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Reporting on ILEETA 2013

To say I look forward to attending the international conference of ILEETA – International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association each year is an understatement.  Having attended the conference for about nine years and presented for around seven, it is my opportunity to get reenergized and motivated to continue in my training mission.  It’s a great place to learn from the absolute best in the LE training field.

If there’s a problem with ILEETA is that oftentimes so many good courses are being put on at one time you’re torn about which to attend.  With over 150 courses taught during the week, it was tough to make a decision between this course and that one but I was never let down on the choices I was forced to make.

Day One

Brian Hill is a personal friend and federal law enforcement officer from Colorado.  Over the years Brian has refined his programs and was spot on with his Essential Presentation Skills Every Trainer Must Have.

Training for the Winning Mind was up next with Dave Smith doing his usual awesome presentation on aspects of training officers to win on the street.  I’ve attended numerous courses over the years with Herr Smith and he is always thought provoking and one of the best advocates of an educated trainer.

Mark Fallon is a friend and former Navy NCIS investigator who has spent time interrogating the worst of the terrorists who have targeted our soldiers, sailors and Marines.  Mark is now on his own with ClubFed LLC.  Mark is a former administrator of programs at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center at Glynco, GA and brought a firm foundation in adult learning and learning technologies to his Are They Learning? program.  It is one thing to teach a program but we must properly design and evaluate or all is for naught.

Training Across Generations was next with Roy Bethge and Tim Janowick as instructors.  From the Baby Boomers of my generation through Generation X and now to the Millennials, instructors have been forced to understand the learning styles and technologies of each generation to effectively train them.

Day Two

Opening ceremonies began the day with a heartfelt audiotaped speech by ILEETA founder Ed Nowicki.  Ed’s health prevented him from attending and we all wish Ed the best and pray for better health.

Chuck Humes does not do a “presentation” as he points out, he does productions.  And let me tell you, I’ve seen the time that Chuck devotes to his programs and the visual impact of each slide and it is impressive.  Chuck’s Critical Combative Concepts was about the mind and body connection when training survival skills.  From videos to lecture to powerful slides, Chuck’s program is designed to make an impact and does just that.

Richard Fairburn made a strong case for the need and training of leaders in law enforcement with his We Must Train Leaders!  Fairburn makes a strong case for pressure testing police leadership in role playing and while using model cities in the classroom.  Developing front-line supervisors who can handle the pressure and successfully lead street officers in active shooter situations and the like are what Fairburn stressed during his program.

Day Three 

I presented my Making an Impact on Wednesday morning.  The focus of my program is that it is not enough to just go through the motions when training police officers.  We must focus on the three M’s – Message, Method and Messenger to reach out with programs that resonate with our officers and are taught correctly using the proper adult learning methods by a motivated instructor.  Time and money has been unfortunately cut in LE training the last few years it is imperative we make an impact with the training we do.

Eric Dickenson is a police lieutenant and certified EMT in his jurisdiction with the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombings fresh on my mind; I attended his Street Officer Medical Tactics: Real World Lessons.  Eric talked about the typical medical emergencies that street officers might encounter, the equipment and training that should take place in law enforcement today.  Although I carry a CAT – combat applications tourniquet on duty Eric talked about other issues pertinent to street officer’s combat first-aid.

Day Four

Jeff Chudwin and Ed Mohn presented MACTAC – Multiple Assault Counter Terrorist Action Capabilities program developed by the LAPD and designed to deal with multiple attack scenarios ala Mumbai.  From equipment to response strategies MACTAC provides LE with a more combative program than just a response to active shooter as is not just for schools or mall type scenarios but also for outdoor scenarios.  MACTAC promotes the four F’s – Find them, Fix them, Flank them and Finish them.

A four hour block headed by Tim Janowick and Roy Bethge rounded out my Thursday with their Got it Right? Agency use of force training and review.  This was particularly pertinent to me and was well presented with everything covered from policy through training, investigation and reporting on police use of force.

Day Five

Deadly Force Panel of Experts: this panel was chaired on Friday morning by Mas Ayoob and included Brian McKenna, Dr. Alexis Artwohl, Jeff Chudwin, Chuck Soltys, Vicki Farnam, Bert DuVernay, Ron Borsch, Dr. Fabrice Czarnecki and myself.  The panel covered some interesting topics this year with areas such as mentally ill subjects and police gun control issues.  This led to the dangers involved with confiscating guns from subjects who have been adjudicated mentally incompetent; Violence in schools, the active killer and the issue of armed school personnel; Emergency first-aid for the street officer (and range officer); Defending officers accused of excessive force in police shootings; The lack of ammunition for training which led to alternative training methodologies such as sims, airsoft, paintball and the newer S.I.R.T. – Shot, Indicating, Resetting, Trigger – Pistol; Use of force issues including investigations, policy and much more.

After teaching a second program on Friday afternoon with Saturday reserved for travel, my course attendance was complete.  After a very nice dinner compliments of ATK, Taser and Sabre and a social hour complete with band that was a wrap.

ILEETA Conference is the One 

There is so much positive energy and training going on at the ILEETA Conference, the value of the tuition cost is tremendous.  The formal courses are one thing, the side conversations and opportunities for training in the hallways and during breaks are unimaginable.  I was saddened that my schedule prevented me from attending so many other positive programs but it only makes me more committed to attending next year.

As police trainers we face uphill battles on almost every front be it budgetary, lack of ammo, time, manpower issues, lack of facilities, and more.  We have the opportunity to train the best and brightest of our society, our Brothers and Sisters in Blue.  With this opportunity comes great responsibility.  Responsibility to make an impact with our training to educate and train to the best of our ability and ILEETA can help us make that happen.  If you’re not a member, join now!  If you’ve never attended an ILEETA Conference, save your pennies and be there next year.  Whether street officer, trainer, supervisor or police administrator, the ILEETA Conference offers multiple opportunities to learn and then pass it on…

* As a side note – Congratulations to Coach Bob Lindsey for being honored as ILEETA Trainer of the Year!  Well deserved, Coach!

International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association