Training Division

Enhancing law enforcement capabilities through training, research, instruction, and development.


Assistant Director
Jason Wilkerson

The mission of the TBI Training Division is to equip and provide effective and evidence-based training to TBI employees and law enforcement personnel across the state. The Training Division consists of commissioned and non-commissioned personnel with a wide range of specialized experience that enables all personnel to contribute to the development and administration of training courses for law enforcement across the state. The Division provides ongoing training opportunities to employees across the organization as well as specialized academies to local city and county law enforcement at little or no cost to their departments.

Conflict Management Program

The Firearms Program and Chief Firearms Instructor are housed within the TBI's Training Division. The mission of our Firearms Training Program is to develop and deliver a comprehensive and consistent firearms training curriculum that provides new agent trainees, current special agents, and uniform officers the skills needed to safely and effectively use firearms in the performance of their duties. Our experienced firearms training instructors assigned to the Training Division also offer certification and recertification training to all TBI firearms instructors who provide training to agents in the field in support of our commitment to local and state law enforcement partners.

Throughout the Bureau, there are approximately 12 agents who, as an additional duty, serve as regional instructors for the Training Division Close Quarter Conflict Control (CQC) program.

CQC instructors teach all aspects of use-of-force conflict resolution outside of the sighted use of firearms. As a group, they have well over 150 years of experience in various martial arts and defensive tactics systems including, but not limited to, Krav Maga, Strategic Self Defense Grappling, Greco-Roman Wrestling, Pressure Point Control Tactics, Wado-Ryu Karate, Brazilian Jit-Jitsu, and various eclectic martial arts. Among the plethora of skills taught by these instructors are handcuffing, weapon retention, less-lethal force options, de-escalation techniques, situational awareness, and self-defense.

All agents in the Bureau will annually receive CQC training from these instructors. Newly hired agents receive 40 hours of CQC training in the Agent's Academy. Over the years, CQC instructors have taught other local and state agencies inside and outside the field of law enforcement.  

The Training Division's Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC) is a 40-hour program that instructs newly hired special agents on how to properly and safely operate Bureau-issued emergency vehicles. The course is comprised of eight hours of classroom instruction and 32 hours of a practical driving course including nighttime training. Subject areas and practical exercises include vehicle dynamics, liability, and pursuit management of emergency and non-emergency vehicles. EVOC instructors also provide instruction and training concerning the operation of larger vehicles in TBI's inventory such as the Violent Crime Response Team "crime scene" trucks and the TBI Command Post.

Agents in the Bureau often undergo force-on-force training as part of the Conflict Management Program. During this training, agents are equipped with specially modified firearms that are designed to fire a wax projectile at subsonic speeds. Agents are then placed into intense scenarios that mimic real-world use-of-force situations. In these scenarios, designated role-players, who are similarly armed, act as bystanders or suspects in violent encounters. This training is typically conducted in schools, office buildings, or abandoned residences.

The Training Division manages a number of training systems that project a use-of-force encounter onto a wall or screen. Agents undergoing this training are equipped with weapons that interact with the on-screen projections. Training Division instructors are able to manipulate the scenario as the agent moves through it, responding to the agent's decision-making and actions.

Specialized Training & Development

The Training Division is constantly assessing current trends in law enforcement and determining how problems can be addressed through the provision of instruction. To this end, numerous classes have been developed for the purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies across the State of Tennessee. It is not uncommon for this training to be requested by other States as well. These specialized courses are taught by Training Division Instructors, Agent Adjunct Instructors, or identified experts in designated fields. Specialized training offered and supported by the Bureau is subdivided into the categories of Technical Development, Instructor Development, and Professional Development.

Technical Development includes discipline-specific technical knowledge and instruction pertaining to the scope in which an individual actively performs casework. Examples of Technical Development courses include but are not limited to Interview and Interrogation classes, Advanced Evidence Collection, and Undercover Investigations courses.

Instructor Development would include a standard POST-certified, 40-hour Instructor Development class as well as any course that prepares the agent to teach or train others in a particular skill or set of skills. Some of these may be "Train the Trainer" courses such as Firearms Instructor or Close Quarter Conflict Control Instructor courses.

Professional Development includes instruction that focuses on leadership, management, interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, or other courses that increase the agent's abilities as a mentor, manager, or leader. The Training Division supports many agents as they have undergone these trainings which include but are not limited to the Director's Academy, FBI National Academy, Intentional Leadership, Tennessee Government Management Institute, Naifeh Center courses, and Incident Command training.

Training Documentation

The Training Division is responsible for maintaining training records for all Criminal Investigators in the Bureau. Training Division not only keeps track of training undergone by TBI personnel but also of training that TBI personnel have provided. At the time of this writing, a system is being put in place to collect and digitize records of training in the Bureau. This will provide a comprehensive view of the amount of training provided by Training Division instructors as well as Adjunct Instructors within the Bureau's ranks.

Research & Development

The Training Division is constantly researching tools, tactics, techniques, and behaviors within the field of law enforcement for the purpose of advancement and modernization. In order to have the greatest impact on crime in the State of Tennessee, criminal investigations must be conducted proactively as well as reactively. In order to be effective in this regard, it is critical that trends and patterns of activity be studied so that equipment, strategies, and techniques can be effectively directed against the criminal element. The Training Division is dedicated to conducting these duties so that TBI Agents across the State have the best tools and training available to complete their mission.

Training Sustainment & Support

The training division maintains and supports over 5700 square feet of dedicated classroom space within TBI Nashville Headquarters. These classrooms have audio/visual capabilities and can support advanced technology classes which require students to access computers during the training. TBI training space is used not only for classroom instruction but can also be used for more kinetic activities such as those taught under the Conflict Management Program. Conference rooms and classroom space at TBI regional offices are often used for instruction as well.
This classroom space at TBI HQ is used by thousands of law enforcement and civilians each year. Working group meetings, law enforcement association meetings, classroom instruction, lectures, training, and community engagement functions are the norm in these spaces. Outside the classroom space are displays from TBI's historical reference collection. These displays highlight historic cases and equipment that have shaped the Bureau into what it is today.

While Training Division personnel provide and support training activities as part of their primary duties, there are dozens of TBI agents and analysts that provide training as an additional duty. By virtue of our occupation, employees of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have amassed experiences while conducting criminal investigations that most law enforcement officers would not have the opportunity to observe on a regular basis. The training division supports these adjunct instructors many of whom are considered experts in their fields. TBI agents have taught investigative techniques and processes to audiences all over the country. These trainings have impacted investigations and policies within law enforcement agencies both inside and outside of the state of Tennessee.