Every TREXPO show is a little bit different. TREXPO East 2006, held Aug. 22-24 in Chantilly, Va., may have been the most exciting TREXPO show in recent memory.

The show aisles were crowded as officers saw a variety of innovative new products for both SWAT and patrol operations. The conference rooms were sometimes standing-room only as attendees learned about defense techniques, tactical aspects of SWAT operations, and counter- and anti-terror tactics. And the keynote presentations by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Col. Danny McKnight were electrifying.

Eschewing PowerPoint slides, Grossman talked without notes and with very few visual aids, preaching his warrior code with all the energy and passion of a tent evangelist. Grossman told the officers that they had to be the shield in the war on terror, even off duty. The audience cheered when he told them that golf is not a fitting hobby for a cop. “Real men go to the shooting range,” he said.

McKnight’s presentation is considerably more low key than Grossman’s, but just as powerful. The Black Hawk Down hero talked about how good leaders are willing to make hard decisions that are correct and stick to them, regardless of how they will be perceived. McKnight knows the dangers of indecisiveness; he says that indecision and a lack of leadership led to the Mogadishu disaster in 1993.

After the keynotes, attendees spent a lot of time on the exhibit floor getting a good look at some of the newest police products. Especially popular were the vehicles, which included a hovercraft.

Police Magazine hosted a reception on Wednesday night that featured a raffle for two handguns: a Taurus 24/7 donated by Taurus and a Springfield Arms XD donated by Quantico Arms. The raffle raised $1,200 for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. In addition, author Bruce Siddle (a TREXPO speaker) donated the proceeds from the sale of autographed copies of his book, “Sharpening the Warrior’s Edge,” to the Fund.

TREXPO East ended on Thursday with a well-attended range night at the nearby Blue Ridge Arsenal. The highlight of the night was a demonstration of Arctic Fire’s Thermo Wear fireproof clothing that featured a human torch. The stuntman, Kid Richmond, donned a suit of Thermo Wear. He was then painted with white gas and diesel fuel and set alight. He escaped unharmed.

TREXPO West 2007 will be held March 19-22, 2007, at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California.

For conference photos and more information, visit www.TREXPO.com.