National Conference

The 2024 National Conference will be held from Wednesday June 26th to Friday June 28th at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center, in Salt Lake City, UT.


NAFTO is proud to offer some outstanding training at our 2024 3-Day National Conference in Salt Lake City, UT.  We are presenting a new format, with 24 different sessions, over 3 full days of classes, to maximize your training experience!  This conference is specifically designed for Field Trainers working in Patrol, Detention, Communications, and Emergency Medicine. NAFTO is working to prepare your Field Training Unit for the challenges of 21st Century Policing by providing a comprehensive and client-oriented curriculum. NAFTO presents course topics including Constitutional Policing, 21st Century Policing, Communication, Remedial Training, Standardization, Interpersonal Skills, Emotional Intelligence, Instructor Development, Reducing Liability, and Program Defensibility. 


Presentation by Jason Devlin

Training with P-R-I-D-E

Sergeant Jason Devlin has been a police officer with the City of Scottsdale since May 2003. During his time in law enforcement, Jason has served as a patrol officer, DUI enforcement officer, patrol sergeant, and is currently the sergeant of the Professional Development Unit. His current duties include supervision of the Field Training Program, Emerging Leaders Program, and Adaptive Decision-Making Program. Jason has been a keynote speaker and instructor at multiple law enforcement conferences on training development, adaptive decision-making, and field training. Prior to becoming a police officer, Jason was a 7th grade mathematics teacher. He also operates a law enforcement training and consulting business called Thin Blue Line of Leadership which interacts with an international law enforcement community through multiple social media platforms. 

instructor teaching an FTO class at the national conference

Breakout Sessions Offered

18 Breakout session topics and 2 panel discussions will include: Instructor Development, Deficient Trainees, Communication, Training Mindset, Health & Wellness, Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Coaching & Mentoring, Cognitive Learning, Contemporary Training Needs, and Case Law Updates.


There is a 3 tiered registration calendar this year. This fee includes a 1-year NAFTO membership/renewal, 3 breakfasts, and 3 catered lunches. Questions can be e-mailed to

Registration Tiers Dates NAFTO Members Non-NAFTO Members
Early Bird Registration
11/20/23 - 01/31/2024
Standard Registration
02/01/2024 - 06/05/2024
Late Registration
06/06/2024 - 06/13/2024

Due to restriction from the venue, REGISTRATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED by June 13th, 2024. Seating limited to the 1st 200 applicants.



The Hilton is offering an amazing room rate of $194.00/night, and we have a room block of 100 rooms per night.  Last year we sold out of rooms. Don’t wait to make your reservation!

Early Conference Check-In Begins Tuesday, June 25th, at 1800 Hours, on the 2nd floor, in the event space area.

Questions can be e-mailed to

This Year's Sponsors

Benchmark Analytics invites all NAFTO National Conference attendees to relax and enjoy themselves in the conference Hospitality Suite. Benchmark Analytics will provide the snacks and beverages. You bring good conversation and fun-loving spirit. This is a great opportunity to exchange coins, patches, stories, and good ideas! Thank you Benchmark Analytics for your support. 

NAFTO is proud to partner with Virtra to bring you the NAFTO Night-In. This  yearly event is open to all National Conference attendees and is always a good time! Our Night-In includes the annual Cornhole Tournament, snacks, drinks, and entertainment. NAFTO and Virtra invite you to join us Wednesday night, June 14th @ 7pm in the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown. Thank you Virtra for your support!

What to Expect

Justin Witt’s Baquet Speech at the 2022 Conference

Meet Your Instructors

Guest Speakers

Mike Warren

Host of the Faces of Leadership Podcast – Guest Speaker

Guardians of the Culture

Michael Warren is a 23 year veteran of the Novi Police Department in the Detroit Metropolitan area. During his time with his agency he has served as a patrol officer, FTO, detective, DEA Task Force Officer, patrol sergeant, and Training and Standards Sergeant and oversaw the agency’s use of force training program.

A big believer in life-long learning, Michael has earned a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. In addition, he is a graduate of the Michigan State University School of Police Staff and Command. Michael was certified as a Force Science Analyst and has continued his
studies in this realm. Michael has studied extensively the effects of stress on human decision-making.


