Leaders & Legends - National Issues in Special Tactics - The NTOA Perspective – Thor Eells & Don Kester
Play • 1 hr 39 min

My guests today are Thor Eells and Don Kester from the National Tactical Officers Association or NTOA which is the largest tactical organization in the United States. Thor is a retired commander from the Colorado Springs Colorado Police Department where he served for 30 years. The majority of which was in tactical response including serving as a swat operator, a swat team leader and a team commander. Thor is currently the Executive Director for NTOA after serving many years as a board member and a trainer. Don is retired from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona where he served as a SWAT team operator, team leader, team sergeant, training director and SWAT team commander eventually retiring as a Division
Commander and Captain. Don is currently the training and education director for the NTOA after many years of service as a trainer and a board member.


02:00 – Thor’s background and law enforcement career

05:00 – Don’s background and law enforcement career

11:00 – The mission of the National Tactical Officers Association

15:30 – The relationship between state associations and the NTOA

20:30 – Police reform movements & the role of the NTOA as information provider

37:00 – National standards for special tactics teams

46:00 – Maintaining training standards with diverse team capabilities

55:00 – The NTOAs role in supporting teams with subject matter expertise

1:00:00 – The need to honest self-examination and debriefing

1:05:00 – The roots of bad legislation and need for law enforcement to oppose it

1:11:00 – No knock warrants, dynamic entries, and the NTOAs position paper

1:32:00 – The counter arguments for dynamic tactics and no-knock warrants

1:34:00 – Risk management and safety priorities

Contact Info
Thor Eells - teells@ntoa.org
Don Kester - dkester@ntoa.org

NTOA | National Tactical Officers Association

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