We regret to inform you the Annual Training Conference is cancelled due to COVID-19 Concerns.

SOTA MIDWEST

25th Annual Training Conference

Please join us and help make the our 25th Annual Training Conference the best yet. View course descriptions below!

25th ATC Trade Show Exhibition

Vendor Registration is now open for our 25th Annual Training Conference.

Location

Duluth Entertainment Convention Center
350 Harbor Drive
Duluth, MN 55802

(and surrounding area)

Date And Time

Sunday April 19, 2020, 800AM –
Tuesday April 21, 2020, 500PM

Sunday

16 attendees max

This BRAND NEW water confidence training will provide the basic knowledge and skills for a tactical operator (as well as a patrol officer) to save themselves in the event of an accidental immersion into water whether that is in a vehicle, a river, off a dock or any other body of water. The course is a must for anyone working around water and will cover all aspects for consideration during operations. Attendees will spend time in the pool with instructors working through gear considerations and tactics abilities. You DO NOT need scuba gear or abilities.

**All water activities are conducted with a safety diver and support personnel in the water with the participants.**

Instructed by Captain Thomas Champaigne – Superior Police Department and Lieutenant Jeremy Peery – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – Bureau of Law Enforcement.    

Gear and location TBA. This course will have attendees actually in the water (indoor pool) to experience the concepts critical to water success.

20 attendees max

This course will focus on target identification, marksmanship, hide construction, camouflage and equipment readiness.  Goals will include increasing the operators ability to hit a moving or static target with proper target identification, to practice and learn to shoot from the opposite/weak side in prone position and practicing different techniques in drawing handgun from holster in prone position.  Additionally, attendees will practice vehicle, urban and woodland camouflage as well as working through equipment call-out readiness.

There will be shooting at distance up to 300 yards, construction of vehicle, woodland and urban hides and shooting from vehicles and vehicle hides.

Instructed by Reaper6 and South Metro SWAT  

Gear Required:

  • Sniper Rifle
  • Handgun with thigh rig or whatever holster you use for call-outs
  • Call-out gear including camouflage gear
  • Bi-pod or Tri-pod
  • Rain and/or Cold weather gear as needed
  • Shooting mats (if wanted)
  • Ear/Eye protection
  • Approximately 150 Rounds of sniper ammo
  • Approximately 25 rounds of handgun ammo
  • Spotting scope
  • Vehicle/Urban hide supplies if you have them

30 attendees max

This course is designed to familiarize operators and tactical EMS personnel with the concept of tactical retrograde, the rearward movement away from the target back toward cover or the designated LCC and downed operator rescue. The tactical retrograde process is one that is done in a coordinated manner, organized, and done so purposefully. The ultimate goal of this course is introduce the concept and movements of tactical retrograde to the attendants, bolster current training that operators may already have in this concept, and implement this training in simulated hostile events complete with force on force incidents.  

Instructor: Cliff Sheppeck- Assistance team lead as of 2018 and operator since 2006. 15 years with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office and completed a number of different training on subject of mission planning, team operations, and most recently completed the 3 day Team Leader course put on by SOTA.

Brian Meyer- Paramedic with Lakes Region EMS. SWAT team medic since 2014.  

 

Gear and Loc TBA

20 attendees max

The purpose of this course is to help other agencies integrate the use of K9 into their SWAT/tactical response teams. The Chisago County Sheriff’s along with the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office will be presenting a short PowerPoint presentation on techniques used to help start the use of K9’s into a very useful and valuable role on the SWAT teams. After a short classroom portion students will move on to a hands on portion of the course. This will consist of many different street based scenarios ranging from slow searches of buildings, barricade suspects, tactical tracking and armored vehicle deployment while on a high risk based stop. All of these scenarios will be completed with the use of Chisago County and St. Louis County’s K9’s so that students have to the opportunity to work around experienced K9’s that have been used in a SWAT capacity.  

Instructed by :

Ryan Smith St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office

Chad Stenson Chisago County Sheriff’s Office Wayne Toewe St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office

Ben Thine St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office

Gear Required:

** Students will be able to complete practical exercises using seasoned K9’s and handlers who are already working with their own SWAT teams. The goal and purpose of this is to show what the end product can be once a K9 has been introduced into a SWAT team.   

