In a couple of weeks, 750 law enforcement trainers will be heading to the Chicago suburb of Wheeling, Ill., for the annual ILEETA Training Conference and Expo. As a police trainer, you should consider attending this event or a future ILEETA conference.

ILEETA—the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association—was formed for the purpose of bringing together trainers and educators from across the criminal justice landscape. There are more than 3,000 members currently active in ILEETA, including many of the world’s leading trainers.

Not just anyone can belong to ILEETA. There are no student members or associate members, and you can’t buy your way in as a “friend” of law enforcement. You have to actually be a trainer or educator of criminal justice professionals. Members include active duty law enforcement officers assigned to the training function, professors, and other educators from the criminal justice academic arena, military law enforcement training professionals, retired law enforcement officers that continue to train in the criminal justice field, and other police, corrections, and security trainers.

Every membership application is carefully vetted by the ILEETA staff, and many applicants are turned down as ineligible. That’s not to say that ILEETA is elitist, just that members have to meet certain criteria. That way ILEETA assures the legitimacy and security of its membership.

Each year, ILEETA members gather in the greater Chicago area for a weeklong conference. The program this year is typical of the annual ILEETA event. It features more than 110 separate classes, and more than 25 instructor and armorer certification courses.

Many of the most universally accepted vendors of law enforcement showcase training products in the ILEETA Expo, giving attendees the opportunity to view the most recent products and to talk with representatives of the companies.

Along with the educational program, ILEETA also hosts or sponsors several special events. While the conference is perhaps best known as the venue for the World Cop Donut Eating Championship, other events include the Flatfoot Five Fun Run/Walk, the ILEETA Cup shooting competition, the International Police Driving Competition, the International Iron Cop Competition, and a special “Meet the Authors” event.

ILEETA works closely with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), and the money raised during these special events is split equally between the NLEOMF and the ILEETA Scholarship Fund, which is used to fund scholarships that enable some members to attend the conference.

While you must be an ILEETA member to attend the conference, the special events are open to any sworn officer. Additionally, any officer with identification can attend the vendor expo at no charge.

On Thursday evening, April 3, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., ILEETA Advisory Board Member Lt. Col. Dave Grossman will present “The Bulletproof Mind,” which is open to any law enforcement officer with proper identification. On Saturday afternoon, April 5, at 1:15 p.m., nationally renowned speaker and legal expert, attorney Randy Means will present Best Practices in Law Enforcement Training, also open to any law enforcement officer, their spouses, or significant others. Both of these events can be attended at no charge.

The 2008 ILEETA Conference and Expo will be held April 1–5, 2008, at the Westin Chicago North Shore Hotel, in Wheeling, Illinois. For a schedule, a list of courses and presenters, and other information, go to


Steve Ashley
Steve Ashley

Law Enforcement Trainer

Steve Ashley served 15 years as a sworn law enforcement officer and has 22 years of experience in police training.

View Bio

Steve Ashley served 15 years as a sworn law enforcement officer and has 22 years of experience in police training.

View Bio