NEW CANAAN, Conn. — The New Canaan Police Department’s Special Response Team is in West Hartford finishing up the annual Connecticut SWAT Challenge.
The three-day competition, which has grown into one of the largest of its kind in the country since it began in 2005, has various events for teams that will put their training to the test with various scenarios and a team obstacle course, the challenge’s website said. There also are supply vendors at the event allowing teams to check out the latest merchandise.
“We come back and we’re better for it and the town is safer because of it,” said Sgt. Jason Ferraro, the New Canaan team leader.
While it is a competition and teams and members are given awards for excelling in the events, Ferraro says for the New Canaan team its more for building chemistry with each other and learning from the other teams. He added that where the teams set up is like a “tent city” and the officers are encouraged to meet others and discuss strategies and techniques.
“It’s not about who wins, it’s about what you get out of it,” he said, adding that at the end of the obstacle course on the final day all of the teams are hugging each other.
The local team decided to get involved in 2008 after talking with other tactical teams in the area and figured it was good for “real-world,” training, Ferraro said. The nine-member team trains together for about eight hours a month in various settings, including abandoned homes that are set to be demolished, he said.
Ferraro thanked the town officials and residents in New Canaan for consistently supporting the team with participating in the challenge and other endeavors it takes part in. “It’s a pretty cool thing to see,” he said.
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