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Nicholls to host state police SWAT team training

THIBODAUX – Long Hall at Nicholls State University is slated for demolition by the end of the fall 2008 semester – but not before law enforcement officers take advantage of its stairwells, hallways and rooms for special weapons and tactics team training.

Craig Jaccuzzo, director of university police, said that once he learned of Long Hall’s upcoming demolition, he decided to invite area police agencies to make use of the building for training – and the invitation was accepted.

The Louisiana State Police SWAT team will train Monday, Aug. 18, and Tuesday, Aug. 19, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Jaccuzzo said. Additional participants will include representatives of the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office, scheduled for Monday’s training sessions, and representatives of the Thibodaux Police Department, slated for Tuesday.

“These exercises stem from the active shooter training held at Nicholls last summer,” Jaccuzzo said. “The upcoming training deals with barricaded subjects, hostage takers and breach entry – how the SWAT team would enter rooms and buildings upon arrival, and after briefing.”

The Louisiana State Police SWAT team is composed of three, 21-member platoons and three, seven-member crisis negotiator squads. SWAT responds to incidents that are beyond the capabilities of traditional law enforcement, using specialized equipment, weapons and tactics. Such incidents include, but are not limited to, serving arrest and search warrants on known, violent offenders, providing security at high-profile public events and resolving hostage and barricaded gunman situations.

Lt. Duane Schexnayder, LSP SWAT supervisor, said the team will only be breaching interior doors in Long Hall – so if people nearby hear anything, it will merely be a muffled boom.

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