Santa Maria Police Department’s SWAT team started from scratch eight months ago.
We dropped by while they were training today to see how they're doing.
Their new way of doing things now is slow, smooth and steady.
Today they responded to three mock-barricades in town, including a simulation of a vehicle pursuit that ended at a business.
In the mock situation, the driver is armed and won't exit his vehicle.
The liutenant in charge says simulations not only familiarize swat officers with different scenarios, it also builds camaraderiewhich is important when it comes to the real thing.
"Having a good relationship with your peers and co-workers definitely plays into training and in real life,” said Lt. Marc Schneider of the SWAT team, “and if you can get along and communicate and know what the other person is going to do that's going to, that's going to help you when the real life situation occurs."
That camaraderie of course includes Targo, a German Shepherd.
He's one of the SWAT teams two canines.
Including their handlers, there are about 20 officers on Santa Maria's new swat team and they train for ten hours twice a month.
They've responded to real situations before, but they say they will finally be a ripe SWAT team this month.