In the 1980s, two California police officers, Rich Wemmer and Ed Deuel, were deeply concerned with the safety and welfare of law enforcement personnel. Nationwide, more and more peace officers were being assaulted, and far too many were losing their lives on and off-duty. Individually, they recognized that police work was becoming more demanding, difficult and extremely dangerous. Although initially unknown to each other, their passion for preparing officers to face that “Moment in Time” was a common theme that would eventually unite them.
In the 1990s, Ed and Rich served as long-standing members of the California Peace Officer Standards and Training’s (POST) Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Advisory Committee. This committee studied numerous critical incidents where California law enforcement personnel were killed in-the-line of duty, both on and off-duty, due to accidental, felonious, and other causal factors. Subsequently, they met Marcus Young who joined the CA LEOKA Advisory Committee. Marcus shared Ed and Rich’s passion for officer safety and they worked together in making officer safety videos, presenting training, and publishing findings on peace officer death and safety guidelines.
In 2007, Ed Deuel and Rich Wemmer decided to unify their efforts and law enforcement knowledge to form the Peace Officer Safety Institute. Combining over 70-years of practical law enforcement experience, including their numerous examinations of peace officer accidental deaths, assaults and murders, they developed a Center to research, and to train peace officers at all ranks to make accurate assessments and timely decisions in tactical situations.
In 2018, Ed retired from the Peace Officer Safety Institute, agreeing to serve as a consultant to the center’s efforts. Marcus joined with Rich to continue the goals and work. Rich and Marcus publish articles, make training presentations, and work with law enforcement agencies. Their efforts are directed toward enhancing public safety and making the men and women in law enforcement more effective and safer in these difficult, demanding, and dangerous times.
Today, the communities we protect and serve demand that officers possess specialized law enforcement knowledge and skills and perform without error or impropriety. While there are many who use their skills effectively and safely in predictable and stable situations, far fewer peace officers can immediately and properly adapt to chaotic, rapidly changing, and unanticipated conditions without performance errors. Furthermore, such lapses in police performance can endanger public safety.
Whenever an officer is confronted with an unexpected threat, there are crucial tasks that must be performed without delay or error. The officer must immediately recognize the new threat, appraise the threat’s imminence and severity, select a different tactical option, and respond in a legal, proper and safe manner within “real-time”.
Historically, post critical incident liability reviews determined if a peace officer correctly performed these tasks. When the officer’s actions were found to be improper, consequences for the municipality, agency and officer occurred. These included discipline, civil and criminal liability, and often resulted in damage to the peace officer’s personal health and welfare.
The Center offers a wide variety of activities and services to make peace officers safer and to achieve our goal of preventing peace officer accidental deaths, assaults and murders. We strongly believe these services will significantly reduce the catastrophic financial and personal impact of critical events on the community, the law enforcement agency, and the officer’s personal and professional lives.
Who We Are
Ed began his law enforcement career at the Whittier Police Department in 1973. He joined the Huntington Beach Police Department in 1977 where his assignments included 14 years with the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT), Department Training Manager, and over eight years as the Officer-in-Charge of the Crimes against Persons Unit. Since 1980, he has served as a law enforcement trainer for basic and advanced courses in Patrol Procedures and Tactics, Officer-Involved-Shooting Investigations, SWAT Operations, Use of Force, and Trauma Response Team. Ed retired as a Lieutenant after 33 years of distinguished service.
Chuck began his law enforcement experiences in the U. S. Marine Corps in 1957. After his enlistment he joined the Fullerton Police Department in 1960 at age 21 years. He moved to the California Highway Patrol in 1965. In both agencies he had experience as a patrolman, motorcycle officer, field training officer, and acting lieutenant responsibilities at the CHP Zone Headquarters, Los Angeles. By 1969 he had earned a BS Degree in Psychology/Sociology, and an MS Degree in Police Administration at CA State, Los Angeles.
