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News from ILEETA 2010: Closing comments

Here's what a handful of PoliceOne columnists, contributors, and contacts had to say about the recently 'wrapped' International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) conference

While we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of our coverage of ILEETA 2010, it’s appropriate to take a moment to contemplate the confab that closed on Saturday. Consequently, I spoke (and emailed) with numerous people over the weekend, and compiled a handful of their remarks below. What did you learn or hear that surprised you? What was your main take-away? Add your comments below. In the meantime, here’s what a handful of PoliceOne columnists, contributors, and contacts had to say...

Chuck Remsberg, Street Survival Seminar Co-founder and PoliceOne Senior Contributor
“As always, I found the ILEETA conference to be a rich treasure-trove of information that I am excited about sharing with readers of my column. Between presentations by the faculty and private conversations I had with trainers between classes, I have isolated more than a dozen topics to be covered in depth in the coming months, ranging from identifying individuals carrying concealed weapons to new thinking on how to avoid ambushes.

“A particularly good series of presentations, coordinated by Bob ‘Coach’ Lindsey, explored how officers need to prepare physically, psychologically, and financially for a successful retirement. ILEETA’s reputation for offering a can’t-miss conference was definitely reinforced during this valuable week.”

Dave Smith, PoliceOne Columnist and Street Survival Seminar Instructor
“The 2010 ILEETA conference has come to an end and the largest gathering of law enforcement trainers anywhere has left its mark again. We all went home with lots of new research, new training ideas, and new friends to carry us through next to the next conference. I find one of the great things about this event is the powerful sense of mission and camaraderie that permeates the week.

“Though its founder, Ed Nowiki, has stepped back from a leadership role, his presence was felt everywhere. This year Police One’s Calibre Press was proud to be recognized for it thirty years of service to the police community and to stand with founder Charles Remsberg and many of the other instructors from past to present was on of the highlights of the conference for me.”

Betsy Brantner Smith, Street Survival Instructor and PoliceOne Columnist
“If I had to sum up ILEETA 2010 for me as an individual, I’d use the word ‘welcome.’ As usual, I wore many hats at this year’s conference — vendor, trainer, writer, interviewer and more — and no matter where I went, who I talked to, or what I needed or asked for, I felt supported. The ILEETA staff was never too busy for a last-minute request or yet another question. The attendees were generous with praise, handshakes, and my favorite, big bear hugs. My fellow trainers were always there to help carry something, hold a door, offer a chair, give an interview, or provide feedback and assistance before, during and after my own training session on off-duty survival. Wherever I went, I felt the warmth of friendships built from a common mission, saving cop’s lives.

“I encourage anyone who is considering joining ILEETA and attending the 2011 conference to start planning now. It’s an experience that you won’t ever forget, and it’s worth every dollar you spend and every minute of your time.”

Chief Jeff Chudwin, Olympia Fields (Ill.) PD, and PoliceOne Contributor
“The ILEETA Conference once again has proven to be the prime opportunity for law enforcement trainers of all disciplines to meet and exchange ideas. From across our country and traveling from foreign nations, the men and women who attended were among the best we have in our profession. There were presentations on most aspects of our work with a number of instructor certifications also offered.

“The problem each year is to make the choice of what you will attend. Beyond the formal classes, the hallway discussions were true eye openers. During a chance meeting, I spoke with a western deputy who prevailed in a true life and death hand to hand fight. His comments on the will to fight and win will not be forgotten.

“The organization and structure of the conference is superior. I have only positive things to say about ILEETA. If you are a law enforcement trainer and not a member, join now and prepare for next year’s conference.”

Capt. Travis Yates, Tulsa (Okla.) PD and PoliceOne Columnist
“The 2010 ILEETA Conference was simply one of the best weeks of training that I have ever received. While I always leave the conference with a renewed sense of energy and urgency, I’m leaving Chicago with one pressing issue on my mind: Our brothers and sisters behind the badge continue to die in the same situations that they always have. My good friend Gordon Graham has always said, ‘if it is predictable, it is preventable’ and I leave ILEETA knowing that we can prevent future law enforcement deaths.

“Whether it’s a deadly mix of speed, intersections, and no seatbelts in vehicle related deaths, or the failure of our officers to maintain their physical and emotional health which can create a higher risk of a felonious assault, changes can be made immediately in every agency to lower the line of duty deaths. Hundreds of trainers are leaving ILEETA with the same thing in mind. Give the officers they work with and train a safer way of doing business. Thanks to ILEETA and these dedicated trainers, our profession is no doubt in a better place.”

Lt. John Bennett, Charleston (Ill.) PD and PoliceOne Contributor
“My experience at the conference was exactly what I thought it would be. That is, a gathering of some of the most dedicated individuals our profession has to offer. It’s great to see our efforts in this area of law enforcement can be so centralized and concerted, although there are thousands of us spread across the U.S. and Canada; and at the local, state and federal level. Law enforcement is one of the most complex professions in existence today — particularly in the United States — and if we are to stay relevant and ahead of the curve, we have to work together to cultivate our efforts and communicate across jurisdictional and agency-level boundaries. That is exactly what I experienced last week!”

