Counter-terrorism task force training also helps in search and rescue

FALSE RIVER, LA (WAFB) - Seven law enforcement agencies with boats on False River all with one goal in mind -- stop terrorism before it starts.

"All of us as individuals can not accomplish the mission. It's a co-operative endeavor; it takes all parties working together. The sheriffs and all branches of law enforcement to cooperate and protect our interest," said Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff Bud Torres.

The counter-terrorism task force is called JTS Seven. Torres says while the group hasn't encountered a terrorist attack they have used their training in other ways.

"Search and rescue, vessel recovery, and the security group for the recent super bowl in New Orleans and also for another festival, and contraband days in Lake Charles" said Torres.

One technique deputies worked on today is pursuing a fleeing boat. They steered their boat as close as possible to ours to the point it almost touches. It's called a quick tactical peak and allows agents on board to look for suspects, weapons, or drugs.

"We also would come up alongside and come close aboard in the event we get on board to take custody of a suspect or the vessel," said instructor Brad Williams with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

But, it's not all about high speed chases they're also learning security tactics on how to maintain ports and infrastructures up and down the river. This includes the many plants that line the Mississippi River.

"We are a target and we are in a situation that we need to be prepared to protect our infrastructure," said Torres.

With practice sessions like this, this group will be ready for anything.

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