National Conference

Our annual conference for 2023 will be held at The Sheraton, in Phoenix, AZ,  June 14th, 15th, and 16th.


NAFTO is proud to offer some outstanding training at our 2023 3-Day National Conference in Phoenix, AZ. This year’s training 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 21 st Century Policing by providing comprehensive and client-oriented curriculum. This year, NAFTO presents course topics including De-escalation, 21st Century Policing, Communication, Remedial Training, Standardization, Interpersonal Skills, Emotional Intelligence, Instructor Development, Reducing Liability, and Program Defensibility.


Keynote presentation by Brian Willis

Lessons for FTOs From Life’s Most Powerful Question

Brian Willis is recognized throughout North America as a catalyst for change in the law enforcement profession and a man with many questions. Brian operates Winning Mind Training, a company dedicated to serve the heroic men and women of law enforcement.  Brian was a full-time police officer for 25 years and has over 33 years of law enforcement training experience. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution and commitment to Officer Safety in Canada and the Law Officer Trainer of the Year Award.  In addition to his work with law enforcement professionals Brian has served as a mental preparation coach for athletes from a variety of sports including two Olympic athletes. Brian is proud to serve as the Deputy Executive Director for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA).

Breakout Sessions Offered:

11 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.

Closing Presentation by Anthony M. Bandiero, JD,

Emerging Legal Issues Every Officer Must Know

Anthony is a retired law enforcement officer with experience as both a municipal police officer and sergeant with a state police agency. Anthony has studied constitutional law for over twenty years and has trained countless police officers in advanced search and seizure. He is also a recognized subject matter expert by the DOJ’s COPS Office. 


Anthony has solid credentials including a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Harvard, and a Juris Doctor from Gonzaga School of Law. Anthony has authored fifteen legal books for law enforcement and is considered by many peers to be one of the best search and seizure instructors in the Nation. As Anthony often shares, he has a dream job teaching law enforcement search and seizure and is driven to help them make good case law. The result is safer communities and improved community relations.


Registration is $375.00 per non-NAFTO member attendees and $350.00 for current NAFTO members. This fee includes a 1-year NAFTO membership, 3 breakfasts, 2 catered lunches, and a banquet dinner (Thursday 06/15/2023).


Due to restriction from the venue, REGISTRATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED by May 15th, 2023. Seating limited to the 1st 120 applicants.




NAFTO has sold out all of our room nights at the reserved conference rate and Sheraton Downtown is now fully booked for the dates of our conference. NAFTO has secured an overflow hotel at a discounted rate. Please use the “Reserve a Room” link for details.


The Sheraton Grand is offering an amazing, discounted room rate of $149.00/night for a designated room block. Use this link to reserve and book your room as soon as possible to guarantee your rate.


Sheraton Phoenix is extending the conference room rate for 3 days before and 3 days after the conference, making this the perfect reason to come early, stay late, see Phoenix, AZ, and extend your training in to a vacation.

Early Conference Check-In Begins Tuesday, June 13th, at 1800 Hours in the event space area.

Questions can be e-mailed to

Cost savings considerations at this year’s conference:

  • The hotel is less than 10 minutes from the airport with ride-shares and taxis    available, and the conference is self-contained; no rental car required.
  • Minutes from international airport with many direct flight options.
  • 6 meals provided for reduced Per Diem.
  • Self-contained venue with numerous dining and entertainment options on property.
  • 16 class options and 3 panel discussions over 3 days of training.

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 Last Year’s Conference

Meet Your Instructors

Anthony M. Bandiero, JD, ALM, CPM

Keynote Speaker & Breakout Session Instructor

Emerging Legal Issues Every Officer Must Know

Five Questions To Understand The Fourth Amendment

 Anthony is a retired law enforcement officer with experience as both a municipal police officer and sergeant with a state police agency. Anthony has studied constitutional law  for over twenty years and has trained countless police officers in advanced search and seizure. He is also a recognized subject matter expert by the DOJ’s COPS Office. 

