I attended and participated in POLICE-TREXPO West in late March in Long Beach, Calif. I've never been disappointed in TREXPO, and this time was no exception.
From the spectacular Long Beach Convention Center venue to the professional TREXPO staff and course instructors, and especially all the LE professionals who attended the conference and expo—all combined to make this one of the best TREXPOs ever.
For those not familiar with TREXPO, it's four days of a unique combination of LE courses (many of them tactical), product expo, and a range event. It's one-stop shopping for SWAT. Many of the courses are California-P.O.S.T. certified, with Tac Med courses qualifying for CEUs also.
The host agency (Long Beach PD) went above and beyond to help make everyone's time at TREXPO West and Long Beach as enjoyable, smooth, and safe as possible.
Day One: I decided to attend the Tactical Medicine track—eight fact-filled classes taught by experienced, practicing SWAT doctors from the International School of Tactical Medicine.
Topics included "Performance Nutrition for the SWAT Operator" and "Understanding Human Combat Physiology." Each class was crammed full of life-saving/improving information relevant to SWAT, medics, and any tactically oriented LEOs.
Day Two: I was privileged to participate in the panel discussion, "Ambushes: Mitigating the Threat." Ambushes of police are becoming more frequent nationwide. Panel participants included Dean Scoville (LASD, retired), Tim Hunter (Sacramento PD, retired), Don Alwes (NTOA trainer), and Ron McCarthy (LAPD SWAT, retired).
Each panel member added his unique insight and perspective on the growing ambush threat, along with recommended methods and tactics to defeat police ambushes.
Those who have attended any of Ron McCarthy's classes will readily understand how "lively," honest, and informative his considerable contributions to the panel discussion were. Something Ron said resounded with the authority of his vast SWAT/LE experience. During the 1960s and '70s, police had been targeted for ambushes by militants and radicals. We won, and we will win again through awareness and understanding of the problem, and solid, proven officer survival training and tactics.
Day Three: Keynote speaker Dr. Bill Lewinski of the Force Science Research Institute presented "New Force Science Findings into the Human Dynamics of Deadly Force and Other High Stress Encounters."
Dr. Lewinski's groundbreaking, ongoing research scientifically explains and proves many of the theories with regard to the dynamics of deadly force confrontations. This scientific insight is already changing the way law enforcement trains and investigates deadly force encounters.