Lt. Dan Marcou, La Crosse (Wis.) PD (ret.) and PoliceOne Columnist
“Every time I go to ILEETA I understand more deeply why no one can deny that law enforcement is a profession. I dare any profession to gather a more passionate, knowledgeable, and entertaining group of trainers as you will find at ILEETA.

“I learned so many things, from so many this week, that it’s hard to summarize it all. From John Farnam: ‘We don't have to be perfect, we just have to be reasonable.’ From Massad Ayoob: ‘CYA means, can you articulate? ...can you authenticate?’ From Kevin Gors: ‘Terrorism is a tactic — terrorists shoot, they bomb, and they kidnap.’ From Chuck Soltys: ‘The vocabulary that comes out of your mouth better be vocabulary you do not mind hearing again ...like in court, or on CNN.’ From Dr. Alexis Artwohl: ‘People may not remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.’ And now, to any bad guy who wants me to surrender and give up my badge and gun I can say to them, ‘Molon Lave.’ They may not know that basically means, ‘come and get them’ but because I’ve attended the session given by Valerie Van Brocklin, I do. 

“What can I say? It was a great week spent with great people, learning many great things.”

Gary T. Klugiewicz, PoliceOne Contributor and Advisory Board Member
“I spent a whole day at Coach Bob Lindsey’s Fit to Retire Class, and I thought this was the highlight of my conference. I enjoyed the focus on fitness and wellness, as well as the emotional and financial survival aspects of the class. Coach’s story was unbelievable and motivational. If Coach can survive and prevail — after all he has experienced in this life — me and other officers can survive the job and thrive in retirement.

“I was personally gratified that Chuck Remsberg was recognized for his 30 years of contribution to officer survival. Walking up to get the award with Chuck Remsberg, Dave and Betsy Smith, Dave Grossi, and Jim Glennon was a great honor. The Street Survival Seminar continues to provide officers with the latest in tactical information and tactics, and I’m proud to be a part of the Street Survival movement.

“Finally, I presented a class on Tactical Communication that focused on how to integrate communication skills into defensive tactics, deadly force decision making, stabilization, and subject debriefing. Tactical Communication has to be practiced under stress, in the context of a confrontation, to be effective, and your verbal skills need to be incorporated into report writing to assist in justifying your force response.”

Chris Ghannam, PoliceOne Contributor and President of Sark Securities
“The 2010 Annual ILEETA Conference provided me the opportunity and privilege to converse with warriors, learn from highly respected professionals and speak with industry leadership. For me, the most inspiring moment of the 2010 conference was a tribute that my personal mentor, Brian Willis provided on Saturday. A tribute to a young lady that was sitting roughly six rows back in the mist of many well known faces. A professional who is not the face of any organization, a professional who many had walked past the entire week without even contemplating a well deserved introduction. I watched this young lady’s face fill with tears as a room of 200 warriors came to a standing ovation in honor of Gena Nowicki.

“I had to take a step back and really try to understand what Brian had just accomplished with a few sincere words of heartfelt appreciation. How many officers, administrative staff and support personnel have we failed to recognize? Every year I look for that golden nugget of wisdom. This year my professional lesson didn’t come in the form of a tactic, technique or procedure; it came through witnessing a rare form of gratitude.

Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Senior Editor, Yours Humbly and Truly
“For me — a journalist who has covered countless confabs as diverse as APCO, CES, CTIA, IACP, SEMICON, and SHOT — ILEETA 2010 was the most invigorating and inspiring conference I’ve ever attended. The level of dedication to the cause of officer safety is difficult to put into words — and I’m a ‘words guy’ so that’s really saying something. I was able to gather information and generate article ideas that will help to inform police officers on topics ranging from indentifying autistic persons to surviving deadly force encounters.

“Most importantly, as invaluable and informative the sessions were — and they were incredible — what I cherish most are the conversations I had in the hallways, over lunches and dinners, and with mugs of Ram’s best brews in my hand. I shook hands with (and in some cases, hugged) people who I’ve only known by phone or email. I was delighted to have deep discussions with dozens of wonderful folks who I otherwise never would have had the opportunity to meet.  One of those people — someone who I happily now count among my friends — is Andy Brown, a Sector Enforcement Specialist with Customs and Border Patrol. You can read a little about Andy here, or over on his own website.

“Those interpersonal encounters — whether planned or purely by chance — were the highlight of my week.”

Andy Brown, PoliceOne Member and Sheepdog
“The 2010 ILEETA conference was the most uplifting, awesome, experience I have had in a very long time. Sharing my experience with other law enforcement officers — especially as an instructor among these trainers — was a very powerful and positive experience. The classes and presentations I attended, and the people I met, were inspirational and motivating ...I learned information I can pass on to my local schools to help identify an active killer prior to the killing. I also came away with a renewed commitment to intervene — alone if need be — to stop an active killer in progress. I learned how to recognize an Autistic episode and how to communicate with an Autistic person to deescalate and control them. I was surprised to learn that Autistic behavior can sometimes mimic the traits of an uncooperative drug user — all LEOs should become more familiar with this condition.

“It was more than an educational chance to network with other trainers — it was a positive, motivating, and fun experience — I would encourage anyone to make arrangements for the next conference.”

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