Anthony has solid credentials including a Bachelor’ and Master’s degree from Harvard, and a Juris Doctor from Gonzaga School of Law. Anthony has authored fifteen legal books for law enforcement and is considered by many peers to be one of the best search and seizure instructors in the Nation. 

As Anthony shares often, he has a dream job teaching law enforcement search and seizure and is driven to help them make good case law. The result is safer communities and improved community relations. 


  • To understand the holdings from the latest Supreme Court cases. 
  • To understand the holdings from the circuit courts that have a significant affect on law enforcement. 
  • To discuss changes to commonly used doctrines such as community caretaking, hot pursuit, and qualified immunity. 



Attend this training and get updated about the latest U.S. Supreme Court cases and hot-topic cases from around the country. 



Law enforcement officers must make legally defensible decisions and courts around the country are displaying less and less tolerance for mistakes. The days of walking into court and justifying legally significant actions with “I did it for officer safety” type blanket statements are over. Courts want specific and they want cops to use good discretion. Otherwise, bad case law gets created which hurts everyone. 

This class will cover vital constitutional doctrines that have changed dramatically over the last two years. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a modernized definition of a “search” under the Fourth Amendment which has had profound effects on law enforcement. Do cops know that touching a car’s hood to detect heat is a “search” under the Fourth Amendment? What about tapping on a tire to see if contraband may be inside? These are considered searches and cops need to know why. 

Additionally, cops will be taught changes affecting routine “searches incident to arrest” and how some courts are practically eliminating them unless the defendant has legitimate access to the property (unlikely). Moreover, an increasing number of courts are denying qualified immunity. This topic is a hot button around the country and this class will teach what it is, what it’s not, and what qualified immunity looks like moving forward. 

This presentation will ask and answer five questions which will leave the attendee with a better understanding of when Fourth Amendment applies. Additionally, the attendee will learn what it means to be “reasonable” and consequently constitutional. Finally, attendees with learn some of the major exceptions that will save evidence despite a Fourth Amendment violation.
The Fourth Amendment contains just fifty-four words. Yet, how do we apply these few words in practice? This presentation will ask and answer five questions, which if understood, will help the attendee fundamentally understand the Fourth Amendment and how search and seizure questions are handled. The first question this presentation will address is who did the search or seizure. This is a gatekeeper question because the Fourth Amendment applies to government actors and their agents. Private searches or seizures that would have offended the Fourth Amendment if conducted by the government are wholly unregulated by the Fourth Amendment and therefore do not need to be “reasonable.” The second question is whether the area or thing searched or seized is even protected. For example, the Fourth Amendment does not protect open fields or abandoned property. Still, most intrusions by police do implicate a legitimate privacy interest so the next question comes into play. Next, even if there was a government intrusion that involved a protected area, such as a home, did a “search” or “seizure” occur? For example, if police are lawfully inside a home investigating a domestic disturbance and see narcotics on the kitchen table, this would not be a “search” under the Fourth Amendment. Additionally, if an officer drives negligently and crashes into another vehicle, this would not be a “seizure.” This presentation will define the two “searches” and the two “seizures” that implicate the Fourth Amendment. The fourth question is the most important. Here, if the (1) search or seizure involved a government actor, (2) the area or thing searched or seized is protected, (3) a “search” or “seizure” occurred, then (4) it must be justified with either consent, a judicially recognized exception to the warrant requirement, or a warrant. The final question, which is vitally important to prosecutors and defense attorneys, is if the law enforcement officer lacks an appropriate justification like consent or the motor vehicle exception, is there another doctrine that can come in and save the evidence? Examples include the inevitable discovery and no “standing” to contest the unlawful search. In summary, attendees will leave this presentation with an eye-opening understanding of just what the fifty-four words in the Fourth Amendment mean in practice  

Brian Willis

Keynote Speaker

Lessons for FTOs From Life’s Most Powerful Question

Brian Willis is recognized throughout North America as a catalyst for change in the law enforcement profession and a man with many questions. Brian operates Winning Mind Training, a company dedicated to serve the heroic men and women of law enforcement.  Brian was a full time police officer for 25 years and has over 33 years of law enforcement training experience. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution and commitment to Officer Safety in Canada and the Law Officer Trainer of the Year Award.  In addition to his work with law enforcement professionals Brian has served as a mental preparation coach for athletes from a variety of sports including two Olympic athletes. Brian is proud to serve as the Deputy Executive Director for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA).

