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Local

Officer chosen to evaluate SWAT competition

Cop one of 72 selected from across country

DIXON – A Dixon Police officer was one of 72 evaluators chosen from across the country to evaluate SWAT teams during a national competition in California.

Chosen for his expertise in nuclear protection and special weapons tactics, Officer John Simonton was contacted by Urban Shield, an elite training group, to fly to the West Coast at the end of October to evaluate one of 36 SWAT exercises used to test teams from across the country.

Before joining the Dixon Police force in March 2011, Simonton worked with the Illinois State Police to develop policies and procedures for the state of Illinois Weapons of Mass Destruction Team.

For Dixon Police, Simonton’s work has been in the patrol division; he also leads training for the department’s SWAT team.

“It is an honor to have one of our police officers selected for such a prestigious assignment,” Dixon Police Chief Danny Langloss said. “Since joining our department, Officer Simonton has taken our SWAT training to a whole new level.

“I spoke with John when he returned, and he has many new training ideas for our team.”

During the competition, Simonton evaluated a nuclear exercise, which, with Dixon being near the Byron nuclear plant, Langloss sees as an added benefit.

“I was very excited,” Langloss said.

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