 

Swat Call out kit for practical exercises, either a blue handgun or blue bolts for rifles.

20 attendees max

This full day course will take attendees through historical info on armored vehicle use in law enforcement, preventative field maintenance, full vehicle operations, recovery and field towing as well as using the vehicles for crew rescue and recovery in the field. This course is a MUST for any personnel using armored vehicles in the field!

Instructed by:

Kurt Delia; Delia Tactical International

Nate Mueller; SWATMOD LLC

Gear and Loc TBD. Attendees may bring their own armored veh’s however there will be ones avail to use provided by SWATMOD and area teams.

Instructed by Safariland

* Less Lethal Impact Munitions Weapons and munitions:   12ga./37mm/40mm/hand delivered

* Tactical consideration in the use of impact munitions in crowd-control/dynamic-entry/hostage-rescue/barricaded-subject situations

* Physiological/psychological effects Liability consideration/policy and procedures

* Blunt trauma/ballistics and energy Instructor development to establish in-house/in-service training and documentation skills

Students will need 12GA, 37 & 40mm launchers (not everyone needs one but will need at least one of everything) eyes and ears.

12 attendees max

This is an introductory High angle sniper course that is designed for the current or experienced sniper to familiarize them with the challenges and complexities of the elevated shooting platform.

The course is designed to address the new and challenging requirements placed on the Tactical Sniper in High angle and elevated platforms for difficult, crowded and public venues and environments. The course will take the marksman through the added shooting dimensions, considerations and data gathering of elevated precision marksmanship operations.

Who should attend: Current and Experienced Sniper Personnel / Update Sniper Personnel.

Instructed by Mission Critical Concepts

10 Command personnel and 16 operators max attendance **SEE BELOW restrictions on multiple attendees from agencies** 

This single day course is designed for Commanders, Team Leaders, and tactical operators.  Emphasis will be on tactical command post operations, structure, and decision making / information processing (for commanders).  Team Leaders and operators will be tasked with working with command to positively resolve Barricaded Suspect and Hostage Rescue scenarios.  Command Post vehicles, armored vehicles and full tactical gear will be used along with force on force applications with role players.

Only one “Command” representative from a single team may sign up and two operators from a single team.  

Gear Required:

Commanders – 800 mHz radio, Notebook(s), writing materials, work phone preferably, any other materials they would use in a CP.  White board and markers provided.

Operators – full kit to include ballistic helmet and ballistic vest, cold weather gear, long gun with sim bolt, sim hand gun, 800 mHz radio, eye/ear protection, tactical uniform.

Loc TBD

16 attendees max

This 4 hour course is designed to challenge the officer / operators skills and responses and to build upon core concepts of equipment operation and tactical application during active incidents in high risk, kinetic environments.   

Instructed by: Mission Critical Concepts 

Gear Required: Full call-out gear including body armor, helmet, rifle and duty pistol. Ammo needs to be communicated prior to course.

 

Loc: TBD

Course Description:

A lighthearted approach to improving officers ability to “run” their gun vs. “shooting”. This course will focus on linearization of shooting processes to enhance officers ability to shoot accurately at speed.  Officers attending this course will be exposed to drills, techniques, and principles to enhance officers rifle proficiency.  This course will not discuss team tactics or SOPs for swat/tact team operations.  NOTE: This course will NOT utilize classroom time.

Instructor BIO:

Prior to establishing Archway Defense, Peter served 5 years as Federal Air Marshal (FAM) International Team Leader conducting counter-terror missions and  surveillance around the globe. During his time with the FAMS, Peter achieved “Top Gun” at the Federal Air Marshal Academy in 2010.

Prior to FAMS, Peter served 6 years in the USAF Air Base Defense deploying internationally for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Peter’s experience deployed included designated marksmen, clearing ordinance, conducting reconnaissance, and gathering intelligence with local nomads. CONUS Peter served as a pre-deployment trainer, combat arms instructor, and assisted the Inspector General’s Office in testing base defense vulnerabilities. Academically, Peter achieved a B.A. in Criminal Justice with a heavy emphasis on Counter-Terrorism. His undergrad culminated with his capstone research focused on the Radicalization of Somali Youth in Minneapolis.

