- Campus Life
A member of the Chicopee SWAT team is recovering tonight at Baystate Medical Center in good condition. This, despite being mistakenly shot in the head.
Lucky to be alive. That's how Chicopee Chief of Police Thomas Charette described the SWAT officer shot Monday afternoon during a training exercise near Westover Air Reserve Base.
"Obviously we're in a dangerous business," explained Charette. "Everyone knows that. We train very hard, especially our special operations unit and sometimes things just go wrong."
But this particular training session shouldn't have included real ammunition.
"The exercise where this occurred was not supposed to be live fire," said Charette, even though earlier in the day, the 12 member SWAT team did have live fire training.
As former officer and police academy instructor, AIC Criminal Justice Professor David Kuzmeski confirmed, it's not uncommon for police to use ammunition to simulate real life situations.
"Everybody is extremely careful. Extremely cognizant of the danger and everything is done very systematically."
But now that system is being called into question as police look to answer why the weapon fired, a .40 caliber standard issue handgun, was loaded in the first place.