Article Archive Details
Hendon Publishing

ILEETA International Conference

The ILEETA training conference is probably the single best conference to attend for tactical-minded patrol officers of all ranks and instructors of all psychomotor skills. ILEETA is held each year in the March-April timeframe. No airport is easier to reach than Chicago O’Hare. ILEETA is a six-day conference.

Many of the courses are held 18 at a time, four time blocks per day, and are repeated throughout the week. The conference includes both hands-on defensive tactics and rifle, handgun and shotgun classes at a local range. The 2014 Conference had an attendance of 750 tactical-minded officers, not counting exhibitors or instructors. The exhibit hall had 115 companies representing every possible aspect of law enforcement training.

There were more than 150 subject matter experts conducting training and instructor certification courses.


Subject Matter Experts

For example, Larry Hahn took the ‘action is faster than reaction’ to the next logical step. The bad guy can pull a pistol from his waistband or lift a pistol from his thigh at a traffic stop faster than we can shoot him even if our handgun is aimed at him. We simply trade bullet impacts. And they can do it a full two seconds faster than it takes us to recognize the threat and draw from a Level II holster. Lessons? Wear body armor. Keep moving. Use the contact/cover team approach. The passenger side approach has a much larger mitigation zone than the traditional driver’s side approach.

Joe Leo covered a defensible use of force curriculum. The stair step or ladder use of force continuum is totally obsolete. So is the ‘plus one’ amount of force justification. His emphasis was correctly placed on Graham v. Connor and objectively reasonable force. That means the incident report needs to be written with Graham in mind. Paint the picture in enough graphic detail so the jury can see your actions were reasonable. Remember, the officer’s actions don’t have to be ‘right’—they just need to be reasonable.


Better Course of Fire

David McGaha proposed a new course of fire that more closely mirrors the actual gunfights that officers experience. He cited Canton

v. Harris (task-specific training needed), Popow v. Margate (more frequent training needed), and Zuchel v.


(decision-making). The problem is too many rounds are fired at long distances; timeframes for shooting are too long; the target size is too large and the scoring rings are illogical. Most courses of fire are simply not realistic.

In the proposed course, 75 percent of the shooting is at 20 feet or less. In a balance of speed and accuracy, some of the shooting is at 25 yards and some of the close-range shooting requires a head shot. The average time per shot is cut in half to about 1.5 seconds per shot. Some shooting involves drawing from the hostler while some starts from the low ready position. Most of it involves a side step movement, then the shooting.

One-hand shooting, both left and right hand is done because hands, arms and guns are what get shot. At longer ranges, the strong side hand fires from both sides of the barricade. One of the driving forces behind the change is the statistic that 48 percent of officers killed occur at 5 feet or less, yet just 15 percent of the gunfights take place at 5 feet or less.


The FTO’s Real Job

Bill Harvey addressed the need for FTOs to have “the talk” with their new officers. We hire for knowledge, skills and abilities. We fire for behavior and attitude. And the media just loves a “good cop gone bad,” or a “cop did stupid thing” stories. Think of the last 10 officers that you know got fired or resigned one minute before they were going to get fired. Was it for lack of a police-specific skill? Or was it bad behavior or an insufferable attitude?

Somebody, somewhere along the way has to talk straight to the recruits. Since professionalism begins with the FTO, it is the FTO who needs to have the talk. First, don’t lie, ever, about anything. Citing Brady v. Maryland

and Giglio v. US, he stressed that credibility is all the police officer has in court, and some prosecutors will not call some officers because they have failed the Brady test. Lose the case and keep the truth.

Kickbacks are dangerous as are freebies and police discounts. Guns, alcohol and badges are a deadly or career-ending mix. Everyone has a camera today, which makes off-duty misadventures public knowledge at the speed of cyberspace and our own worst enemy when it comes to social media.

In a related area, we do stupid stuff, go to the wrong places, and then post it on Facebook.

Don’t use non-approved firearms, non-approved ammunition, or non-approved defensive tactics. Don’t use issued equipment in a stupid, don’t use your TASER as a party entertainment and don’t go hunting with your patrol rifle unapproved manner. That is, we can all see a problem in-process or a problem brewing. It is the FTO that must step up and correct the problem.


Interview and Interrogate

Mark Fallon and Chris Meissner presented an evidence-based look at our current interview and interrogation techniques. As it turns out, some of our methods are validated by evidence, but some are not. And some of our methods or tendencies are actually counter-productive.

Two basic styles of interview and interrogations exist. By far the most common is the “accusatory” technique. Basic information is gathered at an interview, then the subject is accused of the crime, offered face saving ways to confess, cues of deception are closely watched. The other technique is the information-gathering method. This is much more rapport-oriented and more focused on the information in whatever form is given by the suspect.

Both the accusatory approach and the information gathering approach get confessions. The accusatory method has a higher likelihood of false confessions, while the information-gathering method has a higher likelihood of true confessions. In the accusatory model, the emphasis is on external psychological pressures and the goal is compliance. In the information-gathering model, the emphasis is on internal psychological pressures and the goal is cooperation.

The research indicates that verbal and non-verbal cues to deception in the accusatory technique are not the best indicators of lying. The way the suspect tells his/her story is a better indicator. The key is the difference between a truthful memory and a fabricated memory. In essence, a truthful memory has many details, specifics, sometimes color and drama, and changes a bit over time. The fabricated memory has very few details, is straightforward, and the story never changes.

Lying is hard to do. You have to suppress the truth, make up a lie, remember the lie, and make the lie plausible given the current or future evidence. Liars give more detail to normal and expected questions and less detail to unanticipated questions. The key then is to get the suspect to cooperate with the investigator. We want them to tell a nice, long story with as much detail as possible. Go over it, asking for details without prompting or suggesting any. Then lock the story.

As a general critique of most police interviews and interrogations, we don’t do rapport building well, even though we often cite it as critically important. We seldom use open-ended questions, although we know we should. We typically disclose our evidence too early. This causes the suspect to shut up or change his/her story. We typically introduce our strongest evidence first, instead of a progressive presentation release, saving our ace for last.

We often interrupt, which irritates everyone, including the suspect. Interrupting destroys rapport, causes the suspect to forget where he/she was or what line of thinking (train of thought), and gives cues to the suspect to what we want to hear.

Lessons learned? Establish rapport, which may include rethinking the kind of interview room we use. Encourage a complete recall of events and allow some “don’t know” and “don’t remember” responses. Refrain from interrupting. Concentrate on asking one open-ended question after another. Wait as long as you can to interrogate, i.e., do as much of the investigation as possible. Get the whole story. The best indication of truth or deception is the way the people tell their stories.

The 2015 ILEETA conference will be held April 20–25 in Wheeling, Ill. It is a must-attend for police instructors of all disciplines and tactical-minded officers of all ranks.

Published in Tactical Response, Sep/Oct 2014

Rating : Not Yet Rated

Related Products



No Comments

Related Companies

Article Images

Click to enlarge images.

Close ...