Equipment Requirements:

  • Range appropriate apparel and footwear
  • PPE (Eye & Ear Pro)
  • Armor Carriers or Response Kit suggested
  • Duty Rifle
  • At least 3 Rifle magazines
  • 350 Rounds Rifle Ammo
  • Duty Belt and Holster
  • Weather Appropriate Gear

Gear required by SOTA to provide

  • Range with capacity for all officers to shoot
  • Steel targets for each position OR target holders for cardboard
  • IDPA Cardboard Targets
  • Staging\prepping area covered

Course Description:

A lighthearted approach to improving officers ability to “run” their gun vs. “shooting”. This course will focus on linearization of shooting processes to enhance officers ability to shoot accurately at speed.  Officers attending this course will be exposed to drills, techniques, and principles to enhance officers Pistol proficiency.  This course will not discuss team tactics or SOPs for swat/tact team operations.  NOTE: This course will NOT utilize classroom time.

Instructor BIO:

Prior to establishing Archway Defense, Peter served 5 years as Federal Air Marshal (FAM) International Team Leader conducting counter-terror missions and  surveillance around the globe. During his time with the FAMS, Peter achieved “Top Gun” at the Federal Air Marshal Academy in 2010.

Prior to FAMS, Peter served 6 years in the USAF Air Base Defense deploying internationally for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Peter’s experience deployed included designated marksmen, clearing ordinance, conducting reconnaissance, and gathering intelligence with local nomads. CONUS Peter served as a pre-deployment trainer, combat arms instructor, and assisted the Inspector General’s Office in testing base defense vulnerabilities. Academically, Peter achieved a B.A. in Criminal Justice with a heavy emphasis on Counter-Terrorism. His undergrad culminated with his capstone research focused on the Radicalization of Somali Youth in Minneapolis.

Equipment Requirements:

  • Range appropriate apparel and footwear
  • PPE (Eye & Ear Pro)
  • Armor Carriers or Response Kit suggested
  • Duty Pistol
  • At least 3 Pistol magazines
  • 350 Rounds Pistol Ammo
  • Duty Belt and Holster
  • Weather Appropriate Gear

Gear required by SOTA to provide

  • Range with capacity for all officers to shoot
  • Steel targets for each position OR target holders for cardboard
  • IDPA Cardboard Targets
  • Staging\prepping area covered

This course will help you design deliberated, REPEATABLE, training/performance standards for your SWAT team.   You will be exposed to 12 standard shooting drills that will test your CORE manipulation/accuracy efficiency.   You will learn how to use time/accuracy standards that will expose your strong and weak points quickly and what you need to do to correct them.

You don’t have to be an instructor but we will be focusing on advanced instructor performance principles.  At the end of this course you will have a sound understanding of how to set up and train your CORE fundamentals and establish baselines for “Team Standards.”  Officers will also learn how quick their equipment set up can affect their ability to have “repeatable” perform under stress.

This is designed to be an intensive shooters course, brief on lectures and heavy on training the CORE skill sets.

This course requires both duty long guns and duty pistols with minimum of 3 magazines per weapon platform. Full operational kit required.

Round count Minimum:

Pistol ammo: 200

Rifle ammo: 400

Team Pistol Excercise Conducted by MN State Patrol- The competition runs all from 0800-1800 and takes about 10 minutes to complete. Stop in the Duluth PD Gun Range to participate.

Sunday CNT (Full Day)

Presented by: Officer Ben Morris; Phoenix Police Department

On Christmas Day in 2017, celebrity weight-loss guru Milan Ross spent the morning with his two children singing and making videos portraying a happy, loving family. Milan had high hopes that when his ex-wife arrived to pick up the boys, his recent success and the spirit of the season would spark new hope for a future together. But disappointment coupled with alcohol would lead to a much different outcome, and less than 2 hours after the singing stopped, Milan would commit unspeakable acts of violence against his own family. A six hour hostage standoff would ensue, with negotiators racing to understand the man and his motives, and tactical units struggling to find advantage in an almost hopeless scenario.

Officer Morris will also present on Elements of Hostage Situations and what he calls the “Red Zone Offense” approach to negotiations.

