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.

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