As an FTO you are in one of the most influential leadership and training positions in the law enforcement profession. You realize that there are no secrets, shortcuts or hacks in the pursuit of excellence in our profession. Building greatness in new law enforcement professionals is a process and a journey in which you play a pivotal role. You may have limited influence over what is taught at the academy and how the academy is run, but you have significant influence in the career trajectory of the new officers you train, coach, lead and mentor. This presentation will use Life’s Most Powerful Question as a guidepost for you and the law enforcement professionals you train on the journey of striving for excellence in everything you do. 

Kerry Avery

Breakout Session Instructor

Be the “T” in FTO

Kerry Avery is the owner of Odin Training Solutions Inc. Kerry has a Master’s degree in Education and 20 years’ experience designing training programs, with the last 12 years spent working with law enforcement. Kerry has consulted for various LE agencies and organizations in Canada, the United States, Central America and Ukraine. Kerry teaches in the Certificate in Adult and Continuing Education program at the University of Victoria, and coaches law enforcement instructors on course design and facilitation. Kerry is the Managing Editor for the ILEETA Journal, and has presented at conferences for ILEETA, IADLEST, and IACP. 

We all need to learn in order to survive and we find ways to do it, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that scientists began trying to understand HOW we learn. They still haven’t discovered the magic formula to have everyone remember and be able to apply everything they have been taught, but research has given us theories and models that improve learning.  This interactive session will cover some of the key adult learning theories and methodologies, and how to apply them to be an effective trainer.

Christopher Fuzie

Breakout Session Instructor

How to Know if Your Trainee is Deficient or Defiant and What To Do About It!

Dr. Chris Fuzie is the owner of C.M.F. Leadership Consulting, and has taught leadership courses in California, Montana, Oregon, New Jersey, Nevada, Texas, Arizona and Utah, to law enforcement and other public and private organizations, including the U.S. Army. Chris is currently serving as the Business/HR Manager for the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.  Chris is married with four grown children and 2 grandchildren.  Chris’ wife Cindy recently retired from the City of Modesto. 


Chris retired as a Lieutenant from the Modesto Police Department and holds a Doctor of Education, Master of Arts, and Bachelor of Arts, all in Organizational Leadership, from Brandman University and Chapman University in California.  In addition, Chris holds two post-graduate certificates, one in Human Resources, and the second in Criminal Justice Education from the University of Virginia. Chris earned his first college degree from the Modesto Junior College at the age of forty.


Chris worked for the Modesto Police Department for 28 years beginning as a Community Service parking attendant and Reserve Police Officer, promoting through the ranks to Lieutenant.  Chris served as an FTO for five years and the FTO Sergeant for three additional years.  Chris retired as the Assistant Division Commander for the department’s Investigations Division and Commander of the Homicide Unit, Gang Unit, undercover drug unit, with collateral duties as the Hostage Negotiations Commander, and Mental Health Team Developer/Commander.  Chris has served as a union President, Secretary/Treasurer, and Board Member for the Modesto Police Officer’s Association and the Modesto Police Management Association.


Chris is an Adjunct Professor at the Yosemite Community College District since 2007, and has taught “Concepts of California Criminal Law,” “Patrol Procedures,” “Profiling Terrorism,” “Juvenile Justice Concepts,” “Communications in Criminal Justice,” and “Criminal Investigations” in classroom and on-line settings.  Chris is certified as an instructor and course administrator for California Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) and is a “Subject Matter Expert” (SME), and “Subject Matter Resource” (SMR) for leadership, supervision, performance counseling, and many other subjects.   Chris is a certified course administrator/evaluator and instructor evaluator.  Chris was the scenario instructor for the CA P.O.S.T.  Officer Involved Shooting and Death Investigations course, and the Instructor of Record and course administrator for the CA ICI Vice Investigations course.  

