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Gwinnett County Racks Up Second Win at Georgia SWAT Competition

June 25, 2007  | 

Securing a win for the second straight year, Gwinnett, Ga., police took the top prize, and retained the trophy, at the three-event Georgia Police and Fire Games' SWAT competition.

Teams vying to grasp the trophy from Gwinnett's hands included Hall County, Paulding County, Cherokee County, and Roswell.

The Gainesville Times reports that the event, held at the Hall Sheriff's Allen Creek training facility last week, concluded Saturday with a motorcycle rodeo and daylong softball tournament.

Sgt. Bobby Walker, a commander for the Gwinnett County Police Department's SWAT team who reportedly paced the pavement urging his teammates to "hustle" as they charged from one shooting range to the next, says participants take the games very seriously.

"It would be a lie to say we don't care who wins or loses," says Walker. "We take pride in everything. We want to be the best."

And the games were a showcase for the best of the best as all participating departments shone as winners.

Hall County took first place in the Downed Officer event by nailing two targets in a "Hogan's Alley" shooting range with the minimum two shots. The Downed Officer competition required more than traditional marksmanship skills—in two of the three events officers had to haul a fellow SWAT member or a 170-pound dummy to safety.

"It's a lot faster paced" than training, says Hall County Sgt. Brian Pearson, whose team was awarded the bronze. "It's like weightlifter training for a track meet."

As the medals were awarded Friday, the officers praised their fellow rivals with high accolades, acknowledging that one day a competing team's officer may be the individual covering their backs.

"There's a lot of interagency rivalry, but it's a friendly rivalry," says Cherokee County Sheriff's Lt. Joe Satterfield. "They compete against each other today, but they may be going through a door together tonight."

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