About Government Training Institute
The Government Training Institute (GTI) was founded in 2003 to address needs of state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States with research based training. GTI's multiple courses contain a cooperative curriculum base and ongoing research from a staff with extensive operational military and law enforcement experience.
Mission / Vision
The Government Training Institute is committed to those responsible for our national security, the safety or our citizens and the future of our great nation. Through the most intense and realistic training, thorough and comprehensive research, and honest and ethical consulting, we prepare our country’s military, law enforcement and first responders to face all challenges with knowledge and confidence.
The Government Training Institute currently has no open positions available.
GTI's Instructor Cadre
The Government Training Institute's Instructor Cadre is comprised of tactical leaders from a diverse background of military and law enforcement fields. This diverse group of instructors has delivered and designed numerous military manuals and specific course curriculums for state, local and federal agencies. Combined together, with a theoretical and research-based initiative, GTI delivers sound, tested, operational experience and course development.
Dennis O'Connor - Director of Training
Mr. O'Connor's areas of expertise; law enforcement, Special Weapons and Tactics, drug, vice and organized crime and the training of police canines among others that are complimented by his over twenty five years of Law Enforcement service.
Mr. O'Connor served a six year enlistment in the US Army where he was assigned to Aberdeen Proving Grounds, and Yuma Proving Grounds. He then was re-assigned to Germany where he was assigned to a protection detail for General James R. Allen, the Deputy Commander and Chief of the Allied Forces in Europe.
After serving in the military, Mr. O'Connor went back to his home state of Delaware and joined the Wilmington Department of Police. While with the department, Mr. O'Connor performed various duties with different divisions such as: Patrol Division, Mounted Division, Drug, Vice and Organized Crime Division, Office of Special Operations, Special Weapons and Tactics and Community Policing Division.
While assigned to the Office of Special Operations and Special Weapons and Tactics, Mr. O'Connor was responsible for starting and implementing a Canine Unit. Mr. O'Connor supervised and trained the police canines for the department concentrating on patrol, drugs, explosives and SWAT interaction.
Mr. O'Connor retired from law enforcement in July of 2007 at the rank of Master Sergeant and over his years of service received numerous commendations and letters of appreciation from the department and the community he served.
After his retirement from law enforcement Mr. O'Connor joined the Government Training Institute as a tactical instructor and quickly rose to the position of Director of Training. Mr. O'Connor is also certified as a physical fitness trainer through International Sports Science Association and a certified trainer in body weight training through Institute of Human Performance.
JT Timmons - GTI's Range Master and GTI Legion Director
JT Timmons was a member of a full time Special Response Team at Savannah River Site for 7 years. He was his team sniper and was also breacher qualified and aerial door gunner qualified. While on the SRT team, he was a member of the SRS/DOE SPOTC competition shooting team for 3 years. He and his team won the National Championship shooting competition held at the National Training Center in Albuquerque, NM 2 of those 3 years.
JT left SRS in 2007 and joined the Greenwood County Sheriff's Office. JT held the rank of Sergeant and served as a member of the SWAT team, the training unit and the narcotics unit. In 2012 JT was involved in a shooting that forced his early retirement. He received 2 Medals of Valor for his performance on that day.
Since his retirement in 2012, JT started Timmons Precision Weapons Company and builds custom guns for a living.
JT joined the Government Training Institute's instructor cadre in 2016 and teaches several law enforcement tactical courses along with civilian rifle and pistol courses. In 2018 JT took over as GTI's Range Master and Director of the GTI Legion program, bringing with him a vast amount of knowledge and skill that he hopes to pass along to students willing to learn.
Phil Davis Tactical Instructor
Phil Davis served in the U.S. Air Force as a member of Security Forces. He then joined the New Castle County Police Department in Delaware where he served for 23 years. Phil served in the patrol division, Mounted Unit, detectives and 21 years with SWAT.
Phil is a graduate of the FBI Sniper School, Blackwater's CQB and Carbine Rifle Instructors Course.
