Unlike many police trade shows, the Law Enforcement Tactical Response Show & Conference (TREXPO) gives officers an opportunity to go hands on with weapons at the range event and with defensive tactics in the seminar program.

TREXPO West 2003, held March 11-14 in Long Beach, Calif., featured a broad slate of classroom and hands-on seminars. Some of the most popular were the defensive tactics programs. On Tuesday, martial artists Hans Marrero and Louis Marquez taught police officers a variety of skills for disarming assailants, taking on larger opponents, and other close-quarter combat skills. Marrero is the chief instructor for Taser International and the former chief instructor for the Marine Corps' hand-to-hand combat programs. Marquez is a retired Austin (Texas) Police Department detective and SWAT officer.

In addition to the Close Quarter Combat program, other defensive tactics seminars included "Close-Quarter Application of the Startle/Flinch Reflex" led by Tony Blauer, president of Blauer Tactical Confrontation Management Systems; and "Brutally Effective Assault Survival" by Richard Machowicz of the Bukido Institute. The Bukido program is not so much about defensive tactics as it is a way of thinking. Machowicz spent much of the two-hour seminar teaching the students to recognize threats and see targets that can be destroyed to neutralize those threats.

Classroom seminars were also well attended. There were at least three programs that focused on officer concerns about weapons of mass destruction. One concentrated on what kinds of devices can be used to disperse WMD agents, another on protective gear, and a third on general WMD knowledge for first responders.

Also reflecting the times, four of the classroom sessions involved terrorist interdiction. Instructors from HSS International led courses in ship interdiction and how to assault a train; retired Los Angeles Police Department SWAT commander and National Tactical Officer Association (NTOA) director at large Ron McCarthy presented a session on how local officers can respond to and prevent terrorist attacks; and LAPD detective and bomb tech Ralph Morten taught a 4-hour session on suicide bombers that was restricted to law enforcement personnel.

But, of course, TREXPO started as a police tactical show and, even with war and terrorism dominating the public agenda, it remains so. The overwhelming majority of the seminars were not designed to specifically address terrorism. Tactical police sessions included programs covering the selection of police snipers, K-9 units in SWAT operations, active shooter response tactics, executive security, explosive breaching, use of diversionary devices, tactical EMS programs, high-risk warrant service, and gang interdiction.

The next TREXPO show and conference is planned for Aug. 18-21 in Chantilly, Va.

POLICE magazine and TREXPO would like to thank the sponsors of TREXPO West-Textron Systems, NTOA, Royal Robbins (5.11 Tactical Series garments),  RBR Armor, and Crown Gym Mats-for helping make the show an unqualified success. We'd also like to extend our appreciation to the show's hosts: Gene Frice, retired special agent of the California Department of Justice; Robert J. O'Brien, retired Cleveland (Ohio) Police Department SWAT sergeant; Joe Paskvan, retired Cleveland PD sergeant, and Capt. James Stalnaker of the San Bernardino County (Calif.) Sheriff's Department.