JOPLIN, MO.--- The Joplin S.W.A.T. Team descended on the old Capri Motel today. They weren't responding to an actual emergency, but preparing for a real life situation.
"The more we can prepare ahead of time for any call out there that we get, the better they're going to be once they get there," states Sloan Rowland, Patrol Bureau Commander, Joplin Police Department.
Armed with assault rifles, bulletproof gear, and even explosives the highly trained team broke down doors and cleared rooms. Team members say the ability to have this type of training helps keep them ready.
"The fortunate part of our job is that we don't have to do a lot of the stuff very often," states Brian Henderson, Corporal, Joplin Police Department.
The team is made up of approximately 20 officers who are on call 24 hours a day. Just recently, they decided to add a little extra help.
"We're beginning to try and integrate K-9's into our S.W.A.T. operations," says Rowland.
Even though they are armed with a variety of weapons, using violence to apprehend a criminal is the last resort.
""We are able to come in, and we're able to resolve a conflict through non violent activity just by the tools that we have," says Henderson.
The team responds to 5 to 10 barricaded gunmen calls in a year. They are used multiple times a week to help the Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force with search warrant calls.