With this knowledge, he focused on constant improvement of training programs at the agency and in his teaching roles to provide the most effective use of training time and dollars.

The FTO fulfills a unique role in their respective agencies when it comes to culture. The FTO is often one of the first people with influence on new members. This requires more than just providing high-quality training. The FTO serves as the gatekeeper, the protector, and the sustainer of the culture. 

Jason Devlin

Next Gen FTO – Guest Speaker

Training with P-R-I-D-E

Sgt. Jason Devlin has been an officer with Scottsdale PD (AZ) since 2003. He has served as a patrol officer, DUI officer, patrol sergeant, and is currently the training sergeant of the Professional Development Unit. Current duties include supervision of the Field Training Program, Emerging Leaders Program, and Adaptive Decision-Making Program. Jason has been a keynote speaker and instructor at multiple law enforcement conferences on instructor development, decision-making, and field training. He is the developer of the Nextgen Field Training Model which is continuing to be implemented on a national level. Jason also interacts with an international audience through social media as Thin Blue Line of Leadership.

Training with P-R-I-D-E explores how Scottsdale PD is utilizing the P-R-I-D-E Adaptive Decision-Making Model to train officers to make better more consistent decisions. By combining decision-making, emotional intelligence, de-escalation, and human performance concepts into a single model, we have found a successful method for teaching our officers how to think, as opposed to just telling them what to think. The P-R-I-D-E Adaptive Decision-Making Model also provides a roadmap for trainers of all disciplines to plan, validate, and instruct their students in a consistent decision-making method.

General Session Presentations

Ashley Ferris

General Session Presentation

Resiliency Through Purpose

Ashley Ferris was a law enforcement officer with Lakewood Police Department in Lakewood, Colorado from January of 2018 to June of 2023. Before becoming an LEO, Ashley was an All-Source Intelligence Analyst with the United States Army and a project manager for a Denver area developer. During her tenure as an LEO, Ashley was appointed to several leadership, mentoring, and instructing positions. Some of those positions included Field Training Officer, Crisis Intervention Coach, Public Information Officer, CPR and Tactical Medical Care Instructor, amongst others.


Ashley was assigned as a Training and Recruiting Specialist for Lakewood Police Department from September of 2022 to June of 2023. During this time, she developed lesson plans and instructional materials for the Jefferson County Combined Regional Academy.


Ashley has received more than 15 awards since her hire date as a law enforcement officer, most of which were a result of an incident on December 27, 2021. Those awards include a Purple Heart, Law Enforcement Officer of the Year 2022 by the American Police Hall of Fame, Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police Law Enforcement Officer of the Year 2022 and Valor Award, and the International Footprint Association Most Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year 2022. During that 2021 incident, Ashley was seriously injured and ultimately medically retired from the department in 2023.


Ashley looks to continue and expand her service through LEO training and outreach. She now works for the University of Tennessee’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center in Knoxville, TN. Ashley is currently enrolled in the Educational Psychology M.S. program at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. In addition to her role at UT as a Training Specialist and her current graduate program studies, Ashley travels around the country to share her experience and lessons learned following her critical incident.


Ashley lives and loves to serve the community, her organization, and her friends and peers.

This course will discuss how purpose was an essential factor in my recovery and resiliency through and after a significant critical incident. The course will discuss leadership lessons learned throughout the event that apply to FTOs in their entry leadership roles. I will discuss the importance of leaders showing gratitude for their subordinates and how that fosters a sense of purpose, intentional work, and gratitude to serve – all of which, in turn, build resiliency through a career of policing, a hospital stay, a critical incident, or hardships at home. I will speak to how building a culture of purpose can contribute to a more successful, healthier department, and better retention. All of these lessons will be rooted in my incident and the interactions that occurred before and after.

Lewis “Von” Kliem, MCJ, JD, LL.M.

Force Science – General Session Presentation

Weaponizing BodyCams: How Video is Used for Unjust Accountability

With over 30 years in the criminal justice profession, Von worked as a civilian police officer, attorney, educator, and author. He was a senior policy attorney for Lexipol and is currently the Director of Consulting and Executive Editor at Force Science.


