Binghamton Metro SWAT shovels sidewalks for those in need - WBNG.com: Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Binghamton Metro SWAT shovels sidewalks for those in need

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(WBNG) -- Members of the Binghamton Metro SWAT team were seen jumping out of their vehicles during Wednesday's snow storm, but not with shields and helmets. They were armed with shovels.

"People see the SWAT trucks driving up and the guys coming out with S.W.A.T. gear on and they're waiting for you to go storming into a house, instead they saw you coming out with shovels and begin shoveling, and it stopped some people in their tracks," said Captain Larry Hendrickson, Commander of the Metro SWAT Team.

The SWAT team was in winter weather training when it was called to help those in need.

"The chief gave us a call and thought it might be good to do some shoveling of snow for elderly and disabled people throughout the area," said Hendrickson.

So the SWAT team dropped what they were doing and sprung into action, even though it's not the typical high-risk situation that the SWAT team diffuses.

"You go into a high-risk situation and you make it safer for everybody involved," said Hendrickson. "In this particular case, elderly people can sometimes have health concerns, they can have heart attacks from shoveling the snow, it's just another way to make people safe."

Binghamton Metro SWAT sent Facebook into a frenzy when the Binghamton Police Department posted pictures of the team shoveling snow for those in need, as seen below, with the post having almost 900 likes and 425 shares as of Thursday afternoon.

This all got started with the SWAT team patrolling the streets looking for anybody who looked like they were struggling with the shoveling.

"Quite often those people were giving references, so to speak, for other neighbors, they were saying that so-and-so down the street or across the street was an elderly person and could use it," Hendrickson said.

Now Metro SWAT works with the Broome County Office for the Aging to serve the community with their shovels.

"With the SWAT team, we're all about physical fitness, so we were able to get some physical fitness training in by shoveling the snow, as well, so it was a win-win for everybody," said Hendrickson.

The Metro SWAT team is made up of officers from Binghamton, Vestal, and Johnson City police departments, responding to high-risk calls in those jurisdictions.

The SWAT team loves getting involved to show that they're a visible part of the community and they have some more community service events in the works for the near future.

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