The lesson was interesting, but the real fun came later.

In its fourth week, the Duncan Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy had a bit of a hands-on activity lesson as students learned about firearms and officer safety Saturday at the Duncan Gun Club.

The class, which is taught by Master Officer Steve Biffle, included tidbits from several members of the Special Response Team, which acts as Duncan’s SWAT crew. Leading the discussion was the team leader, Master Officer Layle Baker.

The SRT is a limited tactical team made up of volunteers from the police force. The members have to go through testing every six months to make sure they are up to the team standards for handling situations when under duress.

“It’s the best of the best,” Baker said.

Each testing period, members of the team have to fall within 10 percent of where they were six months ago. Maj. Rick Lang said the SRT crew trains for both physical abilities and weapon firing skills.

“We train extensively in what we do,” Lang said. “We are a shooting team. We are trained to take the shot.”

While shooting may be what the team is trained to do, the crew is taught to use weapons only until the threat stops. But making the threat stop isn’t as easy as pulling the trigger once, Biffle said.

“The human body is durable,” the academy instructor said. “People don’t stop just because they’re shot, if they’re doped up on meth or PCP or just bad anger.”

Baker said being a SRT member requires a certain type of person who can handle the stresses the job presents.

“You have to have the right mindset,” he said.

While some equipment is provided to the team, many of the weapons and gear worn by the members were purchased by those officers.

After the initial lecture on what the team does, the academy students were given earplugs and were required to wear some form of eye protection before a demonstration was done by the officers.

The display included the team “raiding” a “house” and shooting targets.

Following the exhibition, the students were given target practice and were allowed to try several of the weapons the officers use. Among the weapons the class used were a handgun, shotgun, sniper rifle and an automatic rifle.

For the students, safety was a more important aspect of learning to shoot than hitting the targets. Each time a citizen went to fire a weapon, an officer was on hand to assist.

Student Tammy Odom said she enjoyed this part of the session.

“It was great,” Odom said. “It was really fun.

“I really liked shooting the weapons.”

Of the guns the class used, she said her favorite was the automatic rifle.

“You’re probably never going to get to do it again,” she said.

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