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Glendale SWAT team ranks third in Best of the West

September 19, 2013
  • Members of the Glendale Police Departments Special Weapons and Tactics team pose in front of the Jungle Trail at the 2013 Santa Clara County Sheriffs Best of the West invitational SWAT competition.
Members of the Glendale Police Departments Special Weapons… (Courtesy of the…)

Members of the Glendale Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics team ranked third overall in an invitational competition that pitted highly-trained officers against each other in challenging scenarios.

Glendale police had not previously participated in the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Best of the West SWAT competition, but took honors in many of the event’s categories.

“When you are in it, you really don’t know what to expect,” Glendale Police Sgt. Toby Darby said.

The seven officers who took part came in behind the Pasadena Police Department’s SWAT team members, who they train closely with.

But SWAT members of Las Vegas Metro Police Department won top honors out of the 27 teams that represented law enforcement agencies from around the West.

Glendale’s team took second in the Top Gun category, which required officers to run and shoot with different guns, and in the Team Assault course, which puts teams of officers in a high-threat scenario.

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Officers Jose Barajas and Chris Weise earned first place in the two-man combat category, which required them to run through an obstacle course, identify suspects from hostages and deal with marksmanship challenges.

“You have to have that synergy— that trust,” Darby said.

The event’s physical and strenuous Jungle Trail was most challenging, Darby said, noting it tested the Glendale officers’ ability to work as a team in various scenarios, including scaling an 8-foot wall, hauling a 180-pound dummy, crawling low in mud and tunnels and hitting sniper targets.

Glendale came in fifth for the trail course.

-- Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Follow on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.

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