what is going on in the world it's important to know who will be coming to help and have a knowledge of how they operate and how we can augment and strengthen if we need to come together as one team," said James Santoro, Chief of Police, Natick.
The morning of training brought together more than 20 CEMLEC team members to the housing units across from Natick Soldier Systems Center. The housing units are to currently empty in preparation of being raised for future construction of new housing of future service members.
Keith Taparausky, Deputy Commanding Training Director -- CEMLEC Squad, who has been on the team for 18 years, pointed out the benefits of the training venue for the day.
"The training venue itself is different and unique," Taparausky said. "We got a lot out of that. Also, the location of the venue is secluded which helps us with our tactics so everyone cannot see what we are doing."
The training is key in enhancing the team's safety, effectiveness and readiness for any situation that may come up.
"The training objectives are to make sure the team members are first, safe and the venue is unique because we can't actually come in and physically make mechanical entry breaches as we did today," Taparausky said. "The scenarios and blueprints are not predicted, just like in real life. We don't know what to expect in real life. This is key that we train like we would if it was real.
The continued success of the team relies heavily on the team's ability to come together and work as a cohesive unit.
"It's all about consistency," said Craig Guertin, a CEMLEC Team Operator. "Without consistency, we are not at our full capabilities of operating status. We cover a variety of topics we encounter in real life."
Guertin is a sergeant with an area police department with prior military experience as an Infantry staff sergeant in the Army. He knows the training is important.
"Boots on the ground is where it happens and this prepares us for when we are called to do what we are trained to do." Guertin said. "This training is quality. It gives us better training locations for better training which makes us better, more effective operators."
"Hopefully, this opportunity is the beginning of many more training chances with the local law enforcement and the communities," said Santoro.