The Government Training Institute, for 7 years, has employed Phil as an adjunct instructor. Phil instructs Immediate Action Team Courses, Rescue Task Force / Post Active Shooter Courses and SWAT Typing Courses.
Phil is also currently employed as the Director of Security at St. Andrew's Boarding School.
Allen Ford - Tactical Instructor
Allen is a tactical instructor for the Government Training Institute where he trains law enforcement, military, and civilians across the country on marksmanship, active shooter response, tactics, and many other areas. Allen has over 15 years of experience in urban combat and tactical operations.
Before joining GTI, Allen was a security professional for the Department of State where he worked on personal security details in high-threat diplomatic security situations, on quick response force details, as a designated defensive marksman and as an Emergency Response Team leader. He worked in multiple locations across Iraq and Afghanistan, eventually working as a shift commander of three Emergency Response Teams and one Mobil Response Team at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and a convoy commander for the Embassy's protective forces.
Allen also spent eight years with the Department of Energy where he served as an operator, sniper, team leader, and instructor for the Special Response Team, a 125-person full-time elite tactical unit. During his time at DOE, Allen was a member of his company's shooting team and helped the team capture two national titles. Allen also won two individual national titles and was twice named Department of Energy's security officer of the year.
Allen began his career as a combat engineer in the U.S. Army and Army National Guard. He is a combat veteran from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom; during this time he was the recipient of two Army Commendation Medals. Allen has trained and qualified as a sniper/designated defensive marksman for the Department of State, and Department of Energy. Allen is a federally certified weapons, close quarter battle, heavy weapons, aerial door gunnery, and sniper instructor; he is also a NRA certified instructor and has attended the South Carolina Police and Fire academies.
Jason Kelly Defensive Tactics Instructor
Multi-faceted professional with 25+ years training and 15 years of experience training and supporting law enforcement agencies, military units, and world class athletes. Specializing in small unit tactics and close quarters combat (armed & unarmed). Accomplished and renowned for generating unique and effective blocks of instruction to satisfy each customer's specific needs.
Jason Kelly is an accomplished combative athlete with over 28 years of proven experience and instruction. Throughout his professional career, Jason has been recognized for his ability to turn athletes into world class champions, and develop intuitive weapons-based combative programs for law enforcement agencies and military.
As an American Top Team mixed-martial arts coach for 15 years, an accomplished competitive shooter, and small unit tactics specialist, Jason blends proven techniques from each discipline into a holistic program that is difficult for others to duplicate.
Jason conditions his clients to understand the human variables that normally dictate the close-quarters environment, and immerses them in unique and effective blocks of instruction to satisfy their specific needs.
Whether it be an armed or unarmed circumstance, Jason's programs are designed to protect against attack, while simultaneously generating options for his clients to control, attack, defend, or have the ability to disengage.
Jason Kelly's programs and curriculum is catered to men and women in a working environment.
Duane Lopez Tactical Instructor
Duane is an 18 year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff's Office, NY. He is a U.S. Army Veteran and also has operational experience as an EMT and Firefighter. Duane is an experienced instructor, specializing in Firearms, Patrol Tactics, SWAT and Active Shooter Response.
Duane has 17 years of Civilian Law Enforcement Special Operations experience, serving as a Medic, Operator, Squad Leader and is currently serving as a Team Leader with the Special Operations Group. He became a graduate of GTI's Type I Advanced SWAT Operations for Terrorist Environments Program in 2012 and has been an Adjunct Instructor with GTI since 2013. In 2014 Lieutenant Lopez graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico VA, 258th Session.
During his 18 years at the Sheriff's Office, he attained certifications as; New York State DCJS General Topics Instructor, FBI and New York State DCJS Firearms Instructor, FBI Carbine Instructor, Emergency Response to Terrorism: Operations Instructor, Taser Instructor, Less-Lethal, Flash Sound Diversionary Device and Chemical Agents Instructor, Active Shooter Response Instructor, Reality Based Training Instructor, Blackwater SWAT Instructor and is a Certified New York State DCJS Master Instructor.