Presented by: Sgt. Harry Drucker; LASD Negotiations Team

 

The Black Friday Barricade: A suspect is suicidal and robs a drug store for oxycontin then barricades himself in another store touching off a 4 hour negotiation and standoff. Sgt. Drucker will discuss his time as an 18 year negotiator and the affect it had on him during this incident and how negotiators need to protect themselves emotionally during operations.

Stolen Squad Pursuit and Negotiation via Radio: A female suspect, high on meth and sleep deprived, steals a Los Angeles County Sheriff patrol vehicle and leads deputies in pursuit in the Antelope Valley (High Desert area of Southern California).  While driving erratically, the suspect managed to talk to negotiators over the radio tactical channel. This suspect provides a post-incident interview to enlighten attendees as well.

Monday

On August 13th, 2013, a lone suspect entered the small, rural branch of the Tensas State Bank in St. Joseph, Louisiana, taking several hostages.   After a 12 ½ standoff, members of the Louisiana State SWAT team, in an effort to save the hostages, initiated an explosive breach entry.  Several hostages and the suspect were shot during the entry.

This debrief will cover negotiations with the suspect, and the planning and tactics used in the entry.  This incident holds valuable lessons for everyone involved SWAT operations.

On January 28th, 2018 Officers responded to a welfare check of a suicidal male at the Graduate Hotel in Minneapolis.  The incident evolved into an armed barricaded person with a possible hostage. Brooklyn Park SWAT and negotiators were called in due to Superbowl activities in Minneapolis.  The incident spanned over 38 hours and included multiple SWAT/Negotiator teams.  This debrief will focus on the negotiation with the suspect via phone and text and the use of multiple negotiation teams and issues that arose from it.

If you choose to speak the language of shooting, always be willing to think fundamentals. During this lecture on dry fire training, one will learn to build and master a hard skill while understanding that technique controls everything; always being consistent. Performing through practice before ever hearing a boom will trigger your unconscious mind to focus on the importance of details and maintaining them through live fire. This lecture will explain the importance of dry fire training and how it is used at the Minneapolis Police Dept., from the recruit/cadet level to helping officers who have struggled with their shooting over the years. One will find that a proper trigger press and how it should feel and sound, finding an acceptable sight picture along using either your strong or support hand while manipulating the hand gun through various drills. 

Presenter: Officer Tim Hanks (Minneapolis Police Dept.) 

On the night of June 28th, 2015, the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of an intoxicated male discharging a shotgun and threatening to kill the occupants renting the upper level of his house. Two adults and 4 juveniles hid in a bathroom and called 911. Two deputies arrived in the area of a sprawling, 80 acre farmstead and upon walking up to the property heard a round being shot off outside, but did not know where the suspect exactly was. The SWAT Team was activated, resulting in the victims being rescued using an armored vehicle and the suspect being taken into custody. This debrief will discuss issues regarding pushing vs. holding on a residence, active shooter vs. barricaded suspect, and the principle of risk vs. reward when it comes to making tactical decisions.   

Presented by: Sgt. Kyle Puelston has been with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office for 13 years. He has been on their SWAT team for 12 of those years and was an Assistant Team Leader for 7 years. s  

Deputy Grant Kinnamon has been with Chisago County Sheriff’s Office since 2013 and on the SWAT Team since 2014. He is a Use of Force and Firearms Instructor for the agency.

Members of the Milwaukee Police Department-Tactical Enforcement Unit will give an insightful presentation to the events of February 6, 2019 in which a Milwaukee Police Tactical Officer was killed during the execution of a high-risk search warrant. This presentation will cover planning, execution, command/control and medical aspects of the incident. 

Presented by:  Brad Buddenhagen and Trevor Deboer; Milwaukee PD (WI) Tactical Enforcement Unit

Members of the Waukesha County SO (WI) will debrief a tactical situation which started when a DNR warden initiated a pursuit of a stolen vehicle. During the pursuit, shots are fired at pursuing officers. The vehicle was ultimately pitted into a guard rail near an on ramp to I-94, a busy traffic area. Immediately, the vehicle windows of the stolen minivan are covered up with blankets to deliberately hinder tactical officers visual observations. The male subject demanded a hostage negotiator indicating he had two hostages, and adult female, the other, a 6-month-old baby. This resulted in hours of standoff with a multi-jurisdictional response from assisting law enforcement tactical assets. The situation is ended with the male subject being shot by tactical officers. Lt. Anderson will cover all aspects of the operation, while Officer Wallschlaeger will show perspective from the negotiation side in this complex and somewhat unusual incident.  

