It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that all of the classroom and hands-on courses during the TREXPO conference are about just one thing. Whether the topic is active shooters, terrorism tactics, or edged-weapon defense, the goal is always the same: to help officers win on the street. The courses at this year's TREXPO East were no exception.

Perhaps the defining class at TREXPO East 2008 was Dave Smith's "Street Survival Seminar." An abbreviated version of a presentation that Smith gives nationwide, the TREXPO "Street Survival Seminar" was both frightening and funny. Smith showed harrowing videos of officers being attacked and even killed. He also showed videos in which the outcomes were considerably less grave and even pulled out an old jewel from his hilarious "Buck Savage" videos.

One of the highlights of the TREXPO East conference was the Active Shooter Response Track. In four classes taught by some of the leading experts on the subject, attendees received instruction in how to respond to active shooters, the tactics of active shooters, and the history of active shooter incidents.

Other classroom tracks at this year's TREXPO East included: low-light operations, terrorism, and tactical medicine.

The low-light track included a four-hour class on night vision technology and applications for night vision technology by David Narkevicius. That was followed by a low-light survival class taught by Ed Santos and Clyde Caceres.

Terrorism is a frequent topic in TREXPO courses. This year's terrorism track included seminars by Q. Gillus and Steve Bronson about terror tactics used in Iraq and Afghanistan. The track ended with a fascinating discussion of the connections between gangs and known terrorist organizations by Gangs columnist Sgt. Richard Valdemar (Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, retired).

The day-long tactical medicine track included a wide variety of emergency medicine programs, including discussions of triage, tourniquets and hemostatic agents, and combat physiology.

In the hands-on classes, attendees hit the mats to work on ground defense with Dave Young, close-quarter combat techniques with the Police Combative Training Academy, and methods for countering edged-weapon assaults with Ernie Emerson and George Demetriou.