As a litigation consultant, Von is involved in some of the most high-profile use-of-force cases in the U.S. and internationally. His team evaluates police practices, policy, law, and human factors in police decision-making and performance.


As a nationally recognized use-of-force expert, Von has presented training for the FBI LEEDS program, the U.S. Marshals, the American Counsel of Second Amendment Lawyers, the Use of Force Summit, the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, and countless local, state, and federal law enforcement officers, police executives, and attorneys.


As a lawyer, Von worked as a Senior Prosecutor, Police Legal Advisor, Senior Policy Attorney, Military Magistrate, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, Operational Law Attorney, Intelligence Law Attorney, and Domestic Operational Law Attorney. In addition to use-of-force law and constitutional policing, Von specialized in the response, investigation, and prosecution of family violence and sexual assault cases.


As an Army Judge Advocate (Retired), Von was recognized as an Expert Military Justice Practitioner and a highly sought-after police practices, investigations, and use-of-force legal expert. As a member of the Army Staff, he supported some of the Pentagon’s top attorneys and helped draft DoD and Army use-of-force policy.


Von is a graduate of the 17-week Force Science Advanced Specialist Course and the FLETC Police Legal Advisors Training Program. He holds a Bachelor’s in Crime and Delinquency Studies, a Master’s in Criminal Justice Administration, a Law Degree (J.D.), and a Master’s in Law post-graduate degree (LL.M.). Von is licensed to practice law in VA and KS.

Anthony M. Bandiero, JD, ALM, CPM

Blue to Gold Training – General Session Presentation

Duty to Intervene

Anthony Bandiero is the Senior Legal Instructor for Blue to Gold Law Enforcement Training. He is also a Nationally Certified Instructor, and many consider him to be one of the best legal instructors in the nation. He has studied constitutional law for over twenty years and has taught search and seizure to over 30,000 officers around the country. Before teaching search and seizure full-time, Anthony was a sergeant with the Nevada Highway Patrol in Las Vegas, Nevada. His assignments included traffic enforcement, emergency driving instructor, and training supervisor. Anthony also has experience as a municipal officer with the Elko Police Department. Anthony’s education includes a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Harvard University. He graduated from Gonzaga School of Law in Spokane, Washington, and is a practicing member of the Washington and New Jersey State Bar.

course description TBA

Paige Arnone

Founder of Firstgevity – General Session Presentation

Firstgevity: Improving First Responder Longevity Through Yoga

E-RYT 500, YACEP, AZPOST Instructor
Paige Arnone, the Founder of Firstgevity, has pioneered an inventive virtual yoga program aimed at fostering enduring physical, mental, and emotional well-being for first responders. Drawing on over a decade of yoga expertise, Paige has dedicated the last 5 years to instructing first responders, earning an AZPOST certification along the way. Rooted in a mission to extend health and wellness resources, Paige aims to reach
numerous first responder agencies. Her goal is to provide indispensable tools that empower them to lead robust, healthy, and sustainable careers, with a focus on ensuring a gratifying life post-retirement.

This session discusses the positive impact of yoga, meditation, and breathing techniques on the well-being of first responders. Acquire practical tools to minimize
injury, handle stress, boost resilience, and seamlessly incorporate these methods into both your department and everyday life. Explore the advantages of these practices, gaining insights into how they contribute to the functionality and long-term success of fifirst responders’ careers through straightforward and effective approaches to enhance mental, emotional, and physical health.

Breakout Sessions

Debi Malone

Breakout Session Instructor

Understanding the Principles of Adult Learning

Hello. My name is Deborah (Debi) Malone. I am a Sergeant within the Division of NJ State Parole and am currently a supervisor with the agency’s Response Unit. I have over twenty years of experience in various law enforcement roles. Prior to becoming a NJ State Parole Officer, I was employed as a Federal Police Officer with the Department of Defense for five years. My experience working at these two departments, has afforded me the opportunity to respond to routine patrol calls, supervise thousands of sex offenders, become a full-time police instructor, and now a supervisor. This unique combination of law enforcement experience has provided me firsthand knowledge of a variety of law enforcement topics, responsibilities, and duties officers/supervisors are tasked with.