Chris is a member of the International Leadership Association (I.L.A.) and was an invited speaker at the I.L.A. Global Conference in Brussels, Belgium in 2017.  Chris was a presenter and speaker at the First Global Conference on Followership in Ottawa, Canada in July 2019 on the “Intertwining of Leader and Follower Behaviors.”   Chris was an invited guest for the U.S. Army National Educators Tour at Fort Benning, Georgia in April 2019.  Chris also volunteers his services and provides leadership training to the Redeemer Church Youth Leadership, and the Modesto Police Explorers Post 219.


Chris holds 4 separate copyrights and has published two books, “S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling: Save the Relationship, Change the Behavior,” and “Because…Why? Understanding Behavior in Exigencies.”  Chris has published over seventy “Supervisor Training Bulletins” on various leadership topics.


  • Determining if the behavior is deficient or defiant, 
  • Determining if the behavior is conscious or sub-conscious
  • How to respond to the behavior using the appropriate level of response to:
    • Unconscious Deficient Behavior
    • Unconscious Defiant Behavior
    • Conscious Deficient Behavior
    • Conscious Defiant Behavior
  • Documenting the performance and responses.



Attendees will initially work in a large group, using adult learning methods, and through interactive, participative, electronic media to identify the various aspects of deficient, defiant, conscious or subconscious behavior.  Then, participants will work in small and large groups to identify several scenarios to determine the type of performance behavior being exhibited.  Finally , participants will identify the which type of behavior response to select and appropriately apply the performance response to the given scenario.  

Randall Wark

Breakout Session Instructor

Amateur vs. Professional Mindset

Police Corporal with more than fifteen years of experience in two states (NC and VA.) Currently assigned to the Training Unit. Lead Defensive Tactics Instructor for Cary Police Dept., In-Service Training Coordinator, Field Training Officer Program Coordinator, NC General Instructor, Specialized Subject Control and Arrest Techniques Instructor, Force-on-Force instructor. Previous Emergency Response Team Team Leader.

Former Danville, VA Police Dept. Defensive Tactics Instructor, Street Crimes Unit member, and Civil Disturbance Unit member.  


Honorably discharged USAF veteran (Air Transportation and squadron PT Leader) Black belt Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor and kickboxing coach at TFTC Academy in Cary, NC.


Certified Gracie Survival Tactics Level 1 and 2 instructor. Special Operations Combatives Program Level 1 certified. FLETC certified Active Shooter Threat Instructor. Civilian Response to Active Shooter Event instructor.


Consulted multiple Law enforcement agencies regarding the structuring and implementation of effective defensive tactics programs.  Taught hand to hand combat survival skills to US Army Special Missions Units and law enforcement tactical units. Featured on multiple podcasts speaking on the topic of law enforcement defensive tactics and Brazilian jiujitsu.


Developing a professional mindset in trainers and trainees to improve performance, health, and wellness for the future professionals of law enforcement. 



Interactive power point presentation/lecture regarding the development and sustainment of a growth mindset (aka professional mindset) for trainers and their trainees. FTOs set the example and influence future generations of Police officers. The call for change and evolution starts here.

Ronald A. Rufo EdD

Breakout Session Instructor

Breaking the Barriers, Changing the Way We Support the Physical and Mental Health of Police Officers

Dr. Ron Rufo’s, latest book is Breaking the Barriers: Changing the Way We Support the Physical and Mental Health of Police Officers. He is also the author of Police Suicide: Is Police Culture Killing Our Officers, retired as an officer from the Chicago Police Department with 22 years of service. He received his doctorate in 2007 from Argosy University. Ron has been a team leader for peer support for over 18 years. He is delighted to be a keynote speaker for the Badge of Life and a proud member of ILEETA and IACP.


To promote mental wellness for all first responders.



