nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
      Archives | Subscribe


Local News arrow Front Royal arrow In The Spotlight arrow Ryan Cornell

| 1

Tac team takedown

2013_08_08_Kids_Camp3.jpg
Deputy Mike Glavis plays the bad guy and is taken down by the departments police dog Koda during a tactical demonstration. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

2013_08_08_Kids_Camp1.jpg
Sgt. Charles Bockey of the Warren County Sheriff's Office shows off the department's armored vehicle to youth camp participants at the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

2013_08_08_Kids_Camp2.jpg
4-H camp counselor Travis Lucente, 20, of Fredericksburg, is taken down by Sgt. Charles Shockey of the Warren County Sheriff's Office Special Ops Team during a tactical demonstration for the department's Kid's Camp held this week at the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

2013_08_08_Kids_Camp4.jpg
Warren County Sheriff's Office Capt. Kahle Magalis shows camp participants the protective metal plate in his body armor. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

2013_08_08_Kids_Camp5.jpg
Kid's camp participants Natalie Beck, 12, left, and Paja Showers, 11, both of Front Royal, listen to members of the Warren County Sheriff's Office Special Ops Team during a demonstration. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)


Special ops team uses armored car, a canine, flashbang grenades to take down 'fugitives'

By Ryan Cornell

FRONT ROYAL -- A dark green Jeep Grand Cherokee pulls into a parking lot. Riding its bumper is an armored Lenco BearCat truck, its lights bright and its sirens blaring.

Six special operations officers in combat gear approach the jeep and hurl a flashbang grenade. One passenger in the jeep gets out and makes a run for it. He's swiftly taken down by a German Shepherd, which latches onto his arm. The other passenger opens his door and is pinned to the pavement by one officer.

Had this particular scene taken place anywhere other than the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center in Front Royal and had a group of children not been watching intently, one might be witnessing the arrest of a dangerous felon.

The special operations team, a 10-member force that has partnered with the Sheriff's Office for 28 years, was demonstrating a vehicle takedown at the Warren County Sheriff's Summer Youth Camp on Wednesday.

Sheriff Daniel McEathron said he might deploy the armored vehicle in a situation involving hostages or barricades, or use it to travel to a house to arrest a felony suspect who might be armed.

"It is our tactical team special operations deployment vehicle," he said. "So when the tac team is deployed, it's for high-risk search warrants or a high-risk arrest warrant. So we're going after someone we believe may be violent or there's a potential for violence, then that vehicle is deployed."

The 10 officers picked for the team go through a rigorous selection process. They use the truck anywhere from three to 20 times in a year.

The BearCat was purchased in 2010 and cost $278,000 -- provided through a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. McEathron said the truck, which uses a Ford F-550 engine, can reach speeds of 75 mph and travels at an average of six miles per gallon. It might not handle potholes well, but it can take its fair share of bullets and explosions.

"Obviously it isn't deployed to the full magnitude of what its abilities are sometimes," McEathron said. "But you don't want to show up light."

Because Warren County is the only squad in the area besides Loudoun County, Rockingham County and the Virginia State Police to have a vehicle like the BearCat, McEathron said they send it to any jurisdiction that requests the need for it.

Lt. Roger Vorous, usually the officer behind the truck's wheel, took a week-long armored truck driving course to learn how to operate it. He said the truck's run-flat tires measure 44 inches and, together with the wheels, cost $5,000 to replace.

Because the truck's windows can't be rolled down, McEathron said he experienced a unique problem while driving it back home from Lenco Industries in Massachusetts, where they purchased it.

"Going through the tolls, you had to reach out of the gunport to drop your change," he said.

McEathron said this year's youth camp, which ended Thursday, had 37 kids. The kids were all fifth, sixth or seventh graders mostly chosen through the Warren County public school system.

He said he started the camp in 2004 as an opportunity to mentor with the youth and get them more familiar with local law enforcement.

"So when they see us on the street later on, they're less apprehensive and don't have any barriers set up," he said.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com


Keep up to date on local news

Sign up here to receive Northern Virginia Daily news delivered to your email box each morning and when breaking news occurs.

Comments

Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. View our comments/submisssions policy. Report abuse by clicking the X next to the comment.













Local News Sections

Agency on Aging Agriculture Alex Bridges Apple Blossom Festival Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Breaking News Briefs Business Charities Civil War Clarke County Colleges Corrections Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Education Edward N. Bell Election 2012 Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fire & Rescue Fishers Hill Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal George Washington National Forest Guest Column Hard Times Health History Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Jeff Nations Joe Beck Josette Keelor Kim Walter Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mount Jackson New Market Page County Pets & Animals Politics Progress 2013 Quicksburg Religion Rockingham County RSW Jail Ryan Cornell School News Shenandoah County Shenandoah Farms Volunteer Fire Department Star Tannery State Stephens City Steven A. Boyce Strasburg Toms Brook Traffic & Transportation Utilities Valley 911 Warren County Weather West Virginia Winchester Woodstock Year in Review




News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Comments/Submissions Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

nvdaily.com
2013 Virginia Press Association Sweepstakes Winner
The Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!


nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com