July 12, 2012 at 8:32 a.m.
The members of the Chisago County SWAT Team competed against more than 30 other agencies in the Can-Am Police-Fire Games in St. Cloud, and came home with a second place Silver Medal in overall team honors. Nine members from Chisago County police, Lakes Region EMS and the sheriff’s department made up this Special Weapons and Tactical Team. They arrived in St. Cloud June 24 for the one week showcase of law enforcement and fire service personnel, that has been testing field skills for 35 years. Chisago County SWAT beat out large teams from major metro areas like Minneapolis and St. Paul. There were 55 events to compete in. Chisago SWAT “Bunker Team” of Matt Beckman and Jay Helin took fourth place. In second place for individual shooter was Matt Beckman. In second in the scramble event for a team were Beckman, Cliff Sheppeck, Trent Strandberg and Justin Wood. Adam Donahue with Lakes Region EMS won a sixth place in sniper long rifle competition. In the fitness challenge, Deputy Josh Olds and Matt Paavola, Wyoming Police, won fifth place. Chisago County Jail Administrator Brandon Thyen also competed in the half-triathlon and won first place in his age bracket. Hostage Rescue team members Beckman, Helin, Strandberg, and Wood, with sniper Donahue, won first place in their category. The combined finishes in events, put the SWAT Team just six points behind gold medalists St. Cloud Police; and more than 200 points ahead of the third place finishers from Otter Tail County. The Can-Am Competition was held at the St. Cloud correctional range.
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