By: Chase Moffitt, WOWT Channel 6
TEKAMAH, Ne. (WOWT) – Law enforcement officers gathered at the 88 Tactical training ground in Tekamah Saturday morning to put their skills to the test and honor a fallen officer.
Omaha Police Officer Eric White said, “I think it’s a good way to memorialize our fallen officers with our warrior skills. And this is going to be a unique event because it has marksmanship and movement, some fitness, but it also has some medical stations and some rescue.”
While law enforcement crews sharpened their tactical skills, this was also a fundraising tool. Each two-person team paid a $50 entry fee. The money raised goes to the family of Kerrie Orozco, the Omaha police officer who was killed in the line of duty a year ago.
White said, “Anytime you can help an officer’s family, financially, that’s great. But to join other officers and put your warrior skills to the test, I think, is the ultimate tribute to someone. Kerrie was in the Gang Unit and she was working with the Fugitive Unit after the most wanted, so it’s a fitting tribute.”
The exercise will not only sharpened existing skills, but was also designed to raise the bar on the moving target of medical care.
Deputy Tony Ramaeker said, “The medical aspect of this is derived from the experience we’ve had in combat over the last 10 years. There’s been tremendous advances in technique and application as well as equipment and we’re incorporating that into our shoot today.”
Each unit worked their way working their way through the course that should take about three-and-a-half minutes. One of the stops, an extreme close range scenario, shooing around a car.
“We were assigned a color and we had to find, there were multiple colors out there, we had to engage one, two, three, four, five, six, but we had to stay on our half of the car, so if I don’t have number two I have to yell find two,” said Officer White. “Same thing if you don’t have three, I’ve got three.”
Then, in the heat of the moment, Officer White and his partner nearly skipped a stage. “We ran past a stage where you had to hit balloons. My partner had to save me on that, he cleaned up the balloons nicely.”
The officers and sheriff’s deputies say teamwork and communication moving through stage after stage is vital.
One of the skills put to the test was precision shooting using golf balls shot off of a tee.
Sarpy County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Jacob Betsworth remembers Officer Orozco in two special ways. “Just got back from D.C., I was out there for the memorial to honor her sacrifice. So to be here a week later is really, just kind of sets the tone. It’s an honor to be out here, lot of fun with the guys, camaraderie.”
“It’s personal to these guys,” said supporter Joey Dyer. “Number one, Kerrie was a friend, she was a law enforcement, you know, brothers and sisters in blue.”
Donated prizes were awarded to first, second and third place finishers.