I just got back from Wheeling, Illinois (a very nice suburb of Chicago) after instructing at and attending the 2012 ILEETA (International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association) Conference last week and although I’m tired from a very busy week, my batteries are fully recharged.
In case you haven’t been paying attention, last year was not a good year for law enforcement. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page 166 officers were killed in the line of duty for 2011. This is the largest number of officers killed in the past ten years. 34 officers died in duty related traffic accidents while 67 were gunned down. While some would intimate that violent crime is down, at a time when agencies are laying off or not hiring to replace retiring officers, crime against police officers in certainly not down. How do we reverse this trend? Train like our lives depends on it because my Brothers and Sisters, they do.
Training is at the forefront of officers winning violent encounters on the street as well as controlling their patrol vehicles during pursuits and emergency response driving. So where can an officer or trainer get some of the best training available? At ILEETA, that’s where.
With everything from classroom programs, armorer certification schools, to live-fire firearms training even hands-on suspect control programs, the ILEETA Conference has much to offer the line officer, supervisor or trainer.
This year I attended a vast array of programs: Dave Spaulding’s “Enhancing the Combative Pistol”; Distance Learning Applications for LE by Guy Rossi; John Bostain from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (LE Trainer of the year by the way) gave an excellent presentation on “When the Smoke Clears: Preparing Officers for the Aftermath of a Shooting”; “Coach” Bob Lindsey retired from the New Orleans PD presented “Always the Warrior at Every Age” which dealt with the aging trainer – what to expect and how to continue to make a contribution; Lisa Wimberger gave an excellent presentation on “Emotional Warrior Training: Combating Stress” which gave us as students two very effective ways to reduce our stress. Lisa led us through a guided imagery exercise which was very effective; “Advancing Firearms Training on a Limited Budget” was a program presented by first time ILEETA instructor Robert Hauger a Ranger from the Arkansas State Park. Robert showed how he has manufactured moving targets systems and wireless robot style targets from available low cost materials (wish I had a tinkerer like Robert in my agency); Chief Jeff Chudwin from Olympia Fields (IL) Police Department presented “Police Use of Force / Training – Preparation” which combined the tactical and legal applications of force for police (as only Jeff can based on his background as an attorney and a tactical team leader); Chuck Humes, a sergeant with the Toledo Police Department and owner/instructor for A.P.P.L.E. P.I.T.T. LLC, gave a multi-media presentation on “Critical Combative Concepts: Why Martial Arts Based DT Systems Continue to Fail Us” which was outstanding; Richard Fairburn of the Illinois State Police presented and informative program “Ambush: Preparing Your Officers for the #1 Killer.” Richard’s research and thoughts on ambushes against LE were enlightening and informative. Fairburn makes a strong case for not continuing to send victims into the kill zone of the ambusher; Don Alwes from the National Tactical Officers Association presented “Swarming, Flash Mobs & the OODA Loop”.
Courses are either one hour and 45 minutes in length (which are scheduled twice in the week) or four hour programs. There are eight hour training blocks but these are usually certification courses. The sad thing about the ILEETA Conference is that because there are so many good programs offered (over 150 in the week) you usually miss out on attending something based on scheduling conflicts.