Throughout my career, my passion in encouraging other officers to expand their own knowledge, skills, and abilities in the law enforcement field grew year after year. Just a year after beginning my career, I completed training to become an in-service/community police instructor. Immediately, I began teaching in the community various youth/police programs. To expand my own knowledge, I attended countless law enforcement trainings and obtained numerous certifications.


In 2016, I became a Field Training Officer and in 2019, I became a certified NJ Police Training Commission (PTC) Police Academy instructor. Since that time, I actively develop, write, and instruct comprehensive law enforcement lesson plans for my own agency and at several NJ police academies (in-service and recruit courses). Some of the courses in which I now currently instruct are Methods of Instruction, Field Officer Training, Emergency Vehicle Operations, Monadnock Expandable Baton, Law Enforcement Aerosol Irritant Projector (SABRE OC), First Aid/AED/CPR, Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS), Overview of NJ State Parole, and Sex Offender Management.


Although my supervisor position no longer permits me to instruct full time, my love for training will always remain my PASSION and I continue to instruct part-time. To say I am driven about learning and instructing is an understatement. Fun fact, I graduated with BOTH my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, in Criminal Justice, when I was just 21 years old. Yes, I love my career and teaching others, but I LOVE my family even more. I’m married to a fellow Police Sergeant (different agency), who also happens to be a full-time Police Academy instructor- I know shocking. (To answer the next question, NO, we did NOT meet at work. We have been together before our careers even began!) We have two children and live just minutes from the BEACH (lol, not the “Jersey Shore”).

As a Field Training Officer (FTO) have you ever had a trainee repeatedly NOT learn a topic in which you were instructing them on? Did you have to repeat things numerous times, over and over, and they still didn’t understand “it”? Did you get frustrated? Do you wish there was better way for trainees understand? If so, this highly interactive course is for you! Here you will gain the secret to any type of instruction, which is understanding the definition of “learning”. Individuals learn differently, therefore instruction by an FTO must also differ for each trainee. As the FTO, or instructor, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your trainee learns. During this course, you will analyze various learning styles and test different instructional methods to utilize when teaching an assortment of topics.

Dan Fraser

Raptor Protection & Safety – Breakout Session Instructor

Building Veteran Rookies Through Game Intelligence

Dan Fraser has spent over two decades in law enforcement in Alberta, Canada. He has trained thousands of officers in use of force, control tactics, firearms, specialty munitions and interpersonal communication. He is a Master Instructor and Canadian Director of Training for the Reality Based Training Association. As a Methods of Instruction trainer with Raptor Protection, he continues to train officers all over Canada in instructor development and human factors in use of force.

Dan is author of the book, Kickass Presentations – Wow Audiences with PowerPoint Slides that Click, Humor that’s Quick and Messages that Stick. He can be reached at

Your trainee is paying attention – the question is, to what?Learn how the critical human factor of attention affects perception, decision making, situational awareness and building game intelligence. How officers respond during rapidly unfolding, time-compressed violent encounters, is heavily underpinned by how those officers are trained, including during the FTO phase. As a human performance coach, the feedback you give to your trainee is vitally important. It can crush their spirit or help them develop quickly into a seasoned veteran. Learn how to deliver feedback with purpose.

Dr. Jason Mazeski

Breakout Session Instructor

Retaining the New Generation: The Importance of Professional Development

Dr. Jason Mazeski is in his 17th year with the New York City Police Department. He has a decade worth of experience training police officers and designing curriculum for the NYPD Counterterrorism Training Unit. He is currently assigned to the Office of Professional Development, where he is a SME for soft skill development of future and present police leaders. In his spare time, he is an adjunct assistant professor of public speaking at CityTech College. He holds an Ed.D. in Adult Education & Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University as well as a M.S. in Adult Education and Development from Buffalo State University.

Young adults are entering the workforce with a different mindset than years’ past. The idea of remaining in one department for 20+ years is becoming an anomaly. So how can agencies entice officers to stay for the long haul? This workshop will focus on developing a professional development program for officers that focuses on professional soft skills rather than police-centric required competencies. Enhancing the professional portfolio of future leaders with soft skills such as reputation building, resume writing, active listening, and public speaking can incentive workplace longevity. Taking from leadership programs of Fortune 500 companies and other private sector programs, soft skill professional development allows officers to be better prepared to take on executive and leadership roles within the department. We will also discuss the process of setting up scholarship programs for officers and their value for retention. This workshop will provide participants with the basic knowledge to begin helping new officers to develop professionally and prepare them to become future police leaders. Nothing in this workshop will get your fired, jammed up, or on the front page of the local newspaper. It will, however, enable you and your trainees to grow professionally and personally, fostering a positive work environment that recruits will want to remain for years.

