Allen County hosts annual SWAT conference

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Around 300 officers from around the country are in Allen County for a Special Weapons and Tactics Unit, or SWAT, training. The Allen County Sheriff’s Department along with the Fort Wayne Police Department has been hosting the three day conference put on by the Indiana SWAT Officers Association for around six years at the Allen County Sheriff’s Department Training Facility.

Organizers said they bring in top level instructors, many of which are former special forces officers. It’s also cost effective bringing instructors to one location instead of sending officers to multiple. In addition, organizers said it is great exposure for the facility which has gotten good reviews from international instructors.

The conference begins with the Junkyard Shootout competition. It’s a timed course designed for officers to practice with guns and targets they come across most frequently in the field including many SWAT situations such as hostage negotiations or serving high-risk warrants.

“This gives officers access to training they may not have had otherwise,” Capt. Shawn Lawhorn with the Allen County Sheriff’s Dept. Special Operations said.

The training over the next few days will focus on training tactics and firearms, lectures on possible hostage scenarios, and team building.

Charlestown police officer, Darren Baker said, “Police work is something new every day, and we’re always open to more tactics and how we can handle scenarios and hear how bigger agencies handle their scenarios.”

The Shootout was also a fundraiser. Half of the proceeds will go to the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial Fund, and the other half will be donated to the EOD Warrior’s Foundation.

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