My presentation will cover trauma, PTSD, police suicide, and the stigma of mental health treatment. I will also offer solutions such as mediation, breathing, exercise, yoga, and nutrition. 


This course will benefit all field training officers, and their recruits, as well as officers, active and retired. My presentation will help all first responders achieve emotional happiness. I encourage audience participation.

Austin Rhees

Breakout Session Instructor

Effective Training with Multiple Generations

I was born in Utah, lived in Nevada, lived in Colorado, and now back in Utah. My kids are grown and on their own, so It is now just my wife and me at home. Still young and living life the best we can. I would say I had a fairly average childhood, but was forced to grow up quickly in the middle of high school after some major life-changing events. I ended up in the workforce at an early age, and ultimately found my way into the Military. I was a Combat Medic with a Sapper Unit in the Army for six years. I loved it overall, but I chose not to make it my long-term career. I moved into customer service/car service for the following several years. This is where I really found my passion and abilities in training. I quickly worked my way to being the Regional Trainer and loved that as well. I still felt something was missing given the contrast between the two careers. I left that and found, what I believe for me, is a great bridge between them and got into Law Enforcement. Working in Adult Probation and Parole in Utah gives me everything in the law enforcement side along with working closely with individuals incarcerated and in the community for treatment and rehabilitation. I get to use my passion of training on a daily basis now as the full time FTO. I was also given the task of rebuilding our entire training program and procedures for our region and so far it is going well, receiving great feedback and creating solid new agents on our teams. 


  • Understanding the FTO’s generation 
  • Understanding the trainee’s generation
  • Effectively merging the gap 
  • Overcoming communication barriers
  • Adapting to learning and teaching methods without compromising desired results 



This is one of the classes I would have liked to have at the last conference. Since that time I have been doing a lot of my own research on the topic and will continue to do so. 


The idea for this session would be to not only discuss and understand difference amongst generations, but to learn how to effectively use different teaching techniques when appropriate to achieve better results. Also how to use those differences to your advantage when possible. I would also add how a some of the perceived differences are not necessarily always there when we may think they are. Recognizing that just being a certain age, does not always put a particular person into a general category, but that other factors may come into play as well from family dynamic, geographical area, schools attended, etc. In other words, recognizing traits in one ‘generation’ that may actually be more similar to another to adapt as needed.


I would intend this to be a very interactive class setting with group participation and be something that is relatable to many.      

Steve Sheridan

Breakout Session Instructor

What You Need Before You Lead

26 year police veteran, lieutenant in charge of patrol, special teams, FTO program, Public Information officer, and investigator. Public safety consultant for over 15 years, state police academy instructor for over 20 years (DT and firearms). National Verbal De-Escalation Trainer/Speaker, published author (Leadership in Law Enforcement – What You Need Before You Lead).


Better understanding of:

  • Ethos: what is it and why is it important to know 
  • Establishing Accountability With Our Communities (Peelian Principles)
  • Cornerstones of leadership
  • Setting The Example – What Does This Really Entail
  • Mission:  Making it clear, concise, and actionable 
  • Articulation: Matching Our Language To Our Mission



This course fills the gap between leadership theory and personality profiles. Few courses discuss the foundational aspects of leadership.  We continuously claim leadership is not positional, but then only offer leadership training based upon the position.


This course will introduce the student participant to the core concepts of leadership in action, not just the position.  The core concepts presented have been muddied, forgotten, or misrepresented in recent years. Until our personnel, from top to bottom, understand these concepts, we will continue to have the issues we are facing today.   

Jason Devlin

Breakout Session Instructor

Create A Path

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.


Describe the process for creating lasting change both personally and professionally. List the 3 components to asking better questions regarding personal accountability.



Have you ever had a day that changed your entire life? Follow one officer on his journey to rebuild himself, learn to create lasting change, and practice accountability in all aspects of life. Creating a Path describes his route to developing as a leader and shares simple tips for others to develop their leadership skills, as well.

Chip Sikes

Breakout Session Instructor

There is more to talking than just Words: Communication Differences, Challenges and Resolutions

Chip Sikes is a Retired Law Enforcement Officer and United States Marine Corps Veteran with 28 years of collective service. 