Beth Medina

The Innocent Justice Foundation – Breakout Session Instructor

SHIFT Happens: Powerful Tools for Combating Stress & Trauma

Ms. Beth Medina serves as the CEO/Program Director at The Innocent Justice Foundation (TIJF) where she works in collaboration with the SHIFT team and provides oversight for the program. Her role entails needs assessment, program design and delivery, curriculum development and resource material, trainer and consultant supervision, and managing day-to-day operations of the SHIFT program. Ms. Medina has more than 20 years of experience in non-profit, education and mental health fields, including extensive experience developing and launching new programs and designing curriculum for community-based organizations. She is an International speaker and trainer on topics related to mental health and wellness and trauma recovery. She holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and a B.A. in Political Science/History

For some professionals, traumatic can occur daily. It’s not IF it will happen, it’s WHEN. Not to worry…your brain is built to adapt! The session explores the of signs and symptoms of traumatic stress, the power of neuroplasticity, specialized resiliency tools to help your brain combat stress, and how to develop personalized tools to assist when challenges arise. The topic will be presented from a multidisciplinary approach, including law enforcement and mental health professionals.

Christopher Pfannkuche

Breakout Session Instructor


Christopher Pfannkuche is an experienced 43-yr trial attorney, former 31-yr criminal prosecutor in Chicago (Felony Trial Division / Trial Supervisor) (Capital Litigation / Death Penalty Certified), IADLEST Nationally & Internationally Certified Law Enforcement Training Instructor (INCI & IICI), NAFTO Nationally Certified Police Field Training Officer (F.T.O.), NAFTO Certified in Managing the F.T.O. Unit, Certified Forensic Crime Scene Technician, ILEETA 6-yr Staff Training Instructor 2019-2024, LETOA-WI Staff Training Instructor 2024. He is a published legal author, having written and published a book on writing search warrants, co-authored a second book, published a number of legal articles, and has lectured extensively. He has prepped over 10,000 police officers to testify, has read over 100,000 police reports, litigated over 2000 criminal court cases with live officer testimony in court on the witness stand, and knows the issues that often “trip up officers” in court. He has trained police officers, prosecutors, and defense attorneys.

This course is about playing “Devil’s Advocate”, by thinking like an Attorney and learning to anticipate issues, including how an Attorney might attack their D.O.R.s, to write “Rock-Solid” Daily Observation Reports (D.O.R.s) that meet an agency’s objective standards by improving detailed writing skills and abilities to protect yourself and your agency against potential litigation from attorneys. Field Training Programs (F.T.P.s), F.T.O. Supervisors, Field Training Officers (F.T.O.s), training agencies, and D.O.R.s have become subject to increased legal scrutiny, based on subsequent instances of misconduct or excessive force. There are a growing number of legal considerations that every F.T.O. must keep in mind while training and evaluating Probationary Police Officers (P.P.O.s). The preparation of properly detailed D.O.R.s is key to this process.


As BOTH an attorney and a NAFTO Nationally Certified F.T.O., myself, this is the unique and insightful perspective that I teach from. A Field Training Program (F.T.P.) is about both the need to “truly train” as well as bringing a Probationary Police Officer (P.P.O.) up to a department’s “First Day Solo Capable” agency standards. Any training imparted must be strictly measured against that objective standard. F.T.O.s must clearly document in the D.O.R. not just the P.P.O.’s performance progress, but the actual training that took place, in “Key Relevant Detail”, and how that training met those agency objective standards. A good Field Training Program must teach and evaluate simultaneously, a goal which has its own inherent challenges. The key to ensuring a successful F.T.P. is to emphasize that BOTH the F.T.O. and the F.T.O. Supervisor ensure that training is actually occurring, and not just evaluating the training.


