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Mobile Alabama during the first week of May; Great weather and a beautiful historic area. What could be better to add to that mix than a couple hundred Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors? Apparently nothing because that is exactly what Mobile had the week of May 5 through 10, 2013. The 33rd Annual Training Conference of the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors was held in this wonderful city and suffice it to say that the entire event was outstanding. The venue couldn’t have been any better, the host hotel staff was friendly and the training courses that were offered were above and beyond expectations.

The International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI) is truly a stand-apart organization when it comes to membership. They have been around since 1981 and the only way to be a full-fledged member is to be a LE Firearms Instructor. This is verified by several methods and makes membership more valuable in that any training endorsed by IALEFI is subjected to peer review many times over. IALEFI also offers a few other type memberships for folks who aren’t LEO’s or Firearms Instructors but yet want to support what IALEFI is all about.

The IALEFI Board of Directors decided to conduct the training in Mobile at the behest of the Mobile Police Department and the command staff at the Police Department also did an excellent job of making sure everything ran smoothly. Most participants of the conference elected to stay at the host hotel, which was the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel located right on the river and conveniently located downtown near lots of businesses. The host hotel has a wonderfully equipped conference hall and plenty of classroom space as well. I personally heard no negative comments from any attendees about the accommodations for the week.

The City of Mobile Police Department went out of their way to make room at the two available ranges for all of what was offered—and there were plenty of various course offerings during the conference, both in classroom and on the range. In addition to making sure the learning environment was comfortable, the Mobile Police Department also hosted the entire conference at a social event on Tuesday evening featuring tours of the USS Alabama! The event was held in a covered area just outside the great battleship but volunteers continuously took eager LEO’s who were interested in history on tours around the ship. I can absolutely say that this event was a pleasure from the word go.

In a time span of only one week, IALEFI put together some informative and fun classes to help LE Firearms Instructors take back information and knowledge to their respective agencies. Some of those classes were as follows: “Hands on to Handgun,” which is a range class dedicated to teaching instructors what they need to do when going from a physical confrontation to a deadly force encounter, including shooting from unconventional positions; “Advanced Firearms Training Techniques”; and “Teaching Basic Patrol Rifle.” Everything was there, from a class on how to avoid civil liability when applying firearms training to Armorers Certifications from Glock, Springfield Armory, Smith and Wesson, Bushmaster, Sig Sauer and Ruger. And, this is just naming a few of the 44 classes that were offered during the week of the conference—yes you read that correctly, there were 44 classes offered and every one of them was top notch. IALEFI has members from every state in the USA, as well as members from several other countries. This year some of the foreign countries who sent firearms instructors to the conference were China, Germany, Italy and Australia, including one instructor from Norway who also taught a class titled “A Scandinavian twist to a day at the range!”

Overall it was a great week of training and a comfortable venue that was well put together and received by members of the organization. If you are a firearms instructor and are an LEO, look into becoming a member of IALEFI. I don’t think you will be disappointed. For more information go to ialefi.com.

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Mobile Alabama during the first week of May; Great weather and a beautiful historic area.…