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Remembering those we have lost

As a retired police officer and lifelong police trainer, Police Memorial Week is always a difficult time for me.

Having spent most of my life protecting others and training officers to keep themselves safe, it is always sad and painful to learn about an officer who made the ultimate sacrifice of his or her own safety while attempting to safeguard others.

The truth of the matter is that the deaths of these good men and women must never be seen as failures but rather as part of the continuing attempt of police to accomplish our primary duty. Sometimes we are called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice.

The bottom line is that the deaths of officers are the sad and tragic cost of doing the business of law enforcement – the cost of keeping our society safe. Officers need to do their best to keep citizens safe while providing for their own safety. Police administrators, supervisors, and trainers need to provide our officers with the best leadership, policies, training, and equipment possible.Citizens need to remember that law enforcement officers are “flesh and blood” human beings attempting to do a very difficult job.

We must always remember that these fallen heroes are the ones who have paid the ultimate price in doing the jobs that we have asked them to do. We mourn their passing and we pray for their souls, but we also celebrate their decisions to courageously continue the proud tradition of “manning” the Thin Blue Line.

Gary T. Klugiewicz is the director of ACMi® Systems, and a member of the Team One Network that in cooperation with the Northwest Wisconsin Technical College provides defensive tactics, firearms, and tactical training throughout the United States. He is retired from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department after 25 years of service where he was promoted to the rank of captain.

Gary has a background in Knockdown Karate where he won national championships and fought several times in Japan. He brought this high impact intensity to law enforcement training.

Gary’s name has become synonymous with the development of safe but realistic, intense, dynamic simulation training. As former Street Survival Seminar instructor and nationally known defensive tactics instructor, Gary has impacted literally 100,000’s of law enforcement officers.

His training is an officer survival program in action. Gary is the developer of the Active Countermeasures System of Unarmed Blocking and Striking Techniques that is the cornerstone of High Level Control Tactics. He has developed programs for police, corrections, mental health, security, and military personnel.

Gary’s team tactics training for SWAT, CERT, and Crowd Management Teams are among the best in the world. His instructor training programs stress adult learning, sub-skill development, guided discovery, decision making simulation scenarios, and positive group debriefing techniques.

Even more importantly, as a righteous police officer use-of-force defense expert, Gary has defended scores of officers in legal proceedings. Currently, he is the lead instructor for Verbal Judo’s Tactical Communication for the Correctional Professional training program.