SWAT Teams Take Aim On Sniper Competition In Tulsa

Monday, June 21st 2010, 5:27 pm
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6 

TULSA, OK -- SWAT teams from around the world are taking aim in Tulsa for the U.S. National Swat and Sniper Championship.

The competition is being held this week at the U.S. Shooting Academy. The goal is to put these sharpshooters into life like scenarios to test their skills.

It's a test of weapon proficiency fitness and teamwork.

"This is the sniper component. I think it takes a cool head. You certainly have to have marksmanship skills," said Dr. Jack O'Connor, Executive Director of the National SWAT Championships. "But I think a cool head is the main thing. You have to relax. You have to put your first bullet on the target."

One of the first target tests is the LaRue Mine Disposal. Up to the task, the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.

"Starting from the very beginning, getting the ladder and getting over, getting my heart rate up, set my ladder in," said Tim Wilkens, Tulsa County Sheriff's Office. "I just didn't take time to get my heart rate down and stay on target."

Tulsa's Police Department is making its debut SWAT championship appearance.

"Our strategy is to slow down a little bit and try to make our hits as opposed to doing the running fast and not being able to catch your breath and having misses so, we're almost too old for this," said Perry Lewis, Tulsa Police Department.

The week-long competition will feature a field of 40 sniper teams and 26 tactical teams from around the globe including Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and all over the U.S.

"When the police dial 911, the SWAT officers show up. When you are in your own jurisdiction, you are just playing against yourself," O'Conner said. "Well now when they come to Tulsa, we have all the other teams from across the country that can make it, and we're playing against the other good teams. And it's a good measure of how our training is going."

Dr. O'Connor says the main prize is prestige. He also says the winning law enforcement team will win a trip to Europe next year to compete win what he calls the Olympics of SWAT, the Counter Terror Competition.

Only two teams pers country are invited to this event.

6/18/2010 Related Story: Tulsa Police To Compete In SWAT Championships Next Week