Further, the actual training must be well-documented in the D.O.R.s. As the adage goes: “If it is not documented, it did NOT happen!” Ultimately, the documentation in the D.O.R.s must properly and accurately represent the agency’s objective standards in the overall evaluation matrix and how that P.P.O.’s training specifically met those standards. Personal expectations, or simply where the officer is at in the training, is not the point. Agency standards (AKA: “FIRST DAY SOLO CAPABLE”) do not change. They are OBJECTIVE, not SUBJECTIVE standards. Everything must be measured against these agency objective standards. Foresight, not hindsight, is critical.


As you write your D.O.R.s, play “Devil’s Advocate” and think about how an attorney might subsequently attack your D.O.R.s as reflecting inadequate or negligent training, not measuring up to your agency’s objective standards. Whatever you were about to leave out of your D.O.R. that is pertinent to that agency’s objective standards MUST now be included and detailed in the D.O.R. In the process, attendees will examine sample D.O.R.s. and identify potential issues.


Through lecture, PowerPoint, and class discussion, attendees will identify necessary “Key Relevant Details”, a critical step, to properly include in D.O.R.s, in a way that the D.O.R.s properly “paint the picture” of not just the P.P.O.’s training progress, but the actual training that took place. This course will include handouts containing concepts and ideas and will be engaging and interactive hands-on training that F.T.O.s can immediately put to use. The end goal is to write your D.O.R.s from a “Devil’s Advocate” perspective and your D.O.R.s will be “Rock-Solid”! “Course Completion Certificates” will be issued.


Ken Pomeranz & Dacia Simpson

Breakout Session Instructor

10 Techniques to Motivate an Underperforming Trainee

Ken Pomeranz has more than 30 years’ experience in law enforcement serving the San Diego Police Dept., the Las Vegas Police Dept., Adams County Sheriff’s Office (Colorado), Lakewood Police Dept. (Colorado) and currently the Phoenix Police Dept. He is a highly decorated officer (retired) who was shot in the line of duty. Ken earned his master’s degree in forensic science and is certified both as a Senior Crime Scene Analyst and as a Forensic Photographer through the International Association for Identification. He is a past president of the Rocky Mountain Division of the IAI (RMDIAI) and is currently a vice-president for the Arizona Identification Council.


Dacia Simpson is a Crime Scene Specialist III who has 8 years of experience with the Phoenix Police Department. In this time, she has been responsible for the processing and documentation of a variety of criminal investigations to include homicides, aggravated assaults, robberies, abuse, and officer involved incidents. Dacia is part of the Phoenix Peer Support Program, acts as a Field Training Officer, and is also an onboarding Ambassador for new Crime Scene Specialists. She holds an Evidence Technology certificate, a Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University in Social and Behavioral Science, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

In the ever-evolving field of criminal justice, it is important to ensure that the next generation is empowered to succeed through the provision of tools specific to their personal needs. This course examines ten common issues faced by Field Training Officers when guiding novices through the training program and techniques to mitigate these concerns. After attending this training, FTOs will be able to identify the proper categories their struggling trainee may fall into and strategies for successful completion of a training program.

Sergeant Martin Swanty

Breakout Session Instructor

Creating Remedial Plans

Sergeant Martin Swanty has been with Larimer County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado for 13 years where he is currently the Field Training Program Coordinator for the agency. Sergeant Swanty started in the jail where he worked as a deputy for several years before transferring to patrol in 2013. In 2023 he was awarded the Master FTO from NAFTO after training dozens of deputies and investing thousands of hours.

This course will go over what a remedial training plan is, and when one should be implemented during the Field Training Program. It will cover how to identify the problem, how to create a remedial plan and document it, and how to measure success or failure. Students will leave with a roadmap to remedial training plans as well as a template that can be adjusted to their agency’s needs.

Lt. Clay Swensen

Breakout Session Instructor

Deal With Your Trauma, So You’re Recruit Doesn’t Have To

Lt. Clay Swensen is the Commander over the Special Operations Division for the Sandy City Police Department (Utah). Clay holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and is currently enrolled in a Master’s Program for Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Clay began his career in 2005 and has served in many positions including Patrol, K9, Crime Suppression, FTO, Investigations, and PIO. Clay is passionate about mental health and officer welfare and is an active member of the peer support team and the Utah Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Team.

