04/25/2009

Betsy Brantner SmithSurvival Insights
with Betsy Brantner Smith

News from ILEETA: Street Survival instructors in action

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Return to the News from ILEETA 2009 Special Section

At this year’s ILEETA conference, three of the five Street Survival Seminar instructors were presenters.

Dave Smith, Calibre’s senior instructor, has been studying human performance for more than 30 years, and constantly applies that knowledge and research to officer safety and survival. About ten years ago he began to study humans and risk in an effort to truly discover why veteran officers consistently die more often in the line of duty than do inexperienced rookies.

Originally premiered at the 2001 ASLET conference, “Training for the Risk Thermostat” is always a popular class with anyone who is interested in modernizing their police training program. As Dave says, “Each of us not only has a tolerance of and for risk, in each of us sits a need, an emotional demand for risk and it is that demand for risk balanced by our fear and knowledge and skills that gives real satisfaction to our lives and courage to react.”

Lead instructor and 29-year police veteran Jim Glennon presented “The Warrior’s Edge,” a dynamic communications course designed specifically for public safety personnel. In this course Jim talks about the conscious v. the unconscious mind, truths about the Human Animal and how the study of body language, proxemics and paralinguistic behavior can enhance an officer’s ability not only to survive but to win. Jim also dissects numerous officer involved shootings to not only honor our fallen, but to help officers and trainers learn from such tragedies with the goal that we never again lose another officer to violence.

I presented “Training and Managing the Female Crimefighter,” a course designed to help men and women understand and embrace the concept that difference doesn’t mean disadvantage. Starting with the history of women as warriors, I add gender-specific science, physiology, equipment issues, communication skills, tactical considerations, and leadership principles so that we can help our employees avoid the “victim-based mentality” and learn to survive and win emotionally, physically, and tactically.

I demonstrated some of the newest equipment for women by Safariland and SAVVY and as did Jim and Dave, I stayed long after class had ended, answering questions and learning new ideas and concepts from my fellow trainers who were in attendance.

Presenting at ILEETA has special significance to any police trainer, as it is always an honor to stand before our peers, and ILEETA is always looking for fresh training ideas.

Go to www.ileeta.org and consider submitting your own proposal for 2010!

About the author

Sergeant Betsy Smith has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, retiring as a patrol supervisor in a large Chicago suburb. A graduate of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety's School of Staff and Command and a Street Survival seminar instructor for more than 9 years, Betsy is now a speaker, author and a primary PoliceOne Academy consultant. Visit Betsy's website at www.femaleforces.com.

Contact Betsy Smith and Follow Betsy on Twitter

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