surviving violent encounters & threats


The Instructors

William Hladky

Miami-Dade Police Department


William Hladky is a retired Miami-Dade Police Department homicide detective. He has been in law enforcement for more than 30 years. Prior to being assigned to the Homicide Bureau, he was a robbery and district detective. Bill has been involved in two shootings and a variety of other violent encounters. In 1983, the Miami-Dade Police Department named Bill and his partner Officers of the Year for saving under sniper fire a woman being beaten by a mob during a riot. In 1997, he received the Gold Medal of Valor for exchanging gunfire with a robber. (The robber lost). He has received numerous awards and commendations for his investigations from the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies. Bill is a certified police survival instructor. During 1984 and 1985 while on a leave of absence, he taught police tactics to U.S. military police officers in Germany. In addition to police officers, he has taught U.S. Air Marshals, U.S. Marshals, and FBI Special Agents. Bill has taught criminal justice to undergraduates and is a guest lecturer at Nova Southeastern University in the doctoral police psychology program. He holds an internationally certified second-degree black belt in Taekwondo; a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice, specializing in forensic behavioral science, from Nova Southeastern University; a Master’s Degree of Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University, where he researched police stress; and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Iowa. He is a member of the National Homicide Investigators Association and is a graduate of the Force Science Institute’s certification program. The show, “The Perfect Murder” on the Investigations Discovery channel, recently profiled one of Bill’s murder cases.

Charles E. Holt Jr.

Miami-Dade Police Department


Retired Detective Charles Holt served 28 years with the Miami-Dade Police Department. Charlie started his career patrolling the county’s inner city. He later was promoted to detective and was assigned to the Headquarters Auto Theft Unit. He also worked street-level narcotics as a plain-clothes detective. Later in his career, Charlie became the department’s first full time forensic artist. He made the forensic art unit fully functioning that assisted detectives from the Miami-Dade Police Department, other local departments and state and federal agencies. Charlie has published several articles on forensic art as well as warriorship. He has lectured on forensic art, entomology and anthropology. He also lectured about school shootings at the University of Miami, Miami-Dade College, Hillsborough Community College, East Tennessee State University and civic groups across the Southeast. Charlie teaches a 40-hour forensic art course, and he has trained several forensic artists as well as the entire forensic art unit for the Royal Bahamas Police Force. During his career, he has received two silver medals of valor, a Purple Heart, and distinguished service award along with numerous commendations. He has extensive training in interview and interrogation techniques and completed the FBI Forensic Art Course at Quantico Virginia. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Florida. Charlie has been involved in several deadly force encounters. He was stabbed during an edged-weapon attack while trying to subdue a violent mentally ill subject. These first hand experiences bring a unique perspective to the class.

Laura Russell

Miami-Dade Police Department


Retired Detective Laura Russell obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in 1982 at the age of 19. She then joined the Miami-Dade Police Department and served as a patrol officer, a narcotics “jump out” detective, and a General Investigation Detective. She spent the final 16 years of her career as a robbery detective. Prior to retirement, Laura was injured 23 times, including two gunshot wounds. She was a recipient of the Purple Heart, Silver Medal of Valor, Bronze Medal of Honor, and Exceptional Service Awards and was a finalist for Officer of the Year after a confrontation with two armed subjects. Additionally, she received 69 miscellaneous commendations. As a result of a police involved shooting in 1985, she has since been called upon by both her department and others to lecture during training courses for supervisors, Internal Affairs, and homicide investigators to provide them with first-hand information regarding an officer’s viewpoint in officer-involved shooting incidents. She was involved in several additional incidents throughout her career which she was later called upon to include in her lectures. She also has peer-counseled officers involved in police-involved shootings. Her insight and perspective have given her the ability to help others understand and prepare for traumatic incidents related to their law enforcement duties.

A warrior takes responsibility for his acts, for the most trivial of acts, an average man acts out his thoughts and never takes responsibility for what he does. -Carlos Castaneda

The warrior is always alert. He is never sleeping through life. He knows how to focus his mind and body. He is what the Samurai call mindful. -F.E. Morgan

The society that draws a line between it fighting men and its thinking men, will find its fighting done by fools and its thinking done by cowards. -Sir William Francis

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. -Ernest Hemingway

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that…he does not become a monster. And when you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks at you. -Friedrich Nietzsche

The hero sacrifices himself for something – that’s the morality of it. -Joseph Campbell

Be Prepared

A prepared mind is forged in discipline, skilled in self-understanding, nurtured to be serene, rooted in a code and primed to counter violence.

Upcoming Seminars

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, NC, Aug. 13 & 14, 2024*

*To be held at Cabrrus Co. Sheriff's Office, 30 Corban Ave., Concord, NC. Paste this link to register:

Indiana Township, PA, Police Department, Oct. 29 & 30, 2024.*

*3710 Saxonburg Blvd., Indiana Township, PA.

Trussville Police Dept., Nov 7 & 8, 2024*

*Trussville Civic Center, 5381 Trussville Clay Rd., Trussville, Al.

Lehi, Utah, Police Dept., Aug. 12 & 13, 2025*

*128 N 100 E, Lehi, Utah.