First responders are exposed to significant trauma. This exposure has a dramatic effect on physical and mental health, as well as our professional and personal lives. Understand how trauma effects the mind and body, and how this impacts our work/life balance. Learn coping strategies and skills for trauma/stress management, and how to create a positive mental health culture within the FTO program and department. Give your recruits the necessary tools to combat exposure to trauma and achieve a healthy work/life balance.

Phillip White, MS, MA (RET.)

Breakout Session Instructor

How to Connect with Students Officers

Officer Phillip White, MS, MA (RET.) served for 26 years with the San Jose, CA Police Department. From 2017-2023, he was the department’s CA POST certified FTO Program Coordinator and CA POST FTO Course Instructor. He possesses the CA POST AICC instruction certification and has thousands of hours of classroom and field teaching and training experience. He served as an FTO for four years and in various special assignments outside of the Patrol Division. Phillip is the Director of Operations, Head of Instruction and Lead Instructor for Granite State Police Career Counseling. He focuses on FTO, FTO Coordinator and Instructor Development Courses. In 2022, Phillip spent a week with the Tennessee Highway Patrol at their training headquarters, in Nashville, teaching FTOs and District Coordinators serving their 16 patrol areas. He retired in January 2023 after 31 total years of law enforcement experience. He now resides in Portsmouth, NH.

Law enforcement learning has been relegated to on-the-job, online, and classroom settings. While serving its basic purpose of sharing information through in-service and continued professional training, today’s classroom learning environments are not working and field training needs to be more than just “OJT.” Law enforcement learners who do not connect with the instructor/FTO and/or the material are likely not learning and retaining vital information that they therefore will be unable to recall and apply in the field. The classroom learning environment is not going away and is a critical part of the training process. This presentation will share a four-step process to better connect with classroom students – Get to know them. Know what’s up. Make it relevant. Mix it up! Each attendee will leave with the four-step guide checklist to use when preparing for their trainees, as well as ideas for active learning processes. (This is part of a three-day instructor Development Course)

Brian Willis

Breakout Session Instructor

Strategies to Prepare the Mind For Where The Body May Have To Go

Brian Willis served as a full time police officer for 25 years and has over 34 years of law enforcement training experience. In addition to his work with law enforcement professionals Brian also served as a mental preparation coach for athletes from a variety of sports including two Olympic athletes. He currently serves as the Deputy Executive Director for ILEETA.

As an FTO how do you help the men and women you train to prepare their mind for where their body may have to go? What are simple, proven, mental skills you can integrate into every aspect of field training? This interactive session will explore several evidence informed mental skills strategies, which can be woven into your field training process and then reinforced throughout people’s careers, at no cost. These mental skills can help the officers you train enhance their performance in all aspects of life including those tense, uncertain, rapidly unfolding, and novel events they encounter on the street.


William Chris Winder & Grace Winder

Breakout Session Instructor

Do It My Way, Or The Wrong Way: Utilizing Productive Feedback, Constructive Criticism & Self-Assessment

William Chris Winder brings a decade of experience as a Patrol Officer and FTO with the Salt Lake City Police. Prior to joining the police force, he served in the United States Marine Corps for eight years, where he also excelled as an instructor. His unique blend of military and law enforcement experience equips him with a deep understanding of the challenges and nuances of police training. In his current role, William is actively involved in teaching courses on Adult Learning Theory, Teaching Techniques, and Self-Assessment for fellow FTOs. He also contributes significantly to the training programs at SLC’s police academy, particularly in scenario-based training exercises. His expertise is further enhanced by several military certificates in teaching and leadership, showcasing his commitment to continuous learning and professional development.


Personal Teaching Philosophy: ”As an instructor, my philosophy centers around the belief that effective teaching in law enforcement goes beyond imparting knowledge – it’s about shaping character and decision-making skills under pressure. Drawing from my experiences in the Marines and as a police officer, I focus on practical, scenario-based training that prepares officers not just for the situations they will face, but for the quick, ethical decisions they will need to make in the heat of the moment. I believe in creating a learning environment that is interactive, challenging, and supportive, encouraging officers to reflect, engage, and grow. My approach is rooted in understanding the diverse learning styles of adults, emphasizing the importance of adaptability, continuous self-assessment, and resilience in law enforcement training.”

