Rare training opportunity for Eau Claire County SWAT Team - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Rare training opportunity for Eau Claire County SWAT Team

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - The Eau Claire County SWAT Team had a unique training opportunity Thursday night.

Construction on the new jail is complete and all the inmates have been moved over from the old jail to the new. On Monday the renovations in the old jail will begin. But before that, there was time for the SWAT team to get in and make use of the empty space.

"We don't always know what we are capable of doing, we only know from what we're taught and in different environments. But when you're actually using them in the environment that you will have to go into, then it's a rare opportunity to have a type of training like this," says SWAT Commander, Lt. Rodney Stearns.

The SWAT team has been able to use portions of the jail to do training before but they've never had free range of the entire facility. 

Lt. Stearns says, "If we ever had a hostage situation in a jail setting where we would have to make an immediate entry, we wanted to see which one of our tools would work the best, the fastest, and would allow us a more prominent idea of if we could get in fast."

A total of 146 secure inmates were transferred to the new jail. That includes 24 who were being held in the Chippewa County Jail, because there was no room to spare in Eau Claire County's old jail.

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