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CNY SWAT officer competes on national TV show ‘The Elite Tactical Unit’

Madison County Sheriff’s Deputy Lance Zaleski may be one of the best SWAT officers in the country – so much so that he’ll be competing on the national television show Elite Tactical Unit.
Madison County (WSYR-TV) -- Madison County Sheriff’s Deputy Lance Zaleski may be one of the best SWAT officers in the country – so much so that he’ll be competing on the national television show Elite Tactical Unit.

SWAT officers are often the first to bust down the door in a dangerous situation.

“I think a lot of people don’t understand what we do, how hard we train and how hard it is,” Zaleski said.

Now, what SWAT officers do is at the center of an adrenaline-fueled reality show -- The Elite Tactical Unit on the Outdoor Channel. On the show, SWAT officers, along with other first responders such as firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical teams from across the country put their training to the test.

“It’s not about me, it’s about everybody who puts the uniform on every day and goes out there on the streets,” Zaleski continued. “New York State, especially Central New York, has some great SWAT guys, we have great cops and I hope it brings a positive light to them here because they deserve it.”

Each week, the contestants compete in a reality-based mission from a gunman in a restaurant to a meth lab bust, to dealing with drug lords. At the end of each show someone goes home.

The show started with 14 competitors and is now down to eight. Zaleski is still in the game. He says it’s a testament to the top-notch training our New York police officers have.

“Someone else's life depends on what you do and what you don't do. We make decisions in split seconds that can affect our lives forever and someone else's lives forever,” Zaleski said.

The winner takes home $100,000 for himself and his agency. Zaleski is keeping his lips sealed on whether he prevails, but says he did secure one award.

Again, The Elite Tactical Unit airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on the Outdoor Channel.

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