Tactical Training with a Greater Purpose:

Ground Operations Development (GOD)

In recent years, we have witnessed a disturbing increase in shootings in churches in our nation. We will never forget the June 17, 2015 mass shooting in which nine people were killed by a domestic terrorist in Charleston, South Carolina at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. More recently, on September 24, 2017, a gunman believed to be dressed as a clown opened fire at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee. One person was killed and seven wounded. A brave church usher initiated a struggle and confrontation with the suspected gunman and this assisted in ending the event.

Churches have been traditionally considered vulnerable targets for gun violence and more are now embracing the need for specialized tactical training and the incorporation of crisis management protocols in situations such as these. In my work with law enforcement, I have had the privilege to meet many dedicated officers with new and original ideas concerning training and consultation. The law enforcement training arena has clearly been lucrative for some and provides a natural career extension for many. However, it is unique to discover an organization that provides both specialized training and possesses the distinct mission to give back to the community. Recently I met two very talented LEOs who have successfully furthered this concept and invited them to share their story on the national level.

Ground Operations Development Inc. (Orange Park, Florida) is a Non-Profit 501c3 Association as recognized by the State of Florida and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Incorporated as a Limited Liability Corporation in 2014, Ground Operations Development Inc. transitioned to a “Non-Profit” Corporation in March 2015 dedicated to the standardization and assessment of tactical team training and crisis management across the United States, using the Homeland Security and Incident Command System guidelines. In July 2015, Ground Operations Development Inc. opened their Church Security Team Division under the Direction of Tony Rodriguez, to assist churches with policy and security needs using our staff’s extensive background in Site Security, Crisis Management Response. As a faith based organization, Ground Operations Development (GOD) then selects a community organization to donate some of their training proceeds. The focus on giving back to the community is definitely unique. Their professional team has over 100 years of combined experience. The tactical division ensures that your team is trained in the latest tactics and can fulfill their job with the utmost skill. The Guardian program will assist you in assessing, training, and implementing the safety and security policies that will enable you to fully protect your church leaders and congregation members. The following individuals have played an instrumental role in this organization.

Chief Ben Carroll, M.P.A.

Thirty-seven years Law Enforcement experience, Director of Emergency Management, Sheriff’s Office. Fourteen years S.W.A.T. Rappel Master. Less Lethal Instructor. Distraction Device Instructor, NRA Pistol Instructor. Specializes in Tactical Operational Center deployment methods & Incident Command System operations. State Certified Crime Prevention Practitioner who specializes in site and building security.

Sgt. Shawn Marx

Twenty-two years Law Enforcement experience, Assistant SWAT Commander, Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. (16 years), S.W.A.T. Training Supervisor, Live Fire Shoot House Instructor, Firearms Instructor, Less Lethal Instructor, Active Shooter Response Instructor, Eleven years as Tactical Team Instructor.

Sgt. Steve Parker

Senior Instructor
Seventeen years Law Enforcement experience, , Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. (16 years), S.W.A.T. Tactical Team Leader, Eleven Years Tactical Instructor, Active Shooter Response Instructor, Firearms Instructor, PCR Instructor.

Sgt. Simon Robb, B.A.

Senior Instructor
Nineteen years Law Enforcement experience, Ten years of instructional and curriculum development, Agencies Lead Instructor, Fifteen years S.W.A.T Current Tactical Operations Commander, Department of Homeland Security, Subject matter expert for Active Shooter Response & Training (FLETC), ALERRT Instruction, CSAT Instructor.

Ben Hickey

GOD’s Guardian Program: Southeast Region Director

Russ Peck

GOD’s Guardian Program: Northeast Region Director

Louis Savard

Sales & Marketing Director

Norman Ashcraft

I.T. Director

– Dr. Tina Jaeckle, Ben Carroll, and Shawn Marx