A new Fort Worth nonprofit, organized by Fort Worth Police S.W.A.T. officers to supplement training after their funding request was halved in the city’s 2013 budget, is holding its first fundraiser March 23 at a gun range north of Fort Worth.
The price won’t be cheap: at least $3,500 to field a four-member team, but there’s the bragging rights. Teams will go up against each other, using Fort Worth police-provided .40-caliber Glock pistols, Remington shotguns, and M4 Carbine rifles in a contest judged by time and accuracy. Each team gets a coach from the city’s 26-member S.W.A..T. team. S.W.A.T., however, isn’t fielding its own team.
"The officers came up with the idea," said Lt. Michael Shedd, the S.W.A.T. adviser to the nonprofit, Fort Worth S.W.A.T., which recently secured its 501(c)3 status. "These guys routinely pay for their own training, and the schools are not typically cheap."
S.W.A.T. officers routinely practice exercises such as high-risk warrant service, and those don’t require outside schools, Shedd said. But S.W.A.T. officers do have to go outside for training in areas such as close-quarter combat, he said.
"It’s not uncommon for an officer to spend $1,000 a year or more in their own personal training," Shedd said.
Enter the idea for the nonprofit, which includes former Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief and wife Rosie Moncrief (inset photo) on its advisory committee.
The fundraiser’s entry levels:
- $10,000 sponsorship of one of the pistol, shotgun, and rifle stations. Two of the three sponsorships have been sold, said Megan Norrell, of Jan Simus Events in Fort Worth, one of the organizers. Fee includes four team members, branding on the station, shots from a .50-caliber rifle, lunch tickets, and merchandise.
- $5,000. Four shooters, shots from the .50-caliber, lunch tickets, and merchandise.
- $3,500. Four shooters, lunch tickets, merchandise, but no shots from the .50-caliber.
There will be 25 teams, and Norrell said 15 slots are left. Teams will likely be firing from 25 yards for pistols, 15 yards for shotguns, and 50 yards for the rifles, Shedd said.
Deadline to register is March 15. To enter: www.fortworthswat.org.
Shedd said the nonprofit obtained city approval to use police weapons, and officers are donating their time. All other expenses, including ammunition, are coming from the event’s net, which he estimated at a potential $100,000.
That would outstrip the team’s training needs, and the nonprofit has already started to discuss other charities it could donate money to, Shedd said.
"We’d like to give back to those charities that the Police Department already has relationships with," he said.
The Moncriefs are fielding a team, but it’s not clear yet who’ll be on it, Norrell said.
- Scott Nishimura, Star-Telegram Fort Worth City Hall reporter