Melbourne Village Resident Vern Goding Makes Donation to American Police Hall of Fame
By Tara Dixon Engel // July 30, 2019
Vern Goding is an avid supporter of law enforcement
BREVARD COUNTY • TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA – The Law Enforcement Education Program at the American Police Hall of Fame in Titusville was recently the beneficiary of a $1,350 check from Melbourne Village resident and retired law enforcement officer Vern Goding.
Goding is an avid supporter of law enforcement and believes in the importance of on-going education. He had reviewed plans for the LEEP program and had met with officials from the National Association of Chiefs of Police, which operates the Hall of Fame and oversees the LEEP program.
“I was impressed with what they are attempting to do there and with the caliber of their trainers,” said Goding.
“I want to save officer lives and make them even better at dealing with everything that gets thrown at them on the job. So I made a donation that will help purchase training equipment.”
Just a week later, the Davis Foundation signed on to support the program, as well.
“Those two checks allow us to purchase Sirt knives, law enforcement handcuffs, Howard Leight electronic ear muffs, training mats and Airsoft guns for force-on-force and hand-to-hand training for officers from across the state of Florida,” said Tara Dixon Engel, VP of Training and Strategic Development for NACOP.
She noted that two NACOP trainers recently completed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s “General Instruction” class at Eastern Florida State College.
The two former LEOs will attend “high liability” training in October, in order to teach firearms and related skills to Florida LEOs.
“We are known for our tactical training and our support for law enforcement,” said Engel.
“The LEEP program just formalizes everything. In addition to our partnership with EFSC and FDLE, we bring in some of the finest trainers in the country for such classes as ‘close quarter combatives,’ ‘surviving a gunfight,’ ‘tactical jiu-jitsu’ and more. The goal of LEEP is to leverage sponsorships and donations like Vern’s and the Davis Foundation’s so that Florida LEOs and their agencies don’t have to pay for the training that may save their lives.”
Engel noted that, in June, the facility offered a presentation and live-fire training session with retired FBI agent Ed Mireles, who was instrumental in ending the 1986 “FBI firefight in Miami.”
“Our attendees were impressed with how applicable Ed’s lessons were to today’s environment and how useful the live fire portion was in replicating what they’d just learned,” Engel explained.
She added that LEEP is currently seeking grants and donations/sponsorships to bring in more experts and to offer a variety of live fire and hand-to-hand training classes.
“We are setting up training sessions with experts like Dave “Boon” Benton (of Benghazi/”13 Hours”), Fred Mastison (close quarter combatives) and Pamela Barnum, a former undercover officer and prosecutor who specialized in drug enforcement and is a recognized authority on body language/deception detection,” Engel said.
“We also seek support for more training aids including a breecher door, Simmunition conversion kits and additional equipment for our state-of-the-art simulator.”
She noted that, in 2018, TI Training in Colorado donated a $42,000 use-of-force simulator that is currently being used for training civilians and LE alike.
“We want to partner with folks like Vern and the Davis Foundation who value the lives of our officers and want to make the streets safer for everyone,” Engel said.
“As the wife of a retired LEO myself, I understand all too well how important training is…and how neglected it often becomes because of financial and time limitations. NACOP wants to offer world-class supplemental training sessions at little to no cost in a time frame convenient to officers and agencies.”
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