News from TREXPO: A day of training, information, and camaraderie

Day Two of TREXPO West began with the opening of the Expo. Guns, knives, uniforms, ballistic shields, and technology, the Expo had it all (and then some)! I was immediately drawn to the training simulators, including Ti Training’s new 3-D technology that forces the officer to move and react. There was also lots of “buzz” about the opening keynote speaker, Richard Malchowicz, host of the Discovery Channel hit “Future Weapons.” Richard is an engaging and passionate presenter.

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The training tracks continued with Brian Hartman teaching “Shoulder Weapon Retention and Intermediate Force” in the Close Quarter Defensive Tactics track. The Terrorism track included Lt Lawrence Burns from the Las Vegas Sheriff’s Office teaching “The Application of Technology, Equipment and Everyday Lessons in Tactical Response to Terrorism.” Sessions like “Hostage Rescue Negotiations” with Bob Galliegos, a retired LAPD SWAT member, and “Controlled Entries: The Smart Alternative to Dynamic Entries” with Sgt Willard Cragun of Ogden City, Utah rounded out the Tactical Operations track.

I was privileged to be teaching “Training and Managing the Female Crime Fighter” in the Officer Survival track, which also included a course by David Narkevicius on “Concealed Carry.” The Warrior Science track featured Bruce Siddle speaking about “Human Performance Factors,” and the Command Leadership training track rounded out the day with Keith Bushey, the liaison to the Los Angeles County DA’s officer teaching “The Role of the Police Manager in Creating and Maintaining a Positive Workplace Environment.”

Along with PoliceOne TV’s Farran Tabrizzi, I was able to film several excellent segments including “A First Responder’s Guide to Terrorism Detection and Prevention” with retired CIA agent Ed Louvette, who is a wealth of information for street cops and a true patriot. We also spoke with law enforcement and military firearms trainer Kandi Blick of the professional shooting team, “Team Safariland.” 

Kandi showed us some great new alternatives for off duty carry as well as new a new material that’s been developed to help patrol officers make their duty gear as comfortable as possible.

I was also fortunate enough to be able to meet and talk to Ed “Doc” Pepping, who was a medic with the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, a Bronze Star recipient made famous by the HBO movie “Band of Brothers.” Doc is quite a guy and I will never forget his words of wisdom and his spirit.

The day ended with a reception where attendees could win everything from a new Glock to free tuition to a Street Survival seminar. As an alternative to the usual criteria for winning a raffle based on buying a ticket or placing your business card into a barrel, the evening’s enthusiastic host created criteria for winning based on who had the largest tattoo, the longest knife, and the most time on the job as a law enforcement officer. This made for a rousing couple of hours where trainers, writers, and vendors were able to network, share stories, and make new friends. The reception began with a recitation of The Pledge of Allegiance and ended with a toast and a moment of silence to our fallen brothers in Oakland.

It was another terrific day of training, information, and camaraderie.

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

Contact Betsy Smith and Follow Betsy on Twitter

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