POSTED- NOVEMBER 1, 2007 6:30 PM CDT
JONESBORO - A Jonesboro SWAT team sniper has never had to pull a trigger to take a life. And to keep their skills razor sharp they must train constantly for this demanding job.
"Sniper School" is in session and Iwas on hand for the first day of class.
The weapon for most snipers is a Remington model 700, 308 round, variable 3 1/2 to 10 power scope, a heavy rifle weighing in around 9 pounds.
The officers attending this school bring with them various levels of experience according to one of the instructors Jonesboro Police Lieutenant Mark Mosler. "These guys have some shooting experience, for a couple of them it's their first school for others they've had schools other than this."
Being an extremely accurate shot is very important but in a tactical situation the sniper serves another purpose.
Mosler "For our team the role is primarily as observers and being out front to gather intelligence on a specific location where we some kind of scenario ongoing ."
Today's objective was to be as accurate as possible while moving around a hundred rounds downrange to targets a hundred yards away. At this range the shooters are looking at head shots and small circles about the size of a fifty cent piece. Later on they'll be moving to moving metal targets which will fall down when a round hits them.
A snipers job can involve long hours of patient waiting and it is not for everybody, so who makes the best kind of person for this job?
Mosler, "Someone who is patient, I guess very detailed orientated, who is committed to the job, committed to the task because its very tedious, a lot of times, mundane work."