LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Lake Charles Police Department's Special Response Team was recently named the best SWAT team in the state of Louisiana at the Louisiana Tactical Police Officers Association competition.
The team won first place in the overall category. They also won first place in the pistol, rifle and sniper competition.
7 News sat down with four of the team members on Sunday.
Cpls. Larry Moss, Dwayne Petroski, George Miller and Kevin O'Rourke all competed in the competition, which is held annually. This year's competition was hosted by the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office.
The Special Response Team's constant training prepared them for the physical part of the competition. However, team members said the mental aspect was just as difficult.
"The hardest part of the challenge was going into an obstacle not knowing what the end was," said Miller.
As part of the competition, the team had to complete tasks, including log-carrying, combat shooting and running. The team also had to complete an intense obstacle course.
"Probably the hardest part for me was having the ear plugs in," said O'Rourke. "When you have them in, you can hear yourself breathing more; you can hear your heart beat; you can hear your footsteps and mentally that was pretty challenging."
"The only prep time, the only explanation we got lasted as long as it took the guy to read it off a piece of paper," said Petroski. "If you weren't paying attention, you didn't get all [the instructions]."
While being named the best in the state is a great feeling, each of the members said the best part of their job comes from helping others.
The team has come a long way. In 2010, the Lake Charles SWAT team finished in the middle of the pack. This year, thanks to their training and teamwork, they came out on top.