JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It was 24 hours of training to better serve the citizens of Jackson County.
"We're so used to working in houses, working in yards, working in woods and what not. We had no training working in water like this, putting ourselves and our kit in the water," said SWAT Team Commander Mitchell McMillan.
Twelve members of the county's SWAT team spent three days upping their tactical skills in the water.
"We got a lot of barrier islands....we got a lot of people who live on the river. Anytime we would need guys with guns in water, you need this training," said McMillan.
The surface swimmer tactical operations course was put on by the Quiet Professionals, and the group was the first to go through the training series.
"Nobody's ever done this kinda training before, and we wondered what's gonna happen, what are you gonna do if you need to traverse a body of water. Do you know what the safety considerations are...what kind of equipment you're going to need, what techniques you're going to use?" said Bill Correa, one of the Quiet Professionals instructors.
The course took around two months to design and trains the officers for various types of water situations. The three days were packed with different scenarios ranging from pool exercises, to night operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
"This is a unique training. I don't know if you would jump in the water and cross a river that you don't know whats lying on the other side. Whether it's bad guys, alligators or water moccasins....we go through all that type of training because that's the environment we live in," said Ray Murphy president of Quiet Professionals.
As the officers emerged from the water on the final day and reflected , they agreed by completing the course they've just made Jackson County a whole lot safer.