Edmond SWAT team members dueled their Norman counterparts in an annual statewide competition.
Last week, tactical teams from Edmond, Norman, Oklahoma City, Broken Arrow, Bartlesville and Stillwater competed in six events. The annual gathering of tactical teams gives them a chance to network and compete in a series of events that test tactical skill sets, communication and leadership abilities.
Police Capt. Tim Barnthouse, commander of the Edmond Police Deparatment’s SWAT team, said city officers enjoyed the team-building experience and the friendly competition against peers from across the state.
“As the commander of the team, I’m very proud of our performance and the way we represented our agency and the City of Edmond,” Barnthouse said.
Edmond tied for first place with Norman, which was overall champion due to its winning the obstacle course tiebreaker by a 6-second margin. Here’s how Edmond officers fared in the events:
• Hostage rescue: The event was designed to test a team’s ability to utilize team work, communication and leadership while executing physically demanding tactical movement. Represented by Sgt. Jeff Richardson, Sgt. Acey Hopper, Lt. CJ. Wise, Sgt. Chad Langley, Sgt. Michael Chesley and Officer Randy Payne, Edmond took second place.
• Sniper: The course integrated physical stamina with engaging long-range targets at varying distances within a time limit. Detective Jason Stearns won the event and fellow Edmond SWAT Team member Officer Neil Martin placed second.
• Carbine rifle skills course: In this exercise the competitor fired from multiple shooting locations while engaging targets up to 100 yards from multiple positions. Stearns won the event. Detective Jason Kushmaul, Sgt. Damon Minter, Martin and Richardson also represented Edmond.
• Pistol skills course: The course was designed to demonstrate the officer’s ability to hit multiple targets with both speed and accuracy. Detective Mark Oak, Stearns, Martin, Langley and Sgt. Rex DeMoss represented Edmond, which finished second in the event.
• Three-gun course: During the exercise, the operator moved from multiple shooting locations using different shooting positions and three separate weapon systems. Shooters used a patrol rifle, a shotgun and his/her sidearm. There were a total of 30 competitors in this event. Stearns won the event and fellow Edmond SWAT Team member Martin placed third. Richardson, Oak and Officer Bryan Weathers also represented Edmond in the event.
• Team obstacle course: The course integrated physical agility, strength and stamina while also placing emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving within the team environment. Represented by Oak, Weathers, Officer Joshua Pratt, Officer J.L. Collar, Officer Ben Daves and Officer Todd Strader, Edmond took second place.
The overall champion hosts the event the following year. This year’s competition was hosted by the Tulsa Police Department. Edmond has been overall champion multiple times. Norman started the competition in 2005.
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