SWAT teams from Connecticut and beyond compete this week

Hartford

(WTNH) — Thirty SWAT teams from across the country are putting their skills to the test in Simsbury this week.

The Connecticut SWAT Challenge started as a statewide competition 15 years ago; now it’s grown to a national event where teams aren’t just competing, they’re training.

“It’s a competition but we like to call it a training event where we keep score,” said Lt. Chris Chappell, deputy director of the Connecticut SWAT Challenge. “Everything we do out here is in full uniform and full kit and we always want to make sure we have some type of real world lesson learned in all of our events.” 

The teams take part in different shooting exercises and obstacle courses that prepare them for difficult situations.

“This is important training because it replicates what could happen in a real scenario,” said Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Heim of 344th Military Police Company, “so this is stuff that, on the worst day, we may have to face and the more we practice it, the better it’ll be when it actually comes down to it.”

It’s about more than the training; these teams come together to learn from each other.

“This year we have 30 teams, all training and working together, and seeing how they do it on the west coast, on the east coast and everywhere in between,” said Chappell, “and hopefully we can learn from each other and make our communities safer.”

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