Rich joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1970, following service at the Pasadena Police Department as a Police Cadet and at the Monterey Park Police Department as a Reserve Police Officer in the late 1960’s. At the Los Angeles Police Department, Rich worked various operational, specialized, and training assignments, promoting to sergeant, lieutenant, and captain. As a lieutenant, he supervised a number of specialized units within the LAPD, including duties as the Officer-in-Charge of the Anti-Terrorist Division’s Investigative Unit during the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, the Hollywood Vice Unit, the Los Angeles International Airport Detail, and the Asian Crime Investigation Unit.
Ken Impellizeri initiated his interest in law enforcement as a cadet for Brea Police Department in 1985. Ken became a sworn law enforcement officer in 1987 and is currently a Lieutenant and SWAT Executive Officer with the San Diego Police Department.
Marcus formerly served as a Program Manager for the Professional Standards Bureau of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office in California. Marcus is a military veteran who served 20 years in law enforcement, retiring as a sergeant from the Ukiah Police Department, California. Between 2008 to 2017, Marcus worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a National Instructor/Trainer. He earned a M.S. Degree in Counseling Psychology and a B.S. Degree in Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco, California. President George W. Bush and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger each awarded Marcus a Medal of Valor following an officer-involved shooting incident. Between 2009 to present, Marcus has presented courses to more than 25,000 law enforcement and military personnel in over 40 states in the United States, multiple locations in Canada, and abroad.
What People Are Saying About Our Team
It has been my honor to know Rich Wemmer and Marcus Young for many years. On multiple occasions I have seen each of them teach riveting classes about officer survival. Rich and Marcus deliver very passionate, thought-provoking presentations on this vital subject. Their caring and commitment ensures that their students take back to their agencies life-saving lessons about police tactics. Of all the officer-survival seminars I have attended throughout the United States, I rate Rich Wemmer and Marcus Young on the highest level.
California Reserve Peace Officers Association
The Award of Appreciation for Excellence in Training
In the 1980s, Ed Deuel and Rich Wemmer were deeply concerned with the safety and welfare of law enforcement personnel. Nationwide, more and more peace officers were being assaulted, and far too many were losing their lives on and off-duty. Individually, they recognized that police work was becoming more demanding, difficult, and extremely dangerous. Although initially unknown to each other, their passion for preparing officers to face that “Moment in Time” was a common theme that would eventually unite them.
These two gentlemen have spent two lifetimes teaching peace officers how to stay alive and well during their careers. They have each contributed untold hours providing exceptional training at Annual Reserve Peace Officers Conferences for decades, consistently getting rave reviews and repeat attendees at their courses. It is a distinct pleasure and a high honor to award these gentlemen our first-ever Award of Appreciation for Excellence in Training.
Marcus’ presentation should be heard by every law enforcement officer in the nation! His story is remarkable in and of itself. However, Marcus’ ability to draw on his experience, coupled with his enthusiasm, and ability to relate to and captivate his audience make for an even greater impact. His passion and concern for officer safety can be felt throughout his facilitation of the training. Working with Marcus to bring the LEOKA training to our area was a pleasure. You do not have to interact with him long to know he is an able man of character.
Having known and worked with Capt. Rich Wemmer for 20 years, I believe that his commitment to law enforcement and the safety of our personnel has been one of the paramount goals of his life. The sincerity and professionalism he brings to the LEOKA programs is evident. It should be understood that all this came on the heels of his retirement from the Los Angeles Police Dept. Instead of leaving law enforcement behind, Capt. Wemmer chose instead to share his knowledge and experience in officer safety and sound decision making to the benefit of cops everywhere. Because of his efforts, our profession today is in a much better place.
Rich Wemmer and Marcus Young present compelling, timely training, furnishing thoughtful and critical insights illustrated by historical and recent incidents. Many of our members attend this dynamic team’s class annually knowing that the material will always be fresh, well-presented and a valuable investment of their time.
