Last week, APD responded to a possible bomb threat in Olney. Also, the SWAT team responded to a standoff in Sweetwater last month that killed one man.
The Abilene SWAT team is made up of 25 police officers, a bear cat armored vehicle, 16 take-home vehicles full of equipment, and a 20-foot trailer pulled by a truck. At the end, it is a job that requires 16 hours of continued training a month.
"We have specialized equipment, additional lighting, and additional shields," says Abilene Chief of Police Stan Standridge.
The cost involved in sustaining a SWAT team is greater than smaller departments around Abilene can afford, such as the bomb squad.
"We currently have three bomb technicians," says Chief Standridge. "We are certifying two more."
However, there are plenty of expensive equipment where in some cases, costs more than what the city can afford.
"A lot of what the SWAT and the bomb squad has was given by the federal government," adds Chief Standridge. "The expectation is that we help smaller departments."
APD does not absorb all the costs when they are called out. The city of Abilene will pay for the first 24 hours, after that, the city or county they are responding to takes over the cost.
APD pays the initial cost, then later seeks reimbursement from the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms.
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