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Votes

Police Station Gets New Commander

A game plan that facilitates all the resources and manpower at the West Springfield District Station begins with Capt. Jack Hurlock's SWAT team training.

"[SWAT team training] allows you to concentrate on teamwork, officers' safety," said Hurlock, who is the new West Springfield District Station commander. "It facilitates problem solving."

Hurlock started with the Fairfax County Police Department in 1979 and qualified for the tactical team, commonly known as the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), in 1981. A SWAT team officer requires training, skills and physical condition beyond what is required of the average officer on the force.

"You can go in and speak on any high-risk incident," said Hurlock, of his 10-years experience on the SWAT team. "You get the credibility."

Second Lt. Jim Kellam worked with Hurlock at various times on the SWAT team. At the scene of a tactical operation, Kellam said, it is the team's job to make sure operations are legally correct, tactically sound and ethically proper. These are skills that Kellam said should carry over into station procedure.

"I've never been to a SWAT operation that didn't begin on the street level," Kellam said. "You get a sense of team. You really have to have a passion for the mission."

HURLOCK took over at West Springfield, replacing Capt. Dorian Portee, on April 3. In one month, Hurlock came up with a few plans to address major concerns in Springfield, including traffic, gangs and school concerns. In particular, Hurlock makes it a point to attend Supervisor Sharon Bulova's (D-Braddock) gang task force meetings.

"Education is a big component," he said. "The meetings are a big way to promote education."

Hurlock attended a weekend symposium on Friday, May 21, and Saturday, May 22, put on by the Department of Justice, addressing gangs. The meeting stressed S.A.R.A., or Scan, Analysis, Response and Assessment. At the meeting, they layed out how to use the S.A.R.A. method to address community issues.

Regarding traffic enforcement, Hurlock has created a task force of his own, consisting of four officers who will address various groups around Springfield, such as civic organizations, students, schools and homeowners associations. From June to September, the four officers, Dave Parker, Mike Thomas, Jim Vesper and Bob Blakely, will be dedicated to patrolling the high-traffic areas of the West Springfield District.

"All these officers are known throughout the department for traffic enforcement," Hurlock said. "When the school year starts, that will be very instrumental in school zones and school-bus passing."

A directed patrol approach is another plan Hurlock has for focusing officers on high-incidence areas. There is a time he calls overlap time when the officers’ schedules overlap, so additional officers will be available to concentrate on specific areas instead of general patroling methods.

"You really have better results if you direct efforts," Hurlock said.

Hurlock wants to work with the school resource officers (SROs) in the coming weeks to address the prom and graduation season, as well. He wants the SROs to be out in the evenings and weekends because the SROs know individual students. The SROs themselves came up with this idea, Hurlock said.

During the course of his career, Hurlock worked at the West Springfield District Station in 1993 and was promoted to captain of the Special Operations Division of the police force in 2000. Special operations involves the bomb, dive, canine, marine patrol and SWAT divisions.