Gene Norton Tactical Instructor
Gene Norton is a combat proven veteran of the United States Army ending his career with the rank of E6 (Staff Sergeant) after 15 years of service. His areas of expertise consist of advanced close quarters battle (CQB) tactics, weapons handling, non-lethal weapons handling, protection services, and active shooter response training.
He began his military career as a Cannon Crew Member in 2002 and was selected to train with some of the Army's top experts in the field of close quarters battle. He was selected as one of the top five NCO's out of his battery to train with the 1st Special Forces Group in advanced CQB Tactics and then bring the knowledge back and training his soldiers for future operations. Gene was also chosen by his platoon Sergeant to organize a six-man team to execute multiple high-risk entries resulting in the capture of some of the Brigade's top high value targets (HVTs).
Gene chose to join the Military Police Corps just before his second deployment to Iraq where he was selected as the assault team leader for his platoon and was tasked on capturing several targets directly connected to US personnel deaths and IED emplacements within his area of operation. He ended that deployment early to attend MP Mission Occupational Specialty Training at Fort Leonard Wood and upon completion and graduation attended Special Reaction Team (SRT) Phase 1 training as his first MP school. He continued his MP career in the protection field and received training in advanced marksmanship and weapons handling for the next four years.
In 2015 Gene was selected by the Directorate of Emergency Services Sergeant Major to be the NCOIC for the SRT. Within the past year Gene was tasked in training team members in tactics and advanced marksmanship and to organize training for his team as well as helping the OIC construct the SOP for the SRT. During this time Gene attended and completed the Marksman/Observer Course, Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor Course, Non-Lethal Weapons Instructor Course, and Army Basic Instructor Course. Gene was also picked to attend an Immediate Action Response Team course to learn how to train their patrols in the response to active shooter situations.
Brian Roberts Fire/EMS Instructor
Brian has been with the Orange County Fire Authority in Orange County California for over 20 years and currently holds the rank of Fire Captain. He works at one of the busiest stations in the nation and has received a wealth of knowledge and experience as a result.
Brian is a certified Paramedic, Search Team Manager of a FEMA Urban Search & Rescue Team, Hazardous Materials Specialist, and State Certified Terrorism Specialist. Brian's real passion is to train and inform Fire, EMS, and Law enforcement personnel the tactics of responding to Terrorism and Active Shooter Incidents from experiences working with an Orange County Joint Hazard Assessment Team (JHAT) consisting of Fire, EMS, SWAT and Bomb Squad responses.
Brian's Specialties include: Paramedic/Preceptor/Instructor, Hazardous Materials Specialist/Instructor, WEFIT Peer Fitness Trainer/Academy PT Coordinator, Urban Search & Rescue Search Team Manager, State Terrorism and Homeland Security Specialist and Honor Guard.
Brian's Teaching Experience includes: AHA CPR Instructor with 20+ years with; Saddleback College, Santa Ana College and the OCFA, Paramedic Instructor with Saddleback College, Emergency Medical Responder Instructor & Course Manager with Capo-Laguna ROP, EMD (Emergency Medical Dispatch) Instructor/Program Coordinator with OCFA, Law Enforcement Response to Terrorism Instructor with OCSD and Haz Mat FRO and Technician Instructor with OCFA.
Rob Vaughan Tactical Instructor
Robert Vaughan is a proven leader with 19 plus years in the United States Army Special Operations community. He began his Special Forces career in January 1995, when he completed Special Forces Assessment and Selection and was selected to continue. His first duty position was as senior weapons SGT on an Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha in 3rd SFG(A) in 1997. During which time he traveled teaching different nations weapons and tactics.
His expertise and professional demeanor won him the request of a hand selected team of likeminded individuals, with a very unique characteristic and ability as a Joint Chief of Staff directed mission. On this team he served as cell leader and was promoted to SFC. He served on this unique team for 3 years. During which time he was responsible for testing security and upgrading responses from the structures with the highest security postures around the world.
