SWAT: Not just a job, it’s a lifestyle

SWAT: Not just a job, it’s a lifestyle

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Confrontations with criminals who refuse to give up puts Lubbock Sheriff's Office deputies and Lubbock Police Department officers to the test.

A series of incidents here in Lubbock and in the county include the shooting death of a Texas Tech officer, a robbery at Happy State Bank, suspects shooting at police near Lorenzo, standoffs with armed suspects across Lubbock and fears of active shooters in our schools forced law enforcement to call in reinforcements. 

"When we have multiple incidents one after the other in a given time frame of a matter of months it's actually easier for us to stay sharp," said Chris Paine, LPD SWAT detective. "It helps us to stay focus, because we are still living off of the lessons learned from the previous incident and we are still sharp."  

SWAT teams respond to anything from felony warrant services, barricaded situations, hostage situations, whether it happens to be in a vehicle or at a residence. The Sheriff's SWAT team collaborates with the South Plains Association of Governments. This means it is designated to respond to any critical situation within the region including 15 surrounding counties.

"It's amazing that the egos are put to the side to complete that objective," said Chris Vigil, Lubbock Sheriff's Office SWAT commander. "Then afterward we go back to doing what we were doing but when we are at work it's a great relationship that we have with them."

LP's SWAT team will also travel outside its jurisdiction to provide mutual aid.

"The Lubbock Police SWAT team, for example, is the SWAT team answer for a crisis situation within a five-hour drive of any direction," said Paine. 

Commander Vigil said he loves his job and enjoys giving back to the community.

"I think there is a purpose for it," said Vigil. "I like the idea of service, giving back, being the solution to certain problems." 

Detective Paine agrees with Commander Vigil. He said it's not just a job. It's a lifestyle. 

"There is no greater challenge than being a part of the SWAT team as far as policing goes," said Paine. "I wanted to be a part of that and I wanted to challenge myself on an individual basis." 

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