By Cass Rains Staff Writer
Enid Police Department’s SWAT Team and its members brought back a pair of honors after competing in the team’s first competition in Edmond Wednesday.
Lt. Gary Fuxa placed first in the individual sniper marksmanship event, and the team earned third place in the team hostage rescue event.
Fuxa attained a perfect score on all three targets in 3:08, having to run more than 400 yards with his equipment and rifle while negotiating obstacles. When he was within 200 yards, Fuxa scored the perfect hits on human shaped targets by hitting a circle 3 inches in diameter on each target’s face. The event ended with each officer having to fire upon targets with a duty handgun, achieving a score in the same three-inch area.
Despite three equipment malfunctions, Fuxa was able to achieve the best score in the shortest amount of time.
“It was quite a run,” Fuxa said. “There was a path cut in the woods we had to follow and then there were obstacles to negotiate: a 5-foot wall we had to climb and logs we would have to go underneath.”
Team Commander Capt. Russ Wright said he was proud of the performance his team gave in its first competition.
“It was a lot of fun and a lot of good experience,” Wright said. “The training we do really paid off.”
The EPD Special Weapons and Tactics team competed with teams from 10 other agencies at the event hosted by the Edmond Police Department.
Wright said 11 members of the 12-member team were at the station by 5:30 a.m. for the competition, which started at 8 a.m.
The all-day competition also included a sniper craft event, two gun challenge courses and a combat handgun challenge course.
The hostage rescue scenario involved snipers and entry members firing simultaneously at targets near and inside a house.
“It was very orchestrated,” Wright said. “We were given very little information about the scenario. There were pretty stiff penalties inside the shoot house.”
The SWAT team attained perfect scores on all targets in the hostage rescue, as well as rescuing one hostage, in 1:20.
The team was required to enter an unknown building, conduct a search of all the rooms, engage hostile targets and rescue a life-sized mannequin.
The SWAT entry team and sniper team’s overall scores earned them an overall ranking of sixth at the event.
“The citizens of Enid should feel very safe knowing they have police officers able to perform at this skill level,” Wright said.