TRACY — There's an old saying: "If it ain't raining, you ain't training."

The Tracy Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics team was definitely training at the city-owned weapons range Thursday.

Under the guidance of retired Los Angeles Police Department SWAT veteran Bob Gallegos, the 13-member Tracy team ran through scenarios they hope never to see.

Firing live ammunition, they worked on sweeping and clearing rooms for potential bad guys, moving and shooting with handguns and automatic rifles, and mobile assaults.

Gallegos, who served for 23 years on the Los Angeles SWAT team — the last 16 as leader — has spent the past 18 years teaching SWAT tactics.

The training, which also involved a lot of classroom discussion, was scheduled to conclude today.

"The goal here is to do it as safely as possible with proven tactics," Gallegos said. "A lot of our tactics and techniques were adapted from the military and converted to the law enforcement community because we work on a different scale and in different arenas." Gallegos now spends much of his time traveling the country and teaching SWAT forces through his consulting firm, Tactical Mission Consulting, LLC.

Three scheduled days of training were expected to serve as a nudge in the right direction for the Tracy officers, Detective Sgt. Ivan Pineo said.

"We've been working with (Gallegos) on and off for the past several years," said Pineo, who oversees training for the Tracy SWAT team.


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"Our team mirrors the LAPD SWAT operating philosophy. When he comes up, he massages us back into the tactical groove we need to be in."

Pineo said the team is summoned between six and 12 times a year, on average, mostly for serving high-risk warrants.

The Tracy SWAT team was established in February 1991, and its members are selected from within the department's Patrol and Investigations divisions.

Each member is required to pass a quarterly physical fitness exam that tests strength and endurance and includes a 26-minute, three-mile run.

In 1999, the team was crowned state champions after attending the California SWAT Competitions in Bakersfield and competing against 24 other

agencies.

Mike Martinez can be reached at 209-832-3947 or at mike.martinez@bayareanewsgroup.com.