Safety Behind the Wheel
with Travis Yates
Membership has its benefits – A.L.E.R.T. International
By Travis Yates
An important aspect of any training field is a set of standards and a centralized organization to keep up with the changes that often occur within the field. The Association of Professional Law Enforcement Emergency Vehicle Response Trainers or A.L.E.R.T. International is the standard organization for police driving instructors.
Originally called National A.L.E.R.T., the organization was organized in 1990 in order to professionalize the field of emergency vehicle operation instruction. The motivation of this organization came from FBI Agent Bill Andrew, following the death of one of their trainers. Agent Andrew served as the first President of A.L.E.R.T. along with several other leading trainers in the country:
- Ray Beach, Michigan Law Enforcement Training Council, Vice President
- Larry Hollingsworth, California Highway Patrol, Immediate Past President
- Richard Lloyd, Alexandria VA Police Dept, Treasurer
- Earl Morris, Utah Law Enforcement Academy, Secretary
- William Smith, Los Angeles CA Police Dept, Regional Representative
- James Lanier, FLETC, Federal Rep
- William C. Smith, South Carolina, Judge Advocate
A.L.E.R.T International is dedicated to the encouragement and correlation of research and development as well as the sharing of information, ideas and innovations in the area of emergency vehicle response operation. Additionally, A.L.E.R.T.'s mission is to provide assistance to states in establishing effective and defensible standards for employment and training of law enforcement officers in the field of emergency vehicle operations.
In 2000, A.L.E.R.T. International entered into an agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to deliver pursuit seminars across the United States. In the next 2 years, 24 conferences were hosted in 24 different states. Today, A.L.E.R.T. International has over 500 members representing 47 states and five Canadian provinces. Regional and national conferences occur each year and A.L.E.R.T. International is moving forward in order to support a high standard of ethics, integrity and credibility within the driving instructor profession.
A.L.E.R.T. has evolved to a powerful online presence, using their web site – www.alertinternational.com – to provide members with contact information to hundreds of other instructors and a forum to exchange information. The quarterly newsletters provide timely information on technology, vendors and training techniques. A free subscription to Law & Order magazine is also provided.
As an instructor it is very difficult to keep up with modern training methods and stay in touch with the experts in the field. The involvement in an organization such as A.L.E.R.T. International is a must for any driving instructor and should be a requirement in progressive police driver training programs.
Past Presidents of ALERT International
William Andrew, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Richard Lloyd, Alexandria VA Police Dept
Robert Muhlenhort, Montgomery County MD Police Dept
Earl Morris, Utah Department of Public Safety
Stephen Charette, Massachusetts State Police
Bruce Cabral, Georgia Public Safety Training Center
Richard Maxwell, Colts Neck NJ Police Dept
Chris Sutterfield, OK Council on Law Enforcement and Education Training
Past Conference Locations:
1991 - South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy
1993 - Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, London, Ohio
1994 - Georgia Public Safety Training Center, Forsyth, Georgia
1995 - Georgia Public Safety Training Center, Forsyth, Georgia
1996 – Las Vegas, Nevada
1997 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1998 – Orlando, Florida
1999 – Salt Lake City, Utah
2000 – San Diego, California
2001 – Crystal City, Virginia
2002 – San Antonio, Texas
2003 – Novi, Michigan
2004 – Baton Rouge, Louisiana
2005 – Boise, Idaho
2006 – Los Angeles, California
The 2007 A.L.E.R.T. Conference will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina from October 30th to November 1st. The conference is being hosted by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Read conference schedule.