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Brian Willis

Brian Willis

Brian Willis is a retired officer, trainer and author who now serves as deputy executive director for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA).

Doug  Wyllie

Doug Wyllie

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

William Harvey

William Harvey

William "Bill" Harvey is currently serving as chief of police in south central Pennsylvania. He retired from the Savannah (Ga.) Police Department where he worked assignments in training, patrol, and CID. Harvey has more than 25 years of experience working with recruits, rookies, and FTOs.

ILEETA 2012: Shattering The Box

Law enforcement trainers emphasized officer safety and improved tactics at this year's conference.

April 23, 2012  |  by William Harvey - Also by this author

More than 740 of the best police trainers gathered last week for the annual training conference of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) in Wheeling, Ill., for a week that was packed with training, lectures and interactive classes.

This year's conference brought representatives from Canada, Australia, Norway, and the United Kingdom. More than 150 vendors brought great new items to the ILEETA Expo for end users. I've attended every ILEETA conference since its inception and this one was the best for several notable reasons.

This year, there seemed to be many more first- or second-time attendees who brought a passion to learn from the best. Many were new trainers recently assigned as instructors, and they were seeking every opportunity to learn, share, and work out with the best. More and more are attending on on their own dime. Despite the tight economy, this was the best attended conference yet.

I had several occasions to introduce first timers to an author or renowned trainer whom they had read about. It's important to have a connection to your writers, trainers and industry leaders. Here the networking was great and new friendships were forged.

Here are some of my picks for the best seminars from the conference:

In "Terrorist Methodologies and Interdiction Tactics," Kevin Gors of Seal-Mar covered foreign and domestic actors and their operational loops. He laid out the actor's goals, operational doctrines, and counter-surveillance tactics. Historical and recent attacks were analyzed and Gors brought a newfound understanding to interdiction and prevention strategies. The class gave participants a better knowledge base for understanding global threats.

The conference offered certification courses in firearms, physical skills, defensive tactics (DT), and crime prevention such as the National Rifle Association's "Refuse to Be A Victim" course. Many trainers had opportunities to train with organizations that were far removed from their homes. A great example from the hills of Calgary, Alberta was the "Inside Position Combative" certification course by Tom Gillis. This physical and interactive course forced DT students to fight while in a subject's inside position. Striking and grappling drills with his techniques offered these weary students new alternatives to age-old problems of subject control.

There were leadership and management training tracks, including my own "Managing the Training Function." This course was designed for the newly assigned training unit commander or senior instructor in charge of training. A Job descriptions are rarely written for the training unit, and leadership training to direct this specialized unit can be even rarer. Far too often, agencies lump the training unit into other assigned duties. You may recognize that catch-all sentence from the last paragraph of the job description.

What was old was new is new again. With the growing numbers of outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs) and a public infatuation with them, there was a tactics course offered to explain their culture. Detective John Holiday of the DeKalb County (Ill.) Sheriff's Office gave students an in-depth view at OMGs in "Combating Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs: Tactics and Strategies to Win." Det. Holiday gave proven strategies to keep law enforcement officers safe when contacting and investigating these motorcycle clubs and their enterprises.

The resounding undercurrent throughout the entire conference was to keep officers safe, improve tactics, and keep communities safe. There is an epidemic of diminishing numbers of cops. Be it through layoffs or budgetary cutbacks, the good guys seem to be playing catch up with the ever increasing criminality and other such enterprises.

In his class, Tony Blauer said he believed this is creating "opportunity gaps" between crime and cops. Because of these prevailing times, he challenged instructors to "not think outside the box, I need guys that do not believe that a box exists." Statements like this drove the learning deeper and made students work harder to learn during the sessions.

I'd encourage you to attend the 2013 ILEETA training conference. Leave your ego at the house, and show up willing to learn, work, and sweat. We as instructors will make it safer and more efficient for our officers and deputies. See you next year.

Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Althea Olson @ 4/24/2012 4:14 AM

Excellent article & an excellent conference. One of the highlights for me was Lamar Blakely.

C Doc @ 4/24/2012 5:39 PM

The quality of the presentations were outstanding. The live-fire courses we really great. This is a conference not to miss!

Richard Neil @ 4/24/2012 7:15 PM

It is refreshing to see so many trainers who are passionate about their craft come together in such a setting. And for a profession that is not always known for sharing well with others, the instructors that attend ILEETA's Conference are quick to share their ideas and materials with others who share the same mission. To prepare worthy guardians for society. ILEETA instills the mindset that we can accomplish far more as a group of passionate trainers that work together, than we can as an individual who focuses on themself. Thank you for the hard work and commitment of the ILEETA Board, Staff, and the wonderful volunteers we met. I can't wait until next year!

DaveSAM25G @ 4/25/2012 1:24 AM

Very well said and I think back to all the great trainer's the foundation builders, wisdom keepers, so many it's hard to put them all in an blog so won't try...but when it comes to ILEETA one would be Remiss if he or she did not mention the charter and foundation to build from "Ed Nowicki"...His response to one of my emails a few years back is still saved in that special place like Supervisory Survival, Total Survival and then sayings come to mind Think I will take with into the next adventure as this is how I feel about ILEETA and all the great trainers who make it happen each year thank you!

Mr. Nowicki (Ed) this is for you Warrior: Winning Mindset" (We Learn, what we live-Brian McKenna). "Honoring our Warriors" - "The blood our warriors shed, and have left upon the ground over the years of time, is the foundation upon which we stand, we walk, we build our homes and we raise our children. Never forget them, never take them for granted." "Red Thunder" -David Matheson.

God Bless Stay Safe!
Dave M.

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