BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It was a beautiful day for law enforcement to have some friendly competition.
Thirteen teams from across Louisiana and Texas competed in the 21st Annual SWAT Conference Tuesday morning. It all happened at the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office firearms training facility in Zachary. This is the Baton Rouge Police Department's first time hosting the two-day event. Day one, teams are tested on their ability to shoot firearms. The second day, teams compete in various obstacle courses. Officer Jonathan Reyes traveled from San Antonio, Texas for the competition.
"It's actually, they're thinking outside the box. So what they do is they make you work as a team and utilize your other players, so that's the most important thing and it's actually exciting actually working as a team trying to strategize to accomplish a goal of running quick," said Reyes.
These teams come together once a year to compete and have a good time, but it's not just fun and games. It's also an opportunity for them to practice skills they can apply in real life situations.
Running with tires, carrying mannequins, and shooting with speed and precision all help these officers prepare for what can really happen. The president of Louisiana's Tactical Police Officers Association says this is why the event was created.
"If we have a team that comes to us with some specific training needs, we try to address those needs. And certainly we hope the teams take back what they learned at the competitions and apply them to those real world scenarios when those same skills are important: having endurance, being able to shoot well, and being able to think quickly in high stress incidences," said Ben Raymond.
Whether it's for training or just for fun, Reyes says he's happy to be competing in the Red Stick.
"Baton Rouge Police, man they did a great job of hosting it. We're midway through and we're looking forward to the rest of the week so. It's only Tuesday, it ends on Saturday, so we got a long time, but Baton Rouge is nice and we're happy to be here," he said.