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2008 ILEETA Training Conference

Written by Massad Ayoob

ILEETA has—in a very short time—become a leading provider of broad-spectrum police education. The emphasis is on training the trainer.

The association is open only to those actively involved in criminal justice training, and membership applications are vetted. ILEETA offers a huge library of PowerPoint training presentations put together by top subject matter experts, thanks in a large part to Advisory Board member Steve Ashley.

The organization offers many discounts, perks, and benefits to its members throughout the year. However, the crown jewel of ILEETA training is its annual international training conference, always hosted in the Chicago area to maintain a central U.S. location and easy access from its broad drawing area. This year, the conference was hosted by the Wheeling, IL Police near the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The official count for the 2008 conference was 771 attendees taught by 115 staff instructors, Nowicki said.

Curriculum
Several tracks were offered for personnel in various specialty assignments and to provide a broad-based curriculum. With four and a half days (most days including an evening schedule) to work with, ILEETA offers instructor certification courses, as well as two- and four-hour blocs on specific topics.

Instructorship certification courses this year included Advanced Combatives, TASER™ Instructor, Combat Jujitsu Weapon Retention, Control and Compliance Holds Instructor, Counter-predatorism Instructor, Firearms Retention and Disarm Instructor, Handheld Metal Detector Instructor, Hostage Survival Instructor, LaserMax Instructor, Magnum Spike Tire Deflation Device Instructor, Management of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB) Instructor, Monadnock Defensive Tactics System Instructor, Monadnock Expandable Baton Advanced Instructor, Multimedia Deadly Force Simulation Instructor, Practical and Tactical Handcuffing Instructor, Mini-Baton Instructor, Talon Close-Quarters Impact Weapon Instructor, and Defender Self-Defense Device Instructor.

Several courses were offered for certification as a factory-approved armorer for various widely used police weapons. These included Glock pistols, SIG-Sauer pistols, AR-15 rifles, and DSA FAL rifles.

The rest of the curriculum is broken up into seminar format presentations. They are scheduled so that attendees with specialist assignments will have few if any conflicts between multiple presentations that are relevant to them. For instance, if the given presenter in a track such as Adult Learning Principles or Management and Administration of Training is giving a single four-hour lecture, there will be no competing presentations in the same track during that time slot. If the presenter has chosen the option of giving a two-hour lecture, it will be done twice, creating a separate time slot for the interested attendee if one time slot creates a conflict with another presentation he wishes to take.

In addition to the instructorship and armorer certification programs, and the Adult Learning Principles track and Management and Administration of Training track, other “majors” include tracks in Instructor Development, Officer Safety, Use of Force, Defensive Tactics, and Specialized Training.

Consumer’s Guide to ILEETA
Such a vast smorgasbord of training options can send a visiting instructor into a feeding frenzy. Attendees who wish to focus on a single track can pretty much cover all of it, due to the specialist-friendly scheduling. If a wider spectrum of training is desired, the best option is to send multiple personnel, each taking separate courses and comparing notes later. All attendees receive a flash drive containing handout material from all classes. This proves to be a most useful artifact. Because each handout contains contact information for the presenting instructor, this also gives the attendee a tremendous resource for top-level “networking.”

The attendee should bring ample business cards, the better to take advantage of networking opportunities with other students who comprise a cross section of working law enforcement trainers from all over the world. Patch collectors will also find many fellow hobbyists with whom to trade. There will even be a scheduled event one evening during the seminar for exchange of patches and other police memorabilia.

A laptop or notebook computer will be most worthwhile for quickly taking down subtleties of experts’ presentations that may not be in their outlines or PowerPoints. Attendees may bring recording devices, but they must get the permission of each individual instructor before taping their lectures.

Physical skills instructors may also wish to bring still cameras or camcorders. Many of the instructors in Defensive Tactics and Officer Safety topics will be happy to allow sequential technique photographs or videos for training purposes to be taken during class, or even staged for the attendees’ use for future training after class. These can be priceless training tools for transferring new hands-on concepts to their officers at home.

However, ILEETA rules require that the attendee get permission from the course instructor—and from anyone depicted—before capturing his voice or image electronically! Some of the attendees work under cover, and their lives would be in danger if their pictures appeared anywhere in a law enforcement context.

Arriving a day before the formal curriculum begins will allow the participant to join in the ILEETA Trinity of Dedication, the trinity consisting of ILEETA’s Scholarship Fund, ILEETA itself, and the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Foundation. This event encompasses five areas of competition. Among these are a 5K footrace, the Flatfoot Five; a police driving skills competition conducted on a high-tech L-3 simulator; and the athletic Iron Cop competition.

There is also the ILEETA Cup, a combat shooting match sponsored by Meggitt conducted half on a FATS Simulator and half live fire in a Caswell portable range trailer, with firearms and ammunition provided by Meggitt. Finally, attendees can vie in what has become a signature ILEETA event, the whimsical World Cop Donut Eating Championships.

Networking
ILEETA’s Web site at www.ileeta.org will show the breadth and depth of what the organization has to offer anyone involved in law enforcement training. A discussion with any colleague who has attended one of the conferences will reveal the scope of the value that the annual conference offers any law enforcement agency or academy.

A quick calculation reveals that huge budget savings are afforded to the agency by sending personnel to a single conference, with a single hotel bill and round-trip plane ticket that can bring several instructorship certifications and/or armorer’s certifications back to the department or school. Because each annual conference offers a different curriculum, a high percentage of attendees pencil ILEETA’s conference into their personal training calendars every year.

Massad Ayoob is a captain with the Grantham, NH Police Dept. has been a sworn officer for 34 years and serves on ILEETA’s advisory board. He served for 20 years as chairman of the Firearms and Deadly Force Training Committee of ASLET. He can be reached at massadayoob@aol.com.

Published in Law and Order, Aug 2008

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