National Tactical Officers Association

Improving public safety and domestic security through training, education and tactical excellence.

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SWAT Team Leader Development
SWAT Team Leader Development

The NTOA’s SWAT Team Leader Development course was some of the best training and direction I have received in my 16-year career. The tactical competency of both instructors, Matt Hardesty and Pat Hilliker, rang true when instructing aspects of SWAT operations. As an operator for 13 years, I can really appreciate their points of view and will take a lot of great ideas and tactics back to our team.  Listening to their experiences was humbling and rejuvenating. I aspire to be the warrior or at least one of the nine fighters that make the battle. As I get older, my mind is still sharp and my drive increasing, but sometimes my body doesn’t want to cooperate. I will share with the young blood on our team and in turn we will all benefit. Thank you for keeping us sharp.  We will not let you down.

Sgt. Brian Luthart

Huntersville (NC) PD

SWAT Team Leader Development

This course was the best training I have attended in a very long time! I have never attended a training in which I felt completely challenged to re-evaluate my position in my career or how my department/team operates. The personal touch of Sgt. A.J. DeAndrea’s presentation hardened my dedication to doing my job the right way and to motivating those around me to be held to the same high standard.

Lt. Joel Footen

Washington County (MD) SO

SWAT Team Leader Development

This course far exceeded my expectations. I was excited to attend an NTOA course given the reputation of the NTOA, but this was awesome! No BS when I say this was an outstanding course. I am excited to apply the principles I learned to my team.

Officer Greg Benson

Kearney (NE) PD

SWAT Team Leader Development

Thanks to NTOA for offering this level of training. The training was very emotional and deep. The instructors (A.J. DeAndrea and Dan Murphy) were true professionals and they have shared true stories with the class which needed to be shared. Some of us have taken this job for granted because we have not been through what those guys been through. For these reasons, I applaud NTOA for allowing the true heroes to shared real SWAT stories with us.

Sgt. Jean Casseus

Albany-Dougherty (GA) SWAT Team

SWAT Team Leader Development

I am very pleased with the entire NTOA training experience. Starting with the NTOA staff and ending with the instructors, you all made this an uncomplicated process for me. Instructors Fred Myer and Rob Morris are top-notch, very personable, and provided all of us with a wealth of knowledge throughout the week.

I have already been in touch with my team Commander and it is my hope to host other trainings through NTOA at this same facility, and perhaps our range facility as well.


Jefferson County, SO

SWAT Team Leader Development

I recently attended one of your SWAT Team Leader Development trainings in North Haven, CT. The instructors, Pat Hilliker and Rob Morris, were two of the best instructors I have had the pleasure of learning from in my 20 years as a police officer. They showed up every day enthusiastic about the day’s training and brought with them life experiences that were informative. Both instructors were personable and approachable the entire week and offered a wealth of knowledge. Pat and Rob are an asset to NTOA and I look forward to attending one of NTOA’s classes in the future.



North Haven, CT

SWAT Team Leader Development

Great course and great instructors! The experience and intensity of both instructors brought realism to the training and provided a great foundation to teach from. I look forward to continue training with the NTOA and their instructors!

Sgt. Richard Hiles

Washington County (NE) SO

SWAT Team Leader Development

This was the best 40-hour class I have attended in my 16-year career in law enforcement! I would recommend it to anyone and am going to try to send my whole team through it.

Sgt. Adam Frerichs

Cheyenne County (NE) SO

SWAT Team Leader Development

The real life experience in conjunction with the classroom material had a major impact on the amount of material I was able to take away from this course. It was a truly humbling experience and was crucial to my growth as a leader.

The experiences shared by instructor A.J. DeAndrea were eye-opening. He is a true leader of men who I would gladly follow into the abyss. It was an honor to have him as an instructor!


Chatham-Savannah Counternarcotics Team

I just completed the SWAT Team Leader Course at the NTOA’s 2015 tactical conference in Salt Lake City. I want to thank the instructors, A.J. DeAndrea and Dan Murphy, for an outstanding class. This was truly one of the most informative classes I have attended in my 20 years on the job.

It is clear that both instructors put passion and commitment into this class and I greatly appreciate that. This class will certainly save lives in the law enforcement community.


Grand Rapids (MI) PD, Special Response Team

SWAT Team Leader Development

We had our first armed barricade over the weekend and my first major OP as team leader. I want to say, taking your SWAT Team Leader Development course helped me tremendously and I definitely used some of the things you taught us in the course. I also observed a lot of “problems” that happen when an incident of this size occurs. Overall, it went very well with the bad guys in custody and the good guys going home safe. I learned a lot for the future and will improve on some of the little things for next time. I would definitely recommend the course to new or current team leaders. Thanks for your class! (Click here to read article on this incident.)

Corporal Brian Opitz

Apex (NC) PD

The NTOA’s Team Leader Concepts class, taught by Sgt. Luke Sherman, was the best I have ever attended at GTOA. I told my captain, if this is the caliber of training that NTOA offers, then we are doing our agency, team and community a disservice for not sending at least a few people each year to NTOA classes.

Sgt. Sherman’s preparation and knowledge was evident. His delivery was professional and still humble and approachable. He explained the concepts in a way that only a person who has a deep understanding of their topic can do. His energy was constant. Despite the limited amount of feedback and interaction, he remained motivated. Sgt. Sherman is impressive and a credit to his agency and community, and an asset to our country.

Cpl. L. Eric Phillips

Houston County SO Response Team