New SWAT Team

By: Jennifer Ryan
By: Jennifer Ryan

It's an eight man operation that's undergone the most extreme training in the classroom and most recently, in real life.

This guy can run the farthest, swim the farthest. Meet Wakulla County's best of the best in uniform, at least that's what these guys believe.

At the office they're dressed to impress, but in the field they're a well armored machine, one that's earned the title: Wakulla County SWAT Team.

Just days ago they tackled their toughest mission as a group, a barricade situation in Apalachicola.

LT Ronald Mitchell, SWAT Team leader, says, “We had to use everything we learned, never fired a shot and were able to retrieve the bad guy without firing a shot.”

It's a job well done if you ask Sheriff David Harvey.

“We never thought about body armor 10-15 years ago, or a barricaded suspect,” he says.

Twenty eight years ago when Sheriff Harvey first took office he started with a meager 13 deputies. Today, there are 150 men and women wearing badges, a K-9 team, a drug task force, and now a SWAT team.

Dale Wise, SWAT Team commander, says, “Used to be we'd kick in the door and took care of the situation. Now you can't do that; the public expects better from us.”

As the times change, so must these keepers of peace. The Wakulla County SWAT Team went through rigorous training for a year. Commander Wise says he'd like to have 12 members on his team so he will hold try-outs in July.


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