Golden Badge Award
Top Management Award
Ed Deuel was honored with the “Golden Badge Foundation Honoree, Top Management Award” at the 8th Annual Golden Badge Foundation Awards Presentation in Irvine, California. Ed was recognized for his distinguished law enforcement career of 33 years with the Whittier and Huntington Beach Police Departments. Specifically, he was acknowledged and commended for heroic service in winning a Medal of Valor during a shootout with armed robbery suspects. Although wounded, Ed stopped the suspect who shot him and protected the community members who were present. Furthermore, he was recognized for his leadership and training contributions that have enabled fellow peace officers to be more efficient and safer. His thousands of training hours and trauma response team creativity and contributions have made a significant difference in the welfare and safety of his law enforcement brothers and sisters. Ironically, Ed’s son, Ryan Deuel, recently received a Medal of Valor from the Reedley Police Department. Ryan’s bravery was recognized during the tragic murders of Fresno County Sheriff’s Deputy Joel Wahlenmaier and Reedley Police Officer Javier Bejar.
I have been through thousands of hours of police training seminars and courses throughout my career but none of my training experiences has been quite as compelling as listening to Marcus Young tell his personal story of survival. What made his story so compelling to me was the manner in which it was told. One seldom has the privilege of seeing an instructor who can relay a detailed account of such an emotionally charged, life-changing event in such an open, honest and objective fashion. Anyone attending this presentation will gain a unique perspective on a serious police use-of-force incident and its’ aftermath. Working with Sergeant Young behind the scenes before and after his presentation was also a pleasure. Marcus is one of the most detail oriented and professional instructors that I have met and I would highly recommend him as a speaker at any public safety event…
Sergeant Young has taken a tragic event and magically transformed it into something powerful and positive that is helping officers and trainers everywhere he goes.
Golden West College Regional Criminal Justice Training Center
Lifetime Achievement Award
Presented to Los Angeles Police Captain Richard C. Wemmer
In recognition of his legacy of service, training, and instructional excellence, and the enduring influence he had in the lives of countless students of this institution. His significant contributions have enhanced the safety and professionalism of law enforcement personnel throughout California and our nation.
The training that Marcus provides is top notch. His story is powerful and translates to any audience with an impact that will last a lifetime. I have been involved with training for close to two decades and I can guarantee that this will be one of the best classes that you ever take. I highly recommend this training.
Excellence in Training Award
On June 23, 2011, the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) awarded Captain Wemmer the “Excellence in Training Lifetime Achievement” award in honor of his contributions and dedication to California Law Enforcement. The POST web site reads as follows; “Captain Wemmer retired from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), has over 38 years of law enforcement teaching experience and has been an instructor at Golden West College, Regional Criminal Justice Training Center for 32 years. He has frequently been recognized for his work in officer safety and tactics training. He has authored several articles related to the killing of peace officers and has received commendations throughout the United States for his training in preventing peace officer deaths and injuries. Presently, Captain Wemmer is the Coordinator of the Officer Safety Tactics (OST) program at Golden West College, Criminal Justice Training Center. He has tailored the OST program to minimize downtime and maximize the training experience for the students. He has played a vital role in the development of officer survival skills training and offered it to hundreds of basic academy recruits and in-service officers.”
Marcus Young’s training is of great value to law enforcement worldwide! He is a living role model for law enforcement and military audiences everywhere. His personal experience in overcoming adversity is a true testimony to the human spirit, and a motivational message that will inspire any audience.
Rich, hooah! To a brother warrior, leader, and trainer!
Marcus is one of the leading “use of force” experts in the country. His lecture is an absolutely brilliant presentation on some very important material! I have attended many “use of force” presentations around the country and I would rank his class in the top five mandatory classes that all personnel should take. Marcus is a wealth of knowledge and his own personal experiences makes the lecture riveting.
Marcus is one of the most requested and knowledgeable law enforcement trainers in the country. He wrote one of the original Below 100 (www.Below100.com) articles and has done as much to advance officer safety as any individual in the country. Highly Recommended!
Each time I hear Marcus and Rich speak from their hearts on officer safety, they inspire others to learn. I am amazed at their tactical knowledge and passion for officers returning home safely. Their officer safety messages do not hold back and have reached officers across the United States. They have always inspired me to remember the focus on survival is not about me, but the people that need us to come home. I am blessed to call them friends.