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HOBART | More than a dozen police officers filled a vacant Hobart building Monday, but there was no reason for panic.

The officers were participating in SWAT school hosted by the Northwest Regional SWAT team.

The students were learning formations and room-entry techniques and practicing shield work during the session at the former Hobart Police Department.

Earlier in the day, they spent three hours in a classroom portion of the school. Firearms training occurred Tuesday at Griffith's shooting range, said Merrillville police Sgt. Bob Morgan, Northwest Regional SWAT's deputy commander.

The school will end Friday, after students put their training to the test during multiple scenarios planned at different locations in Northwest Indiana, said Merrillville police Lt. Jeff Snemis, the SWAT team commander.

The school attracted officers from local departments, such as Lake Station, and from departments around the state.

While it provides participants with skills needed to serve on SWAT teams, the school also provides funding to the Northwest Regional SWAT team.

Last year's program generated about $10,000 for the team, Morgan said.

Funding received from the school will be used to buy equipment. It also keeps operational costs low for departments that are members of the team.

Northwest Regional SWAT includes officers from Merrillville, Crown Point, Schererville, Dyer, Griffith and Hobart. The Lowell Police Department is joining this month.

The majority of the team's calls for service are high-risk felony warrant services and barricaded gunmen.

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