LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Probation officers from 13 counties across the state of Texas were in Lufkin Tuesday for the 16th annual community supervision and corrections department state shooting competition.
Forty-nine officers put their skills to the test in a challenge that tested their skills and accuracy.
"We have people from all over the state," said Angelina County CSCD supervisor Dustin Fore. "We have people as far as Nueces County, which is Corpus Christi, Eastland County, Burnett, and Kerr County, Bell County which are all in the Hill Country, and Nacogdoches County here locally."
Across the state, there are 122 probation departments with just over 30 of them allowing officers to be armed according to Fore. Fore said It comes down to individual counties determining if their officers carry a firearm.
The shootout helping officers involve their accuracy and response time.
"The more we do this, the more repetition we have, the better our skills become each time," said Yvonne Luna with the Nueces County CSCD.
This was the 16th annual shootout. Each year, the competition travels. On the first day, officers are given classroom training, and the second day is to show off their skills. Every year, the officers are ready to take down the winners from the year before.
"One year, it is Kerr County, one year it's Nacogdoches County," said Ty McCarty with the Nacogdoches County CSCD. "One year it is Bell County. It spreads all over, but yeah, we pick on each other about it."
Officers in the competition said the skills they learn out here on the range are more important than any trophy.
"We are dealing with convicted felons on a regular basis," McCarty said. "You have to be ready because more times than not as officers, you are behind the curve. Once you see the threat is there normally, they have theirs in their hand. You are out there looking for that person, they know you are looking for them, and they don't want to go back to jail."
The winners for this year's shootout were:
1st - Nacogdoches County Team A
2nd - Kerr County
3rd - Burnett County
*Angelina County finished in 6th place
1st - Kenny Bode (Kerr County)
2nd - Michael Harmon (Nacogdoches County)
3rd -David Havis (Kerr County)
*Caleb Bunn (Angelina County) placed 7th