AEP Helps Build New SWAT Course
Prospective S.W.A.T. Team members tested their skills during S.W.A.T. tryouts at the newly acquired obstacle course located at the SAPD Gun Range. This was the first time prospects went through the course that mirrors that of military status.
Repairs and upgrades to the existing course had been postponed for several years due to budgetary constraints and the much-needed makeover had not been viewed as a necessity- Until AEP Officials got involved.
In the spring of 2013, Fred Hernandez, Jr., Manager of Community Affairs for AEP, met with SAPD S.W.A.T. Commander Lieutenant Mike Hernandez to discuss the safety concerns and poor condition of the existing course, which was located at the SAPD Training Academy. At the conclusion of the meeting, F. Hernandez offered immediate support in the form of material and AEP manpower.
Rather than repair the existing course, a decision was made to move its location to the SAPD Gun Range. This move would allow for S.W.A.T. training to take place at one location whereas in the past it had been conducted at three separate locations.
With the help of several members of the SAPD S.W.A.T. Team, Narcotics Section, Patrol Division, Community Services Division, and AEP employees, construction on the new course began.
Utilizing AEP equipment, AEP employees Randy Wessels and Mark Koegel embarked on the task of hole preparation and placement of the poles comprised in the various structures used in the course, effectively shaving weeks off the project. SAPD employees who came in on their off time to assist with the construction completed the month-long project. Special recognition should be noted for S.W.A.T. Operators William Farris and Chris Chappa for stepping up and taking charge of this project.
“This project would not have been possible had it not been for AEP stepping in.”, said Lt. Mike Hernandez, “Their generosity and willingness to help us create a safe and challenging course is very much appreciated. Our agency, along with our City Council, would like to recognize AEP and their employees as true police-community partners who saw a need and filled it. This new obstacle course is not only a benefit to the team, but to our entire community.”