Law Officer magazine presented Travis Yates, a captain with the Tulsa (Okla.) Police Department, with the second annual Law Officer Trainer of the Year award. Editor Dale Stockton presented Yates with the award during the opening ceremonies of the 2008 ILEETA International Training Conference and Expo last month. Hundreds of officers from around the country rose to their feet and gave the stunned Yates a standing ovation following the announcement.
Law Officer received 30 nominations for this year’s award, and, after much review, Law Officer and ILEETA staff chose Yates from a field of highly qualified trainers. Travis is a great selection for this year s award because he represents the finest type of trainer one who always gives to others and, at the same time, finds a way to improve his existing product, Stockton says. It was really an honor to present the award to him.
Yates leads Tulsa s Precision Driving Unit, and he helps many other agencies and instructors in promoting and developing EVOC training. His driving unit has given free training to any law enforcement agency that requests it. “If you can get to our track, we will train you,” he says. He frequently travels without compensation to talk to other departments or groups when requested, all on his own time and dime.
Yates also recently secured funds and managed the purchase of four driving simulators that will complement the track training, an eight-year endeavor. And, he spends a significant amount of his off-duty time writing for numerous police-industry Web sites and publications. His own Web site, www.policedriving.com, is dedicated to EVOC.
For winning, Yates received a trophy affectionately called the Nowicki, $1,000 and reimbursement for his travel expenses to ILEETA 2008. He generously donated the reimbursement to the ILEETA Scholarship Fund.
Law Officer will begin accepting nominations for next year’s award this fall stay tuned.