During his professional tenure, he has been assigned to Patrol, Public Housing Division, as well as a Field Training Officer, Motors/Traffic Division, the Alcohol Control Board, Executions Team, Plain Clothes/Narcotics, Outlaw Bikers/Motorcycle Gangs, SAU/SWAT and the last decade and a half of his tenure, as a Hostage Negotiator.


He has an extensive background in Crisis Intervention & Positive Resolution / Crisis & Hostage Negotiations and the applied training in these specialized areas.  

His courses educate, promote and support collaborative efforts creating and sustaining positive, effective interactions with Law Enforcement & Mental Health Care providers during interaction with individuals with Cognitive Disorders, Mental Illness(es), Special Needs and PTS-D. 


His courses offer education in recognition, de-escalation tactics and resource information, while striving to reduce the Stigma that encompasses these topics and today’s struggle with mulit-generational communication. 


Currently, he keeps himself busy as a Civilian Firearms and CCW Instructor in Arizona.  Sharing his passion for Situational Awareness, Personal Protection and Family Safety, his courses not only include the knowledge and skills of self-defense, but also shares educational perspectives on the Legal aspects of Lawful and Justifiable uses of Force and Deadly Physical.


  •  Recognition of Communication Differences, Challenges, Losses and Resolutions
  • Recognizing the differences in Communication Styles & Methods between the generations.
  • Reduce misunderstanding and deter breakdown of communication efficiency between the Traineenn the FTO, the Administration Staff & our Public. 
  • Recognizing Content and Value in different communication styles.
  • Avoiding and reducing negative emotion, which leads to conflict. 
  • Strengthen (verbal & non-verbal) communication methods with multi-generation groups. 



Recognition & Solutions Methods when Communication Differences create misunderstanding, negative emotion, resulting in breakdown of efficiency, leading to conflict. 

Marcia Harnden

Breakout Session Instructor

Trauma Informed Training for FTO’s

Chief Marcia Harnden was hired by the Bellevue Police Department in 1993 after graduating from the University of Washington where she has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Speech Communication.  She also has a Master’s Degree in Applied Leadership from City University.  She as served in a variety of operational and support assignments ranging from patrol, school resource officer, investigation and public information officer. She was promoted to Lieutenant in 2010 and was assigned the Traffic Unit’s Investigation Team and managed 6 Accident Reconstruction Investigators.  


In 2015, she was promoted to Captain and returned to patrol where she supervised 6 patrol squads, field training and K-9.  In October 2016 Captain Harnden took over command of the Special Operations Group which includes the Human Trafficking Vice Detectives, Narcotics Investigation, Serial Criminal intervention and a Joint Terrorism Taskforce Detective.  In 2018, Captain Harnden returned to patrol where she oversaw 4 sergeants, the Traffic Unit as well as the SWAT/HNT/Bomb Teams. 


 She retired from Bellevue Police in 2019 and joined the Albany Police Department in January 2020 as the Chief of Police.   Albany Police has over 65 sworn police officers, over 30 support staff and is the host agency for the Linn Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Taskforce (LINE).  The Line Taskforce is a regional partnership with Albany Police, Lebanon Police, Sweet Home Police, Linn County Sheriff, Oregon State Police, the Oregon National Guard, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and Oregon-Idaho HIDTA.    


 One of her most important initiatives at APD is to have a robust and thorough wellness program that allows sworn and non-sworn staff access to services that will keep them mentally and physically healthy throughout their careers and beyond.  This includes wellness onboarding, field training wellness, 6 pillar approach to wellness, and retiree wellness.  She teaches wellness at the Oregon Academy for leaders as well as in Washington State for their leadership program.  Albany PD has assisted other agencies with wellness program development as well as acted as peer support for neighboring agencies.


Wellness training for FTO’s, Giving FTO’s trauma informed training to impart on their students on their first trauma calls.