Presented by:  Mike Anderson and Jennifer Wallschlaeger, Waukesha County SO (WI)

This session is geared toward law enforcement agencies interested in learning more about UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) capabilities and operations to include: policy development, budgeting, training, SWAT and Patrol tactics, equipment set-up, and public relations. This session will cover our experiences and lessons learned from our program since its inception in 2016. The material will include thermal and optical footage from our UAV deployments, updated caselaw and videos!

Presented by: St Cloud SWAT

The success of any operation lies as much in the planing and process as it may in the actual execution. This session will discuss and define the SMEAC process of preparing for a mission. Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration and Command/Control/Communication will all be explored and explained so that your next mission and training will be set up for success as much as we can influence! This session is critical for any and all operators and leaders!

Presented by members of Ramsey County, Washington County and South Metro SWAT

On April 26th, 2017, Delaware State Police Corporal Stephen Ballard was shot and killed investigating suspicious activity in a convenience store.  The suspect fled the scene and barricaded himself in his family home in a Brick Mills Farm development.  During the 19 ½ standoff, the suspect fired multiple rounds at police and SWAT personnel.  The suspect was shot and killed after exiting the home and shooting at police.

This debrief will cover the convenience store homicide, and the standoff, and holds valuable lessons for patrol and SWAT operations.

This presentation will demonstrate how the study of behavior is as important as the study of tactics.  Throughout history there have often been larger disconnects between what tactical officers are trained to do and how they actually perform under tense, uncertain, and threatening situations.  A large part of this is the trend in ignoring human behavior and prioritizing what works well in theory in a non-contextual environment like a flat range or shoot house with paper targets.  Even with the wide-spread availability of video evidence in the last 20 years, most instruction is not grounded in the stark reality shown on video during real life situations. This presentation will discuss fight or flight, the survival behavior system, and demonstrate how humans act as if they have three brains instead of one.  All of the material will be reinforced with real world video and a demonstration of tactics and techniques that are and are not behaviorally complaint so trainers can to learn to work with nature instead of against it.

  • The four tests to use when evaluation techniques, tactics, and procedure (TTPs).
  • The effect of the sympathetic nervous system and the survival behavior system on TTPs.
  • How the three brain theory applies to training and the real world.
  • How initiative and the threat presented impact our response.
  • Why behavioral compliance is important.
  • An overview of behaviorally compliant and non-compliant CQB tactics.

The ability to guide your training towards TTPs that are more behaviorally compliant which will make them more trainable, retain-able, unchanging, and effective in real world situations and how to bridge them into TTPs that are less behaviorally compliant.

In February of 2019, Ramsey County SWAT was activated for a barricaded suspect in a Motor Home at the Maplewood Mall.  The suspect was a Sovereign Citizen and claimed to have explosive devices with him.  RC SWAT utilized numerous tactics to bring a positive resolution to the event including; less lethal munitions, chemical munitions, robots, and Vehicle Interdiction Tactics (.50 cal. deployment).

The debrief will include the evolution of tactics during the event, arrest of the suspect and lessons learned.

Tuesday

On May 18th, 2005, a lone suspect robbed the Capital Federal Savings Bank in Olathe, Kansas.  Shortly after entering the bank, the suspect took multiple hostages, had them strip to their underwear, and left the bank in an employee’s van.  The suspect drove to a local municipal airport where he attempted to escape with a hostage in a small plane.  The suspect with shot by police before getting into the plane.

The incident has valuable lessons for patrol and SWAT in dealing with hostage situations, particularly the dangers involved when these situations go mobile.

Presenter: Bart Branyon

On April 11th, 1986, eight FBI agents engaged in a gun fight with two serial bank robbers/murderers.  During the firefight, two FBI special agents were killed, and five others were wounded.  Both suspects were also killed.

Retired FBI agent Ed Mireles was wounded during this incident.  As most of our SOTA members have primary jobs in both patrol and investigations, this incident has many lessons that are pertinent today in both the investigation leading up to the gunfight and the gunfight itself.

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