In early 2004, he went to and passed Advanced Land Navigation, to continue on to a special missions unit. He served for over 10 years as a TIER 1 operator/team leader with the US Army's Special Missions Unit (SMU), and operated around the world. During this time he served alongside the most elite soldiers, from JSOC.
October 1, 2014 he retired from active duty and began employment with the Government Training Institute. He has taught law enforcement officers from across the nation, both at the main site as well as a mobile training team (MTT).
Anthony Weed Tactical Instructor
Anthony Weed is a 25 year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Born and raised in Orange County New York. He is an alumnus of Pine Bush High School and Orange County Community College.
After being hired as a Correction Officer in October of 1991 he attended the New York State Peace Officer Academy in Albany. In 1994 he became an Operator for the Orange County Sheriff's Office C.E.R.T. Anthony was promoted to Sergeant in 1995 after taking a promotional exam, and attended the Orange County Police Academy in 1998.
In addition to his responsibilities and duties at the Sheriff's Office he is also a Police Officer for the Town of Lloyd Police. Anthony was promoted to Lieutenant in 2011 and then Captain in 2015 and assigned as the Captain of Special Services for the Sheriff's Office.
During his 25 years at the Sheriff's Office he attained certifications as New York State General Topics Instructor, New York State Firearms Instructor, FBI Carbine Instructor, Taser Instructor, Chemical Agents Instructor, Black Water SWAT Instructor and is a Certified New York State Master Instructor.
After serving on the Special Operations Group for 17 years as an Operator, Squad Leader, and Team Leader, Captain Weed currently serves as Team Commander with the Special Operations Group and is a graduate of GTI's Type 1 SWAT program in 2012. Captain Weed is also a graduate of the 264th session of the FBI National Academy.
Ken Witt Tactical Instructor
Ken's tactical experience spans a 25-year law enforcement career - with 14 years of Special Weapons and Tactics experience, and over 30 years of active and reserve military service - primarily in the U.S. Army Special Forces.
Ken began his 25-year law enforcement career with the Los Angeles Police Department in 1988. He transferred to the Santa Ana Police Department in 1991, where he finished his career as the team leader of the department's full-time Special Weapons and Tactics team (40 full and part time tactical operators, negotiators, and tactical paramedics). Ken also served on the team as a SWAT operator and Breaching Cell leader. During his police career Ken worked in uniformed patrol, as well as on numerous special enforcement teams which targeted violent offenders, career criminals, and street level narcotics.
As the Special Weapons and Tactics team leader Ken was responsible for overseeing operational planning and leading all tactical operations. He established the team's tactics, techniques, and procedures and supervised all aspects of the team's training. Ken was a lead instructor and curriculum writer for multiple courses including: close quarter battle training, advanced marksmanship, tactical casualty care, tactical breaching techniques (ballistic, exothermic, and mechanical), and active shooter response. Ken was also an instructor at the FBI Tactical Breaching Course and the SWAT Academy.
Ken served in the Army, Army Reserve, and National Guard from 1977 through 1997 and 2005 to Present - including over twenty years in the U.S. Army Special Forces as a Special Forces Engineer Sergeant (demolitions) and a Special Forces Medical Sergeant (first response/trauma medical specialist). He has participated in a number of special operations deployments throughout the world, including a combat tour in Afghanistan, where he served as a primary instructor/advisor for 150-man Afghan Commando companies - providing training in small unit tactics and close quarter battle tactics, as well as advising commandos during combat operations. At the conclusion of the Panama invasion Ken served as a primary instructor/advisor for a 400-man Panamanian National Police detachment, providing training in police tactics and close quarter battle tactics, as well as leading PNP officers on patrols and raids in support of foreign internal defense operations. As an IMA Reservist Ken served as an instructor with the 7th Special Forces Group Advanced Urban Combat (SFAUC) Committee and is currently an instructor/curriculum writer at the U.S. Army Special Warfare Center and School.
Ken joined the Government Training Institute as a tactical instructor in 2013.