Monday, July 16 , 2018, 10:34 am | Fair 71º


Local News

SWAT Team Puts on Show at Santa Barbara Harbor

The annual drill, intended to hone members' skills, involves capturing armed people on moored vessels

Santa Barbara Officer Chris Payne is ready for action in the Police Department's BeatCat armored vehicle.
Santa Barbara Officer Chris Payne is ready for action in the Police Department’s BeatCat armored vehicle. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

The Santa Barbara Police Department’s SWAT team swung into action Wednesday afternoon at the harbor, shooting at floating targets and repeatedly storming charter boats at Sea Landing.

But the dramatic activity was all pretend, as the Special Weapons and Tactics Team was holding a monthly drill intended to hone their skills.

The team practices on the water at least once a year, often with the Harbor Patrol and the U.S Coast Guard, according to Sgt. Riley Harwood.

Officers could be heard yelling to the people on the boat to abandon their weapons, crawl to the stairs and come out. They were loudly warned by the officers that if they reached for their weapons, “I will shoot you.”

Meanwhile, a sniper was set up in the harbor’s parking lot atop the armored BearCat vehicle. Curious passersby stopped to watch and take pictures with cell phones, but the SWAT team members were unfazed.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >