LEO training legends to gather at American Police Hall of Fame to give lifesaving lessons


TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The mission of the Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) to save lives and prepare law enforcement officers for life-threatening line-of-duty encounters is gaining traction in the training world. The upcoming LEO Training Expo, slated for March 30 at the Florida-based American Police Hall of Fame is open to LEOs, first responders and active duty military, and was the brainchild of Benghazi hero Dave "Boon" Benton.

"Boon is one of the master trainers who offers discounted law enforcement classes at our facility. He wanted to help draw attention to the high quality of our new LEEP initiative and he suggested, 'what if I offered a full day of free training?'" said Tara Dixon Engel, Vice President of Training for The National Association of Chiefs of Police (NACOP, which operates the Hall of Fame and its accompanying shooting range.) "I jumped at a chance like that, and, once Boon and our Director of Law Enforcement Paul Pawela, started developing the plans, more and more trainers began jumping on the bandwagon to help."

And the list includes some of the best known trainers in today's military and law enforcement arenas, names like Boon Benton, of course, but also Col. Danny McKnight, the ground commander for the "Black Hawk Down" mission; Ash Hess, combat vet and the man who wrote the Army manuals for the pistol and the M-4; Jason Brooks, lead trainer for CRI Counter-Terrorism School in Las Vegas; Israel "Izzy" Matos, former Marine and specialist in combat marks- manship and hand-to-hand; James "Smokey" West, retired Green Beret, special operations technician, special forces and Delta trainer and martial arts Grand Master; and Benny Glossop, MMA fighter, black belt, and active shooter/com- batives instructor.

Meanwhile the list of law enforcement training specialists on the schedule that day is equally impressive, with NACOP’s Paul Pawela, a four-time martial arts hall of fame inductee, a SOCOM hand-to-hand expert, authority on close quarter encounters and prolific tactical defense writer; Alex Ferrer, owner of Veritas Tactical and Veritas Interna- tional with over 19 years in law enforcement and 11 in private security and intelligence; Michael Lazarus, formerly of Trinidad & Tobago Police, martial arts hall of famer, FLETC graduate, and security detail lead who has worked base security in Afghanistan and trained with DEA and spec ops; Bill Orndorf, a former deputy in Brevard County who is now a nationally known tactical trainer in officer survival, CQB, SWAT entry and vehicle defense; and John Falldorf, a 27-year deputy along the drug-riddled I-75 corridor in Ohio, former academy instructor, FDLE-certified, and recog- nized authority in LE survival skills. Also slated to be on hand is Tony Tiffin, author of the compelling new book Arc Road, which recounts a 1964 murder investigation that changed law enforcement forever.

"We started LEEP in order to provide FREE and deeply discounted training to LEOs/first-responders. In 2020, we are rolling out free classes every month. LEOs just need to sign up at NACOPLEEP.org and then show up to train," Engel said. "On March 30, legendary trainers are showing their support for our program by standing up to keep our LEOs safe. We are deeply grateful and we hope that officers, deputies and troopers will respond by turning out in en mass to take advantage of this training."

To find out more, go to www.NACOPLEEP.org or email Engel at Tarae@aphf.org. If you plan to attend, please send your name, organization and rank if applicable to Tarae@aphf.org.

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