County passes SWAT agreement
On Tuesday morning, the Hays County Commissioners Court voted to approve an interlocal agreement for the Hays County Special Weapons and Tactics team.
The agreement formalizes criteria for members of the Kyle Police Department, the Buda Police Department and Texas State University Police Department to join the Hays County SWAT team.
“So this is basically just a formality of the opening up to outside agencies who want to join the SWAT team within the Hays County,” said Lieutenant Dennis Gutierrez, Hays County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer.
After the Hays County SWAT team was initially established in 1994, it reorganized to join the San Marcos Police Department in 1997. The two entities joined forces to create the current SWAT team, which is an “elite tactical unit” that handles high-risk operations.
While the SWAT team has members from other agencies within Hays County, the agreement will formalize requirements to join the tactical unit.
“So it mainly just spells it out in writing exactly what the requirements are for someone to join the SWAT team from outside agencies,” Gutierrez said.
According to Gutierrez, the SWAT team trains once a month, and each squad trains once or twice each month.
Members of the team are not solely SWAT, as they also maintain positions within their respective agencies.
The agreement cites the Interlocal Cooperation Act, Chapter 791 of the Texas Government Code, which allows local governments to contract with each other to increase effectiveness and efficiency.
According to Gutierrez, the SWAT commander is a sheriff's office lieutenant and the assistant commander is with the San Marcos Police Department. Depending on the situation, either individual is able to lead the SWAT team.
“The mission of the Hays County SWAT Team is to provide tactical, administrative, and training assistance to all members of the Hays County Sheriff's Office, San Marcos Police Department, and other Law Enforcement Agencies,” the agreement reads. “The mission is also to provide education to the citizenry, and to strive to enhance the basic premise upon which the concept of SWAT is based, the saving of lives.”