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ILEETA 2010 Conference Preview

Written by Harvey Hedden

The typical trainer in a small to medium-sized law enforcement agency must be a master of many disciplines—from report writing to use of force. Keeping up to date with changes in the complex world of policing is challenging in both time and cost. Attending a course on sudden in-custody death may mean not being able to attend one on ground-fighting. Fortunately, a solution can be found at the annual ILEETA training conference and Expo. Now in its seventh year, the conference is home to the largest gathering of law enforcement trainers in the world and offers an instructional smorgasbord allowing trainers to select just what they need for their agency.

The upcoming ILEETA conference, April 19-24, 2010 at the Westin Chicago North Shore in Wheeling, IL, will offer what ILEETA members have come to expect and more. More than 140 courses will be offered, including 28 different instructor certification courses and armorer certification courses and up to 22 simultaneous training tracks. Subject categories include use of force, officer survival, defensive tactics, instructor development and specialized training and firearms/deadly force, which this year will include a live fire track. Instructors for this track will include such names as the NRA’s Bill Campbell and Lethal Force Institute Founder Massad Ayoob.

The instructors for the 2010 conference include well-known experts and up and coming trainers. The conference will feature courses on tactical first aid, weapon retention, edged weapon tactics, active shooter response, counter terrorism, stress management and combat mindset. Several courses offer detailed examinations of research regarding armed confrontations including “The Deadly Mix,” developed through the Bureau of Justice Assistance and taught by Anthony Pinizzotto, Ed Davis and Shanon Bohrer.

Some of the more popular course subjects will be taught by a variety of instructors, each presenting their unique perspective. The shorter courses are also repeated to give attendees an opportunity to work around schedule conflicts. Although it is impossible to detail all the course offerings here, you can find more information about course offerings at www.ileeta.org.

The keynote speaker for the opening ceremonies of the 2010 conference, held on April 20, is Suzie Sawyer, Executive Director of Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.). Her presentation on the “Traumas of Law Enforcement” will help prepare agencies for a day they hope will never come, but they must be prepared for—the in-the-line-of-duty death. She will also instruct in a more detailed four-hour block to help agencies better prepare to help those left behind in such a tragedy.

Other general session speakers will include Marcus Young, who will offer a look at the FBI LEOKA Officer Safety/Survival Training Program on April 22. Brian Willis will have a special presentation on April 24, “Your Life is Your Legacy,” which should not be missed.

The 2010 conference will begin with a limited number of courses on Monday, April 19, 2010. Classes will also be conducted during the ILEETA Expo which runs from Tuesday, April 20 to Wednesday, April 21, 2010. The ILEETA Expo features more than 130 vendors of police equipment, training, technology and services. Simulators are displayed in dedicated rooms that provide a more realistic training setting for demonstration of this technology.

ILEETA continues to support the Trinity of Dedication Foundation through a variety of events held during the conference. These events offer friendly competition but serious prizes for the top finishers. On Monday, April 19, we will hold the ILEETA Cup sponsored by Meggitt Training Systems. The Cup is a shooting competition that uses both simulations and live fire to test both skill and decision making.

The ILEETA Driving Skills competition, sponsored by FAAC Inc., will utilize a state-of-the-art driving simulator to test competitors’ abilities in EVOC. The new ILEETA Challenge will test both the bodies and minds of competitors in a variety of job-related skills. These events are open to all ILEETA members and sworn law enforcement officers.

Only sworn law enforcement officers are permitted to compete in the World Cop Donut Eating Championship on April 23. Reigning champion Howie Sawyer of the Walworth County, WI Sheriff’s Department announced his retirement from the competition last year, which means this will be a very competitive event in 2010. Prizes include a firearm and other great prizes. Now in its seventh year, this event has made the National Law Enforcement Memorial better known to many civilians as a result of media coverage of the slightly tongue-in-cheek event.

The donut eating is counterbalanced by the Flatfoot 5K run at noon on Saturday, April 24. This event starts in the conference hotel parking lot and winds its way through the forest preserve. Everyone is invited to participate, and top finishers receive some great prizes. Proceeds from these events go to the Trinity of Dedication Foundation Inc., which provides funding for the National Law Enforcement Memorial, Concerns of Police Survivors and scholarships to attend the ILEETA conference.

The most important goal of every ILEETA conference is to provide value for the attendee. Almost every conference day offers up to 12 hours of training. There will also be many opportunities for networking and socializing at the ILEETA hospitality room and other fun events throughout the week.

It is humbling that many of those who come to the ILEETA conference do so at their own expense. To do our part, we negotiated a rather modest $1 increase in the hotel rate of $130 at the Westin Chicago North Shore. Because this has been a tough economic year, one aspect that has not changed from last year is the $345 conference tuition. For more conference information, registration and important conference updates go to www.ileeta.org.
Harvey Hedden is the Executive Director of ILEETA and may be reached via phone at (262) 767-1406 or via email at ileetasupport@aol.com.

Published in Law and Order, Mar 2010

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