LAWRENCEVILLE - The Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department's rapid response team is back to work after taking part in a three-day competition in West Virginia last week.
The 26-member team, which works to keep the county jail safe, traveled to Moundsville, W.Va., to compete Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the Office of Law Enforcement Technology Commercialization's mock prison riot.
Gwinnett's rapid response team came in second place in the national SWAT competition.
The team participated in mock situations that showcased new technology to law enforcement personnel and allowed them to use that technology in riot training scenarios.
Twenty-two teams from across the United States participated in the competition comprising mock prison riots, assembling guns and tackling obstacle courses.
"We compete over a series of three days in everything from hostage rescue and exit to target-shooting precision," said Major Carl Sims, the team's commander.
Deputy Sheriff Chase Peden came in third place in the competition's Super SWAT individual event.
Peden said his event was a combination of disassembling weapons, running, dragging a 100-pound dummy, target shooting and obstacle course drills.
"I'm happy with my place. The guys that came in first and second place were 21 years old and came in only eight and three seconds ahead of me," 39-year-old Peden said.
Peden said he hopes he has the opportunity to compete next year.
"You get to see other teams compete and see what tactics they use," Peden said. "And it really brings our team together. We love representing Gwinnett County."
Sims said this is the seventh year the Gwinnett rapid response team has participated in the mock prison event. Sims said the team came in third place last year but took first place in 2000 and 2001.