LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

When it comes to having the right stuff, the San Antonio Police Department's SWAT team is fit both mentally and physically, even when dealing with the toughest situations.

When KENS 5's Natalie Tejeda joined them in training, she learned preparation and physical agility are the keys to success.

Everything we do on SWAT is very team-oriented, said Trey Turner, a SWAT operator. We try to put you through various obstacles, but everybody has to work together as a team.

Turner is one of the instructors for the San Antonio SWAT team. He used to train new recruits at the police academy, but now he trains current and auditioning SWAT team members.

We like to put ourselves through what's called 'stress inoculation,' he said. We like to train under a high level of stress so when we're actually in a very stressful event, it's just like a regular training day to us.

Out of the nearly 2,000 members of the SAPD, only about 30 make it onto the elite SWAT team squad. All are held to rigorous physical and mental standards and are given extensive background checks.

It's critical that there's a tight-knit, cohesive unit where everybody's sticking together, working well together as a team, Turner said.

The SWAT team ran Natalie Tejeda through their obstacle course. Her five-person team consisted of officers Richard Morgan, Carlos Chavez, David Larios and James Ybarra.

Her first challenge was to crawl under a cargo net, get a combination to a lock, run across the field and release her team, all of whom were locked inside an armored truck.

Then as a group, they worked together to push a 25,000-pound truck 50 feet.

After that, they raced back and forth across a field, jumping a series of pipes, bars, chain-link fences and wooden fences, going through tubes, dragging a 100-pound dummy to simulate a man down, running up and down stairs, until they reached their destination and fired upon the targets as a team.

After that, the rest of the team carried Natalie to safety after she had been shot to complete the simulation.

We try to re-create incidents and scenarios that will put us under the most mental and physical stress we possibly could be under without killing ourselves so that when we are actually in a live event, it becomes just kind of par for the course, Turner said.

That's exactly what happened almost two years ago. On Nov. 11, 2010, Turner and several other SWAT officers went to serve a warrant on William Carroll. As the team entered Carroll's house, he opened fire on the squad, hitting four of them. Turner described it as total chaos.

We had to drag our own buddies out of the house while the man was still shooting through the walls and we couldn't tell where it was coming from but we still had to rescue our teammates, he said.

Carroll later surrendered and said he didn't know he was firing at the police.

Turner and the rest of the group are now prepared for such situations by staying in top physical shape and running drills multiple times a week. They're equipped both physically and mentally to respond to any challenge criminals may throw their way.

Read or Share this story: http://www.kens5.com/story/news/local/2014/06/25/10314726/