Lodi SWAT Team en­ters char­ity fit­ness chal­lenge in San Le­an­dro

Lodi News-Sentinel - - Page Two - By John Bays

Ev­ery year, the San Le­an­dro Po­lice De­part­ment holds its SWAT Team Fit­ness Chal­lenge to ben­e­fit the Ge­orge Mark Chil­dren’s House, which pro­vides care for ter­mi­nally ill chil­dren and those with chronic med­i­cal con­di­tions.

On Thurs­day, mem­bers of the Lodi Po­lice De­part­ment’s SWAT Team com­peted in the event for the sixth year in a row, ac­cord­ing to Sgt. Kevin Kent, who com­peted along with Cpl. Car­los Fuentes, Det. Elias Am­briz and Det. Mark Wer­don.

The day kicked off with a Tac­ti­cal Med­i­cal Emer­gency Ser­vices (TEMS) race, not a part of the main chal­lenge, in which of­fi­cers were timed as they ap­plied tourni­quets to an in­jured arm and leg and were graded for speed and pro­fi­ciency.

Next came a CrossFitin­spired event in honor of Sgt. Daniel Sakai and Sgt. Ervin Ro­mans of the Oakland Po­lice De­part­ment’s SWAT Team, both of whom were killed in the line of duty on March 21, 2009. Each team of four of­fi­cers had to com­plete 200 burpees, 200 sit-ups with a 20pound medicine ball and 200 jumps onto a trac­tor tire be­fore two of­fi­cers flipped the tire for 25 feet to a 12-foot Aframe off of which each team bounced a medicine ball 100 times, be­fore two dif­fer­ent of­fi­cers flipped the tire an ad­di­tional 25 feet back to the start­ing line. This was a fa­vorite of Fuentes, who wel­comes any op­por­tu­nity for ex­er­cise.

“I’m not gonna lie, I’m a run­ner, I en­joy the phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity,” said Fuentes

Fol­low­ing this, each team car­ried a large plas­tic tube and a 50-pound slinky filled with gravel and rocks for 120 feet with­out drop­ping ei­ther item, be­fore plac­ing the tube on the ground where they car­ried the slinky through it with­out let­ting the slinky touch ei­ther the ground or the in­side of the tube. This went on for 10 min­utes.

The next event was a 6-mile run, with each of­fi­cer car­ry­ing three large jugs for the first mile. The jugs were not par­tic­u­larly heavy, ac­cord­ing to Fuentes, but their large size made them awk­ward to carry both while run­ning and dur­ing the sub­se­quent 800-yard swim to a dock while wear­ing life jack­ets, even with han­dles on the jugs.

The of­fi­cers then ran three miles to the shoot­ing range, with­out jugs this time, where Kent feels right at home.

“The range was prob­a­bly my fa­vorite part of the day, it’s what I did the best in. The runs were just long,” said Kent.

Each of the four Lodi of­fi­cers fired 20 rounds from their Glock 35 hand­guns from 15 yards in two min­utes, be­fore sprint­ing back to the 25-yard line where they each fired an ad­di­tional 10 rounds in two min­utes. The chal­lenge ended with a 2.5-mile run to the fin­ish line.

The Lodi SWAT Team placed 11th over­all, out of 30 teams, and took fourth place in the shoot­ing por­tion. Their en­try do­na­tions con­sisted of $250 from the Po­lice Of­fi­cer’s As­so­ci­a­tion of Lodi and an­other $250 from the Lodi City Mid-Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, for a to­tal of $500.

“It was great to see the ca­ma­raderie among all the of­fi­cers. Even though we were from dif­fer­ent de­part­ments, and it got pretty com­pet­i­tive, we all still rooted for one an­other,” said Fuentes.

COUR­TESY PHO­TO­GRAPH

Above and be­low: Mem­bers of the Lodi Po­lice De­part­ment’s SWAT Team par­tic­i­pated in the SWAT Team Fit­ness Chal­lenge on Thurs­day in San Le­an­dro.

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