This two-hour course is specifically designed for Field Training Officers (FTOs) and focuses on enhancing skills in providing productive feedback, delivering constructive criticism, and employing self-reflection techniques. Utilizing a mix of interactive lectures, group discussions, role-playing, and mindfulness exercises, this course offers practical, real-world strategies tailored to the unique challenges faced in police training environments.


  • Enhanced Communication Skills: By focusing on effective communication strategies, FTOs will be better equipped to convey instructions, expectations, and feedback clearly and effectively, essential for training new recruits.
  • Improved Feedback Techniques: The course teaches FTOs how to provide constructive and productive feedback, a critical skill in guiding recruits through their learning process and helping them improve their performance.
  • Constructive Criticism Skills: FTOs will learn how to deliver criticism in a way that is beneficial and encouraging, rather than demoralizing, thus fostering a positive learning environment.
  • Effective Receiving of Feedback: Equipping FTOs with the ability to effectively receive and process feedback about their own teaching methods enhances their personal development and teaching effectiveness.
  • Mindfulness and Self-Reflection: The course introduces mindfulness and self-reflection practices, helping FTOs manage stress, make better decisions, and improve their overall well-being, which is crucial in high-pressure police work.
  • Practical Application: Through role-playing and real-life scenarios, FTOs will have the opportunity to apply these skills in a controlled environment, preparing them for real-world situations.
  • Peer Learning and Sharing: Group discussions and interactive sessions provide opportunities for FTOs to learn from each other’s experiences and insights, further enriching their learning experience.

Anthony M. Bandiero, JD, ALM, CPM

Blue to Gold Training – Breakout Session Instructor

Search & Seizure Doctrines Every FTO Must Know

Anthony Bandiero is the Senior Legal Instructor for Blue to Gold Law Enforcement Training. He is also a Nationally Certified Instructor, and many consider him to be one of the best legal instructors in the nation. He has studied constitutional law for over twenty years and has taught search and seizure to over 30,000 officers around the country. Before teaching search and seizure full-time, Anthony was a sergeant with the Nevada Highway Patrol in Las Vegas, Nevada. His assignments included traffic enforcement, emergency driving instructor, and training supervisor. Anthony also has experience as a municipal officer with the Elko Police Department. Anthony’s education includes a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Harvard University. He graduated from Gonzaga School of Law in Spokane, Washington, and is a practicing member of the Washington and New Jersey State Bar.

Tailored for Field Training Officers (FTOs), this high-energy class offers expertise in emerging areas, including the warrantless of curtilage, the nuances of search incident to arrests, the art of crafting effective reports, the legalities of pursuing hunches during traffic stops, and the use of drug canines without reasonable suspicion. This class is an indispensable tool for every FTO committed to ensuring their trainees don’t violate the constitution. 

This Year's Fundraiser

NAFTO has been blessed to partner with Kim Schlau and the Uhl Sister Foundation this year to give us all an opportunity to support a very worthy cause. Kim and her foundation have a tragic, yet, amazing story and have played a crucial role in law enforcement training for years. Come meet Kim, hear her story, buy some raffle tickets, and possibly win a bottle of bourbon!

Don’t forget, there’s still time to submit applications for Master Field Training Officer and nominations for Field Training Officer of the Year. All applications and nominations must be received by March 15th, 2023.  Master Field Training Officer certification costs your agency nothing and is a great way to recognize the hard work and dedication of your department’s Field Training Officers. 

2024 National Conference Itinerary

Cost savings considerations at this year’s conference:

  • The hotel is a free 20-minute ride from the airport on TRAX, Utah’s Light Rail System. It picks up at the airport, and drops you off less than one block from the hotel.  It’s free to use with an airplane boarding pass (coming or going). No rental car required.
  • Minutes from SLC International Airport, a Delta hub, with many direct flight options.
  • 6 meals provided for reduced Per Diem.
  • Located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, with numerous dining and entertainment options within walking distance.
  • 18 breakout session class options, 2 panel discussions, and 4 general session presentations over 3 days full days of training.