Sheriff’s SWAT team officers train in handgun and rifle use during pursuit situations, using obstacles at shooting range

Posted: March 12th, 2013 | Filed under: Announcements, News Releases, SBSO News


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Maj. David DiMaggio, director of training for the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office, says a good way to train officers for handling their weapons in real-life pursuit situations is to use an obstacle course to make them move and work up some stress, getting their heart rate up in the process.

Some members of the department’s SWAT team trained in that environment recently at the private shooting range in eastern St. Bernard Parish which the Sheriff’s Office is allowed to use.

The session included firing handguns and semi-automatic rifles from a vehicle whose windshield was removed, after scaling a wall, while climbing steps and after crawling through a barrel-like trough.

DiMaggio, Lt. Raymond Theriot, who is assistant training director, and department firearms instructors Sheriff’s Deputy Tommy Duplessis and Cpl. David Culpepper supervised the training session. Assisting them as safety officers were Laurence Amberson and Ray Murphy, members of the Reserve Division, and regular force Sgt. Dick Beebe.

Shown firing at targets from a vehicle with the windshield removed are, in the passenger seat, Lt. Chip England, and the driver’s side, Lt. Brent Bourgeois. Shown from behind are, in the driver’s seat, Deputy Brian Canepa and at right Capt. Daniel Doucet.

Doucet and Canepa, who is blocked from sight, are shown on steps, with Culpepper behind them, Canepa vaults over a wall before firing a handgun, while Deputy Jason Spadoni climbs through a trough before firing a handgun, with Theriot at right. Deputy Shane Lulei is in the background speaking with Murphy.

Also, at bottom, Sgt. Stephen Ingargiola is shown about to fire from behind a wall and at top Sgt. Donald Johnson is about to fire. Murphy, Culpepper and Amberson are shown setting up targets for rifle fire.

Englande kneels to fire a rifle and Johnson stands to fire a rifle, with DiMaggio and other instructors near him.