By Randy Furst
A Minneapolis police SWAT officer has won $10,000 for himself and $100,000 of equipment for the Minneapolis Police Department's SWAT unit, beating 13 other SWAT officers in a televised competion on the Outdoor Channel cable television network.
Officer Tony Caspers, a 24-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, was declared the winner on Wednesday night of a reality television series called ETU, which stands for Elite Tactical Unit. The episodes will re-air on the Outdoor Channel next month.
Caspers, 45, of Blaine, and the other officers from around the United States battled drug kingpins and returned pretend gunfire in a series of make-believe scenarios that included raiding houses and rescuing hostages. The officers used laser guns rather than live ammunition. The episodes were filmed in Arkansas, Missouri and New Hampshire.
Caspers was a last minute replacement in the competition. In the Wednesday final, he competed against a SWAT officer from Dallas. Mitch Petrie, an assistant producer, said he hosted a large party on Wednesday night in New Hope at a firearm training facility, Sealed Mindset, where Casper’s friends, family and other officers, and sponsors watched the show.
Photo: Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau (center) receiving mock check on Wednesday for $100,000 from Marc Kidd, Outdoor Channel President of Media Sales (left). Officer Tony Caspers is on the right.