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Bloomington Police Department Team Takes Top Prize in the 2006 5.11 Challenge Winning $100,000 in Products and an African Hunting Safari

Pete Dahl and Jared Taylor, representing Bloomington Police Department in Minnesota, claimed first place in the 2006 5.11 Challenge after entering the finals with the highest preliminary competition score. They will take home not only $100,000 in prizes for their department, but also an all expenses paid African Hunting Safari. Also advancing to the finals were this year’s second place team, Monty McMillen and Ray Whitson of Fort Smith Police Department in Arkansas and third place team Sharif Chochol and Tommy Cooksey from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia.

The top three scoring teams of this summer’s preliminary competition, along with their families, were flown back out to the 5.11 Challenge lodge in Montana to compete in the finals, August 25-27. Dan Costa of 5.11 Tactical explains, “The 5.11 Challenge was designed to bring officers from all over the country together to show that people do care about the men and women who risk their lives every day providing each of us with a safe and secure place in which we live.”

Unlike other competitions, the officers and their families found themselves talking, joking, and having a great time during the event. Even during the shooting stages you could see that the officers had bonded with each other. The officers are treated with such respect that each of them feels as if they are winners from the very beginning. Jared Taylor said, “I can’t believe how well we have been treated here. This is the first time in my career I was made to feel I was part of something more than a number in a car. This has been one of the best experiences of my life.”

Some new twists were set up on the range to test the officers in the final competition. On the first pistol stage officers found that instead of using a standard two-handed grip for the entire stage, they had to shoot with two hands, weak hand from behind a barricade and strong hand from behind a barricade. On the second pistol stage, officers found themselves shooting in a low light tunnel where they had to use Streamlight TLR-2 rail lights on their GLOCK 19 pistols. Five of the six stages included a time component creating additional stress. A premium was put on accuracy as well because points were given not only for each target hit, but also for each round returned.

Along with the changes in the course of fire and time component, each team had to endure the pressure of two High Definition TV cameras, a sound crew and TV interviews from the Outdoor Channel throughout the day. The finals will air later this year on The Outdoor Channel’s show titled, “The Shooting Gallery.” Ray Whitson and Monty McMillen of the Fort Smith, Arkansas team explained, “It was definitely a challenge, very practical shooting geared towards a police environment.”

About the 5.11 Challenge:
The 5.11 Challenge was established as a give back to law enforcement officers and their departments. Police officers are randomly selected from a list of officers who have signed up for a chance to participate in the competition and compete on behalf of their department. The officer selected must choose a partner to compete in the two-man competition held on the Bighorn River in eastern Montana. Each team is treated to a four day, all expense paid trip of a lifetime which not only includes the shooting competition, but also a float fishing trip with professional fishing guides, a guided tour of the Custer’s Last Stand Battlefield, a set of gear provided by the sponsors valued at $1,500, and gourmet food served at the 5-star fishing lodge. Any sworn officer can sign up for the chance to compete at or

Sponsors of the 5.11 Challenge Include:
5.11 Tactical Series
First Choice Armor
Bianchi International
Blackwater USA
Eye Safety Systems
Ford Motor Company
Remington Law Enforcement Division
Underwater Kenitics
The Outdoor Channel
NRA Law Enforcement Division
The Trade Bank
American Cop Magazine
Law and Order Magazine
Tactical Response Magazine
Law Officer Magazine
Police and Security News
Police Magazine
S.W.A.T. Magazine
The Police Marksman Magazine



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