Lt. Bobby Norton, new SWAT team commander for SBSO, has returned to the agency where he began after spending 25 years with NOPD; Now he is blending new members into the team with 60-hour training school he developed

Posted: January 29th, 2016 | Filed under: SBSO News
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swat-4---entry-of-roomChalmette native Bobby Norton has come full circle.

He has returned to the Sheriff’s Office where he started in 1986 and was employed until 1990 and he is now commander of the Special Weapons And Tactics team, or SWAT.
In the intervening time after he left, Norton spent 25 years with New Orleans Police, retiring last year after heading their SWAT team and later Special Operations. He was on the NOPD SWAT team from 1990-2000, commanded SWAT in the city for two years until 2012, then was commander of NOPD Special Operations for three years before retiring in 2015.
Now Norton, named a lieutenant by Sheriff James Pohlmann, is blending new members into the Sheriff’s Office SWAT team with a 60-hour training school he developed. And they are training in public buildings and eventually schools to be prepared to react to any possible incidents.

SWAT units are tasked with carrying out high-risk operations that would normally be outside of a regular law agency’s capabilities. Those roles can commonly include dealing with:

– an active shooter, such as a shooting spree
– barricaded suspects
– hostage rescue scenarios
“The Number 1 goal of any SWAT action is to peacefully resolve a situation,’’ said Norton. “And you do that through repetition of training.’’
Norton has put together a 60-hour school of SWAT training which covers:
– establishment of a perimeter
– negotiation technique
– entry into a building or other space
– less than lethal options available
– an active shooter situation
– riot control
– weapons nomenclature

Norton has been using his 60-hour training program to blend eight sheriff’s deputies who haven’t been on a SWAT team before into a cohesive unit with about 15 officers who are veterans of the SWAT team.
The goal of training the eight in-house in Norton’s school is continuity across the SWAT team, rather than sending them to various other training programs.

The eight new members have been working at the Civic Center in Chalmette, the old Gauthier school building in the Poydras area and a facility in eastern New Orleans, as well as classroom sessions at the Sheriff’s Office training center behind the Parish Courthouse in Chalmette.