This course speaks to the importance of giving FTO’s training that compliments the general learning principles.  This will enable the FTO to train the student on how to do the work AND handle their first trauma exposures.  The training should include core principles of peer support and wellness that can be passed on to student officers early in their careers.  The FTO and Student embark on wellness from the beginning.


Some of the best FTO’s help their students navigate the impacts of policing, not just teach skills to do the work.  This course will give the FTO’s skills to be that mentor for wellness.

Kim Schlau & Chris Holder

Breakout Session Instructor

Both Sides of the Screen/Door – Navigating Life’s Difficult Situtations

Kimberly Schlau began her speaking career after her daughters, Jessica and Kelli Uhl, were killed by a speeding Illinois State Trooper when he lost control of the vehicle and crossed the median, driving into the girls’ car and killing them instantly. 


Since 2010, Kim has traveled across the country speaking at police academies, law enforcement conferences and police departments, as well as continuing to speak to several police academies on a recurring basis. She has dedicated herself to talking about her daughters and the circumstances of their deaths in an effort to prevent this tragedy from happening to other families. Her story is compelling and poignant, and has been well received by thousands of officers. 

Kim is a section editor for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) Journal. She is also the Marketing Coordinator for Below 100 as well as a guest instructor. 


Kim also established the Uhl Sisters Memorial Foundation which awards scholarships and other financial assistance to college students and law enforcement in her daughters’ memory.

After receiving a degree in Psychology from Hardin-Simmons University in 1997, Chris Holder worked as a case worker with at-risk youth focusing on first time offenders, runaways, and truancy.  After joining the Arlington Police Department (“APD”) in 1999, he has served in multiple units including; Bicycle Patrol, Community Service, Traffic Division (Motors), Homeland Security Special Events, Academy Coordinator, and has been a long-standing member of APD’s Peer Support team responding to critical incidents as needed.  


He carries a Master Peace Officer license, Texas Commission On Law Enforcement (TCOLE) instructor certification, firearms instructor, and DT instructor certifications as well as many others.  Chris has won state awards for past programs he’s developed, most recently receiving the APD Medal of Merit for developing a hate crime class and instructing it on a local, state, and federal level.  


Chris’s involvement with the community includes mentoring elementary students.  He is also active with his church, teaching high school students and going on yearly mission trips with them during the summer.  Of all the achievements Chris has attained, he is most proud of his wife of over 24 years and his two teenage daughters.


  • The first portion will cover how to deliver a death notification in a professional yet compassionate manner; how to maintain communication with the survivors as needed; and, the importance of self-care afterward.
  • The second portion will cover how to prepare your family for your line of duty death or critical incident notification, discussing topics such as the initial notification, burial services, insurance and financial issues, how proactive planning can alleviate stress for the surviving family and agency; and how to avoid the inadvertent release of personal information.
  • The third portion will describe how to keep an officer’s personal information confidential; recognizing common and not-so-common informational sources that can be exploited; discuss social media and first amendment rights; and, identifying the procedures to protect personal information and the dangers of failing to do so. 



Every day, deaths occur from traffic crashes, shootings, drug overdoses, medical issues and suicides, and officers are often tasked with delivering the news of these tragedies to families. If the message is delivered in an unprofessional manner, the perception of law enforcement can be irreparably damaged. 


Every day, officers are at risk of serious injury or death in the line of duty, sometimes by individuals who intend to assault or kill law enforcement. If your family is not prepared for this unfortunate reality, they will have to contend with the additional burden of sorting through voluminous paperwork while processing their grief.  

In addition, officers as well as their families are also vulnerable to harm through doxing and/or online attacks. Further, an officer can potentially end a career or damage the public’s trust in an agency with a simple “click” on social media. 


Implementing protective and proactive measures today will enable you, your family, and your agency to effectively navigate life’s difficult situations.

Clayton Swensen

Breakout Session Instructor

Cognitive Field Training

Lieutenant Swensen began his law enforcement career in 2004 with the Sandy City Police Department in Utah. During that time he has served in the Crime Suppression Unit, K9 Unit, as an Detective Sergeant, PIO, Administrative Sergeant, and Patrol Lieutenant. He is also heavily involved in the Peer Support Program, and the Utah State Critical Incident Stress Management Team. In 2015 he obtained his BS in Criminal Justice, and is currently working on a MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (2024).


