ILEETA is the well-known acronym for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association. It’s also used synonymously as the prestigious designation for their annual international training conference. Held in Wheeling (just North of Chicago), Illinois, this year’s event ran from April 15-20, with some hard-fought and well-spirited competitive events starting on the 14th. The ILEETA conference is a no-nonsense, top tier instructor-training event for serious law enforcement training professionals.
Literally, the “Who’s Who of Law Enforcement Training” are there, training new and seasoned instructors, as well as each other. Formal classes run up to twelve hours a day some days, and the informal, peer-to-peer training discussions never stop. With over 150 classes offered and 24-plus being instructor or armorer certification schools, this year’s choices were overwhelming.
From year to year, the attendance of ILEETA generally varies somewhere between 700 to 850 law enforcement instructors. Representing all 50 states and usually 7 to 10 countries, the overwhelming expertise of attendees covers all facets of law enforcement. In the unlikely event that there is not a formal class being taught on something you would like to learn. Chances are good that there’s someone in attendance that’s an expert in what you’re looking for, and they’d be happy to help you informally. The spirit of cooperation and assistance is the life-blood of the ILEETA organization.
This year’s opening ceremony featured a taped keynote address from Ed Nowicki, the founder and Executive Director Emeritus of ILEETA. Ed’s failing health kept him from appearing personally. While his body has weakened, his spirit has not. His ironclad commitment to: the ILEETA Organization, its mission to provide the best training possible, and to the men and women of law enforcement, has not faded one degree.
Ed is a dear friend and mentor to many at ILEETA, and there was more than one tear shed in that room during his heartwarming talk. On behalf of the ILEETA membership I say this. Ed, we thank you for your lifetime of service to law enforcement and the training community. We love you, and we pledge to set a solid foundation for the upcoming generation of new instructors; so they may carry on the legacy of ILEETA long after we all are gone.
Trainer Extraordinaire and ILEETA Board Member, LASO Sgt. Brian Stover passed away on March 25th of this year. He was honored and remembered during the opening ceremony, and will be sadly missed by all.
It would be hard to pick an individual “highlight moment” of the entire conference for me. However, right at the top of the list would have to be witnessing Bob “Coach” Lindsay receive the 2013 Law Officer Trainer of The Year Award. Coach has close to half a century experience as one of America’s original and premiere law enforcement trainers, and a heart of gold to back it. Congratulations Coach!
Lt. Ben Murphy of the Oak Creek, WI Police Department, gave the attendees a detailed and stirring presentation on the August 5th, 2012 attack at the Sikh Temple. Suffering 17 hits from 9mm gunfire, Lt. Murphy’s intervention in engaging the gunman likely saved many people that day. He truly is an extraordinary example of the survival mindset we wish to instill in all of our officers. Lt. Murphy, thank you for your dedication, and thank you for coming to ILEETA to share your inspirational story.
Last November I authored an article entitled, A Changing of the Guard, on LawOfficer.Com.
It announced the recent acquisition of Calibre Press and the STREET SURVIVAL Seminar by Jim Glennon (Founder of Lifeline Training). In that article, I expressed my concern that since the original Calibre Press Inc. and the STREET SURVIVAL Seminar had been sold in the 1990s to other companies.
The seminar’s production qualities (IMHO) had not been living up to the original standards set by the founders of the STREET SURVIVAL Seminar, Chuck Remsberg and Dennis Anderson. In that article I also wrote: “I’ve seen Jim’s classes and read his book. He is an outstanding individual, and I believe he will be the man to take the word ‘seminar’ to the next level.”
I attended Jim’s 4-hour ILEETA presentation entitled “Ultimate Street Survival Seminar” and can say with confidence that I was right about what I wrote last year. Jim’s presentation and production qualities are pushing forward to upgrade the STREET SURVIVAL Seminar back to its original reputation of omnipotence. To not only remain on, but to sharpen the cutting edge of law enforcement training. Lifeline Training/Calibre Press is on the right track, as the team of instructors that Jim is assembling is the best of the best. Without any doubt what so ever, STREET SURVIVAL, under Jim Glennon’s leadership, is destined to once again become the undisputed leader in law enforcement training seminars.
As usual, my only displeasure with the ILEETA conference is there are far too many extraordinary classes running simultaneously. Which is like going into an ice cream store and griping that there are too many favorite flavors available to eat them all at one time. It’s just not a valid complaint. So, I’d like to take the time to briefly discuss some of the other classes that I attended at ILEETA, at least in part, as I bounced from classroom to classroom trying to learn a little bit about everything. I’m sure I’ll probably forget someone in this article that I should mention, so let me apologize in advance to anyone I inadvertently leave out.
I also need to point out that just because I do not mention a particular instructor or class, does not reflect negatively upon them. With numerous classes always running simultaneously, I have no doubt that there are top tier classes offered that I have not attended, or even met their instructors.
Kevin “KD” Davis: Making an Impact
Kevin’s class was focused on how to not just train, but how to empower your students by instilling the traits that influential trainers possess. Kevin stresses that anyone can be a teacher, but it takes work and passion to become a true mentor. Kevin is a very sincere trainer and always seeks input from those in attendance of his classes. A well respected use of force expert, his book, Use of Force Investigations: A Manual for Law Enforcement should be required reading for all police administrators, IAD Investigators, and line officers as well. You can visit Kevin’s website at www.advancedtacticalconcepts.com
Sgt. Keith Wenzel: Developing the Ultimate Instructor
Keith’s class was an instructor development course that covered many important facets of top tier instruction. How to keep your PowerPoint slides concise and sharp in appearance, how to smoothly and effectively import and integrate multimedia, and the hyper linking of presentations were but a few of the tips this outstanding class offered.
Keith is also an instructor for Lifeline Training/ Calibre Press.
Sgt. Mark Sherwood (ret): Conquering Workplace Stress and Developing Wellness
Mark is a newcomer to teaching at ILEETA, but he brings a passion and expertise to much-needed subjects: physical fitness, emotional wellness, and nutrition. Recently retired, his physique is worthy of a Greek statue and his knowledge of fitness and nutrition is computer like. If our people will listen to his message, he will be an incredible positive role model for generations of police officers to come. His newly formed training company, 4E Fitness, has a lot to offer and I believe will help us to achieve the desired goal of the Below 100 initiative. Visit SAFETAC Training for more information.
Stephen Cliffe P.P.S. M.Sc.Ed: TAC2: Tactical Articulation Control Combatives Instructor
Steve is an unusual combination of incredible physical prowess and advanced education. To look at him, he is an intimidating figure with real world experience in neutralizing violent offenders. To hear him speak, he is a soft-spoken gentleman that explains the dynamics of interpersonal human conflict with distinct credibility, combined with academia flair. Steve’s class centers on teaching officers the unpleasant, real world skills that are vital to prevail in a real world fight for your life. Visit his website at: www.itdsystems.com.