It’s easy to think of TREXPO as primarily a trade show. After all, some of the most interesting news to come out of each TREXPO usually involves some intriguing weapon or training aid. But the training and instruction that officers receive during the conference program at TREXPO can pay real dividends in the field. TREXPO West 2006 at the Los Angeles Convention Center was no exception.

There are generally two types of classes at TREXPO, hands-on and straight classroom lecture. At this year’s TREXPO West, however, the line sometimes blurred, as instructors in combative classes included some lecture in their programs.

Hands-on combative programs at TREXPO West included:

  • “Close-Quarter Defensive Tactics,” taught by Louis Marquez and Hans Marrero of Police Combative Training Academy
  • “Dynamic Defense Tactics,” taught by Officer George Ryan of the Los Angeles Police Department
  • “Tactical Edged Weapons Defense,” taught by Phil Messina and Elizabeth Kennedy of Modern Warrior, and
  • “Defensive Tactics for Law Enforcement,” taught by Darren Levine, U.S. chief instructor of the Krav Maga Force Training Division.

Traditional lecture classes at TREXPO West included:

  • “Combat Shooting Methods for Real World Encounters,” taught by Lou Chiodo, founder of Gunfighters Ltd.
  • “Homeland Security and Local Solutions to Dealing with Terrorism and WMD,” taught by Chris Schneider of the Anaheim Police Department
  • “A Building Entry and Search Techniques Primer,” taught by Lt. R.K. Miller of the Huntington Beach Police Department
  • “SWAT Sniper Tactics: Techniques and Technology,” taught by Mike Tkac and Jeff Felts of Center Mass Training Institute
  • “End of Pursuit Tactics: Policy and Training,” taught by Sgt. Frank Mika and Officer Andrew Hwang of the Los Angeles Police Department
  • “Selection and Training of the Law Enforcement Sniper,” taught by Capt. James Stalnaker of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department
  • “Preparation, Training, and Survival for High-Risk Environments,” taught by J.M. Peterson of the International Association for Counterterrorism and Security Professionals, and
  • “Taser Policy, Training, and Tactics,” taught by Capt. Greg Meyer of the LAPD Academy

One of the best-received programs at TREXPO West was taught by retired LAPD SWAT officer Ron McCarthy of R.M. McCarthy & Associates. During his four-hour class titled “The Killing of SWAT Officers and SWAT Teams,” McCarthy shared his experience as assistant commander of LAPD SWAT and as a SWAT trainer and tactical consultant.

McCarthy urged SWAT teams to not practice routine and predictable tactics. For example, he said that many tactical teams get in the habit of always making an entry through the front door of buildings and houses when they should consider entering through secondary doors and even through windows.

His key message to the class was to avoid complacency. “SWAT teams, sports teams, and businesses are most vulnerable when they come to believe that they can’t be beat,” McCarthy said.