|Updated: 10/17/2012 10:01 am
||Published: 10/16/2012 5:36 pm
For more than two decades, Sand Springs and Sapulpa have teamed together to form a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. Now Bixby is joining in.
The three cities will form the Southwest Area Tactical Team.
Tuesday, Police officers from the three departments gathered at the Sand Springs Shooting Range to try out for the new unit.
"It's something I'm eager to do and I accept that challenge," said Bixby Police Officer René Torres.
He is one of the guys trying to fill that 22 man unit.
"I believe that if we're able to utilize that in an effective manner, bring in three different departments together, not only is it helping the each departments but it's helping that community," he said.
Sapulpa and Sand Springs have shared SWAT duties for years, but with Bixby joining them now, the new tactical team will be able to better spread the costs, and improve response time.
In Bixby alone, it could save at least $150,000 because the police department won’t have to buy weapons and protective because they’ll now be sharing the resources.
The SWAT team’s commander, Robert Glenn, has worked with the Sapulpa and Sand Springs SWAT unit for more than two decades. He told FOX23 this gives the agencies the same man power for SWAT as Tulsa Police Depart.
"We're extremely super excited about this,” Glenn said. “All the communities combined, we're all in this together. It's really going to benefit all three communities."
"Utilizing our resources to fight the good cause and that's keeping our communities safe," said the Bixby Police Officer.
Only half the officers tried out on the course Tuesday. The others will try out on October 30th. The negotiators will interview on October 31.
Each time the SWAT team is called out in Sapulpa or Sand Springs it costs $2,000 to $3,000.
The more cities they can add to the group, the lower the shared costs will be.
The new SWAT team should be assembled by mid-November.