First-Ever Melbourne Police Female SWAT Team Member Jay Hazelett Shines at Tactical Games
By Jordan Rocco, Space Coast Daily // July 17, 2021
MERRITT ISLAND HIGH GRADUATE IS A 21-YEAR VETERAN OF THE MELBOURNE POLICE DEPARTMENT
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Jay Hazelett has been a part of the Melbourne Police Department for over two decades, and in order to protect the residents of Melbourne, she puts herself through rigorous training.
Born in Tampa, Hazelett and her family found their way to Merritt Island when she was 15 years old. Hazelett attended Merritt Island High School and was a part of the Mustang basketball team.
Even at such a young age, Hazelett knew she wanted to be in law enforcement to investigate crimes.
“I always felt being a part of law enforcement was an honorable profession,” said Hazelett.
Hazelett graduated from Merritt Island High School in 1996 and then attended Brevard Community College, now Eastern Florida State College, and then graduated from BCC in 1998 with an Associate’s Degree. In 2014 she graduated from Saint Leo University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.
After obtaining an Associate’s Degree Hazelett knew it was time to get her career in law enforcement started and graduated from the Police Academy at Brevard Community College in 2000, and was hired by the Melbourne Police Department on July 5, 2000.
Hazelett started off as a police officer for several years and was also on the Melbourne Police Department Dive Team for 15 years.
She then fulfilled her dream career of being able to investigate crimes as a detective for the Melbourne Police Department in 2010.
In June of 2019, Hazelett became the first-ever, and the only female, to be a part of the Melbourne Police Department’s SWAT team.
“While I was competing with the team at a SWAT round-up competition, which is a training event for SWAT teams from all over the world where real-life scenarios are simulated in competitions, my friends were talking about an event named ‘The Tactical Games,’ ” said Hazelett.
This caught the interest of Hazelett and she began to look into it more. The Tactical Games is designed to test tactical athletes throughout the continuum of combat-related tasks, while under time constraints, and under physical duress.
“There are people that don’t come back the next day,” said Hazelett when asked about how gruesome the competition can be.
Hazelett competed in her first Tactical Games Event in September of 2020.
“The first competition crushed my soul due to it being so challenging,” she said.
Although it was very challenging for Hazelett, she didn’t want to give up and this sparked a sense of motivation for her.
Hazelett has competed in a total of five competitions thus far and has finished in second place three times, and third place once.
She has earned two trophies in New Hampshire for third place and North Carolina for second place. The Tactical Games will only give out trophies if there are enough competitors to warrant it. and Hazelett hopes more women will compete.
“This is a newer sport and we are constantly trying to recruit the women competitors,” said Hazelett.
She has her eyes set on competing in the Elite division in the near future and her biggest goal right now is to finish in first place during the September 25-26 event at the Government Training Institute, formerly a Nuclear Facility.
Hazelett knows in order to accomplish her goal she must work hard to achieve it. Her training includes 1-2 workouts a day and training at the gun range a couple of times a week, which includes dry fire drills.
Hazelett has a fitness coach at Beach Bodies in Indialantic to help her eat clean and train hard. She does a lot of her workouts at Palm Bay Cross Fit.
Her grueling training also includes a lot of bag workouts where she runs with a 75-pound sandbag.
“I do these competitions to support my skills as a SWAT operator,” said Hazelett. “I want to be the best I can be for my team and the community I support.”
Along with being a part of the Melbourne Police SWAT team and a detective, Hazelett is a firearms instructor. She fits all of this into her schedule while having a wife, two kids and two dogs.
To stay up to date on Hazelett’s journey with competing in the Tactical Games, follow her on Instagram @huntress343.