Concord PD has the best sniper in the west — and its SWAT team is better than almost all others in the Bay Area and beyond, according to the results of this year's "Best in the West" competition.
Seven members of the Concord Police Department's SWAT team took part in the 16th annual west coast "Best in the West" competition last week. Concord placed fifth overall, beating 24 other teams including all sheriff's offices in Northern California as well as larger police departments like San Francisco.
Concord police have competed in the competition, hosted by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, since 2004. In 2008, Concord came in first place. There was no competition last year due to budget constraints.
"Best in the West" challenged 29 SWAT teams this year with seven events, including a jungle trail course — in which Concord placed third, sniper course, physical challenge stage, hostage rescue course, assault course, combined weapons course and vehicle assault course. All events are live-fire, using real ammunition.
"While the competition is intense, Best in the West is a multi-jurisdictional learning experience which develops positive relationships among SWAT teams and serves as a workshop to share techniques, equipment, and improve performance," according to the Santa Clara Sheriff's Office.
Concord police have fielded a SWAT team for the past 30 years, consisting of a part-time, all volunteer corps. Each Officer has a primary full-time job assignment, such as investigations or patrol, in addition to a commitment on SWAT.
"This year, the 2012 CPD, Best in the West SWAT team members represented our team, police department and city in exceptional fashion," said the Concord Police Department in a statement. "Our sincere thanks and appreciation go out to the team members who competed, and to those that supported their efforts."