Understanding Cognition (thinking about thinking) and ways to implement this theory in Field Training.



Learning about cognitive theories, and how the brain works (retaining and recalling information). Understanding the best strategies to enable trainees to “think about thinking” and reiterating newly obtained information. Breakout sessions to apply principles.

Jenny Hall & Justin Witt

Breakout Session Instructor

Breaking Down the FTO

Dr. Jennifer Hall has served the citizens of Louisville for the past 16 years in multiple roles for the Louisville Metro Police Department. She is currently assigned to the Career Development Unit as well as being the Police Training Officer Coordinator, which is part of the LMPD Training Division. Prior to this assignment, Officer Hall was a detective in the Crimes Against Children Unit. She holds a BS in Criminal Justice from Eastern Kentucky University, a MA in Sociology from the University of Louisville, and a PhD in Applied Sociology from the University of Louisville. The concentration of her studies involved social policy and criminology and her contribution to research includes projects within LMPD and as an NIJ LEADS Scholar. As a certified Kentucky Law Enforcement Instructor, she provides police instruction and presentations to her agency, along with community organizations and foundations.

Sgt. Justin Witt is a veteran of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Currently, Sgt. Witt is assigned to the Training Division leading strategic initiatives. He was previously assigned to the Accountability and Improvement Bureau designed to optimize performance for officers within the department. He has led the Police Training Officer (PTO) Program, been a patrol sergeant, an instructor in the Advanced Training Section of the Louisville Metro Police Department and a plain clothes narcotics detective as well as, being on a gang task force in Louisville. Sergeant Witt regularly teaches for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and the Institute for Prevention of In Custody Death (IPICD). Sergeant Witt formally served on the Louisville Metro Police Department Merit Board, responsible for reviewing disciplinary appeals from members of the department. He has appeared in countless law enforcement magazines, podcasts, and documentaries illustrating the importance of decision making and de-escalation.


  • Understand the four characteristics of training officers and the applicability of each. 
  • Learn ways to measure non-performance related training techniques.
  • Discuss the importance of high coaching/mentoring practices and how that can affect training results, department culture, and community satisfaction.


There are innumerable ways that police departments measure and analyze officer performance based on skills and proactivity. This data has value, but during training there are other characteristics that should be measured and highlighted. Breaking down an FTO will reveal two areas of focus. One is the area of performance, to include skills and knowledge, while the second is development, which includes coaching and mentoring. The expectation is that the FTO is rated high in both, but if not, which area of practice is needed more? This presentation will dive into conversation about what is valued within a training officer. It will also discuss why identifying the trainer’s capabilities in these areas will allow for instructor development and ensure a well-rounded experience for new officers.

Coleen Haines

Breakout Session Instructor

How Education and Enforcement go Hand in Hand – Messaging Before and After You Hit the Streets

Communications and public relations professional encompassing 20+ years. Expertise includes media training, social media management and training, web and print content development, public speaking, and award-winning video production.


Communication is key for law enforcement. Leave this class feeling like a better communicator internally and externally, and learn how communication correlates to recruitment efforts.



New technology means newer ways to target audiences. Are you using the right platforms for the right audience? How are you advertising/messaging and are you getting compliance or engagement? Are you tracking? Media tips/tricks for Crisis Communications, High Visibility Enforcement events, and day-to-day. Are your messaging efforts helping with recruitment?

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. 

2023 National Conference Itinerary

Cost savings considerations at this year’s conference:

  • The hotel is less than 10 minutes from the airport with ride-shares and taxis    available, and the conference is self-contained; no rental car required.
  • Minutes from international airport with many direct flight options.
  • 6 meals provided for reduced Per Diem.
  • Self-contained venue with numerous dining and entertainment options on property.
  • 16 class options and 3 panel discussions over 3 days of training.