On Saturday morning, October 21, 2017, the Calvert County Sheriff’s Special Operations Team held Basic SWAT and Tactical Maritime Operations School Graduation Session VII. The event was held at the Patuxent Business Park in Lusby. Fourteen applied for the classes, eleven were chosen, and nine graduated. Those nine represented Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office, Hyattsville Police Department, US Marshals Service, Takoma Park Police Department and Laurel Police Department.
Sgt Jason Elliott started the ceremony with introductions of the VIP’s in the audience. Sheriff Mike Evans gave the welcome to the friends and families of the graduates, along with the sheriffs and police officers that represented the graduates. Captain Steve Jones of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office told the attendees that the school was three weeks of intense training, with as much as 88 hours a week. He said it was the best school of all seven. He introduced a video presentation by DFC Yuri Bortchevsky, showing the training the candidates went through during the three weeks.
The SWAT School Staff presented awards. The first was to Captain Steve Jones for his leadership. He received the coveted paddle. The Top Operator award went to Bradley Boerum, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office. Top Academic award went to Joshua Kapnek, US Marshals Service. Top Fire Arms award went to Brian Lenhart, US Marshals Service. And the Top Fitness award went to Derek Chrismer, Hyattsville Police Department. The other five members graduating were Brandon Burroughs, Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office, Ryan Evans, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, Mark Materka, Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office, Josue Santos, Takoma Park Police Department and Matthew Zimmerman, Laurel Police Department.
Guest speaker was Rusty Watson, Prince George’s County Police Department, who retired in 2005. During his remarks he said “It’s all about working as a team. You’re only as strong as your weakest link”. Later on in his speech, he spoke about the goose. He asked if the audience ever noticed geese in flight. He said you can hear them honking and the reason is to keep to encourage those in front to keep up their speed. As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the birds that follow. By flying in V formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it. When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position. He said we need to be more like the goose. We should be more like the goose to make the task easier.
The SWAT School Staff gave special thanks to Dominion Energy Cove Point and Exelon Energy Group for the use of their facilities. They gave special thanks to the Tactical Medic Program for their assistance and support. The Calvert County Sheriff’s office has 3 Tactical Paramedics (G. Wall, S. Sturmer, C. Shannon). These medics are selected by the Sheriff’s office and work closely with its SOT in support of their operations. The medics receive special training above that of a normal ALS (Advanced Life Support) provider in the area of police operations, treating traumatic injuries, and medical support of long operations (Baltimore City Riot deployment). The medics are all volunteer and donate hundreds of man-hours a year to the Sheriff’s office participating in operations or medical standby’s for SWAT schools or other police training events. The nature of police work is inherently dangerous and these medics provide onsite medical standby for Calvert Counties finest and the many other agencies that train with our Sheriff’s office.
They also recognized Steve Maricola, Billy Lankford, Kim Gott, Osprey Realty, Woody Fairly, Matt Gambrill, Edward T Hill, Jim House, Calvert Marina and Naval Base Stump Neck for providing training sites to make the school a success. Special thanks also went to the Calvert County Transportation Department and Fowler Bus Service for providing training vehicles. And the final thanks went to Maryland Small Arms Range for their donations to the school.
Please enjoy the picture gallery below.
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon