A report from the 10th Anniversary ILEETA Conference


Lee’s note: Peter is in Illinois at the ILEETA conference – presenting training and being trained. This is his first report from the conference.

by Peter Burlingame

ic skull

Photo courtesy Peter Burlingame

April 16th, 2013

I’m currently in Wheeling Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, attending the ILEETA conference. The International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association is a group comprised of people and companies that are actively engaged in training the police. Every year ILEETA organizes a conference where like minded individuals gather together to exchange ideas to further the goal of officer safety.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of ILEETA. There are just under 1,000 people at this year’s event, 720 attendees, 200 instructors, and a dozen or so volunteer staff.

The 200 instructors are presenting 150 cutting edge classes, ranging from live fire shooting courses to handcuffing and OC (pepper) spray instructor certification classes, armorers classes, to classes that  have adapted the latest research from various branches of science to police work.

ic class1

Photo courtesy Peter Burlingame

Ed Nowicki, who founded ILEETA, had one goal in mind, give members as many benefits as possible. The training at the conference is only one benefit. A regular electronic bulletin full of useful information, deals on equipment and services by various vendors, and networking opportunities are others.

Conference attendees get lots of useful swag starting with a great backpack which contained numerous magazines and brochures, a nice pair of 5.11 socks, a folding knife, a powerful flashlight by Coast, a polo shirt, and a beautiful notebook.

On Monday, the first day of the conference, I attended three classes.

The first was by one of the old school training gods, Dave Smith. Older police officers may remember him for his character “Buck Savage” in various training videos. Dave is an amazing font of information spanning a broad spectrum. His class was entitled “Training the Winning Mind” and examined what it takes to survive a life or death encounter. He laid out what research has discovered about survivors, what common traits they all share, and how to cultivate that in yourself and your students. Dave is not only knowledgeable but fun and funny and his passion really comes through.

Photo courtesy Peter Burlingame

Photo courtesy Peter Burlingame

Thomas McGreal, a retired Chicago detective presented a class on Criminal Interview and Interrogation techniques. He outlined the popular Reid method and then went over the Wicklander-Zulawski technique. The former is confrontational while the W-Z method is much less so. I learned some very valuable information in this very solid class.

Finishing off the day was Larry Hahn’s class, “Application of Force Science Principles”. The Force Science Institute has been doing ground breaking research into the dynamics of police use of force and coming up with some stunning information about how the body and brain perform and fail to perform under stress. Larry showed how to incorporate this new information into training programs to increase the chances of officers surviving deadly encounters.

All of this on just Day 1 of the 5 day conference! I’ll have much more to report as the week progress and I have a chance to sit down at the computer to write it up. Gotta run, the next class is about to start!

Disciplina remuneror fidelis!

Peter Burlingame is the founder of The Self Defense Initiative, a 25 year old training school based in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Peter is a contributing member of the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors and the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association. His articles have been published in the FBI’s National Associates’ magazine, “The Firearms Instructor” and “Survival Quarterly.” You may contact him at vigunfighter@earthlink.net Videos at Youtube.com/vigunfighter.com


Photo courtesy Peter Burlingame

Photo courtesy Peter Burlingame





About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

Leave A Reply