Thomas J. Aveni, MSFP

P.O. Box 475
Spofford, NH 03462

 (413) 575-8026 Voice
(603) 386-6007 Fax


  • Dedicated, creative, results oriented, problem solver

  • Established as one of the nation’s most innovative and progressive police trainers within the realm of deadly force

  • Has developed the first definitive thesis explaining so-called "questionable" police shootings.

Major Accomplishments

  • Achieved police certifications in three different states (NJ, UT, NH), having served as a sworn officer on either the state or local levels in all three states.

  • Earned numerous duty commendations as a police officer for significant felony arrests, as well as several commendations for endeavors as a police trainer.

  • Trained over 12,000 police, security and military personnel, from over 23 different countries Ŧ, while employed as a training coordinator with Smith & Wesson Academy.

  • Audited, investigated and/or researched several hundred officer-involved shootings.

  • Completed over 90 courses of training involving various aspects of the police application of force.

  • Completed two ground-breaking studies examining when, how and why police use deadly force.

  • Authored numerous articles published in law enforcement periodicals.

  • Lead instructor of the nationally presented “Deadly Misconceptions” seminar

  • Frequently interviewed by various news media sources regarding headline police shootings.

Occupational Experience

  • 2001-Present: Executive Director & Co-Founder, The Police Policy Studies Council

  • 1978-1990 / 2000-2014: Police Officer/Trooper. Served full-time on state and local levels of law enforcement for a total of eleven years. Mr. Aveni has also served as a part-time officer (40+ hours per month) for over seven years, and continues to do so at this time. Duties have included patrol, accident investigation, initial criminal investigation, DUI enforcement and other common patrol functions.

  • 2009-2014: Associate Professor, Cumberland County College, NJ

  • 1990-2001: Training Coordinator, Smith & Wesson Academy, Springfield, MA. Working in this capacity Mr. Aveni has been involved in course research and development, as well as the instruction of most aspects of force application.


  • M.S. in Forensic Psychology, American International College, Springfield, MA

  • B.S. in Criminal Justice, Westfield State College, Westfield, MA

  • A.A.S. in Police Science, Gloucester County College, Sewell, NJ


Police Instructor Certifications

  • Preventing & Responding to Suicide Bomb Incidents

  • Simunition® FX® Scenario Instructor and Safety Certification

  • Airsoft Training Instructor

  • Identification, Prevention, Management, and Investigation of Sudden and In-Custody Death Instructor

  • Management of Aggressive Behavior™ (MOAB) Instructor

  • Massachusetts CJTC Certified "Use of Force Instructor"

  • New Hampshire PSTC Certified Firearms Instructor

  • PPSC Advanced Force & Control™ Seminar Instructor

  • PPSC Deadly Misconceptions™ Seminar Instructor

  • PPSC Surviving the Nightshift™ Seminar Instructor

  • PPSC Deadly Force Management™ Instructor

  • PPSC Firearms Instructor-Trainer

  • PPSC Adverse Light Training Instructor-Trainer

  • Smith & Wesson Academy “Master Use of Force Instructor” Instructor

  • Smith & Wesson Academy “Use of Force Management” Instructor

  • Smith & Wesson Academy “Officer Survival 2000” seminar instructor

  • PPCT Defensive Tactics Instructor

  • PPCT Pressure Point Control Tactics™ Instructor

  • Smith & Wesson Academy Firearms Instructor

  • NRA Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor

  • NRA Law Enforcement Rifle Instructor

  • NRA Submachine Gun Instructor

  • FBI Firearms Instructor

  • S&W Academy Submachine Gun Instructor

  • S&W Academy Law Enforcement Rifle Instructor

  • S&W Academy Scoped Rifle Instructor

  • S&W Academy Shotgun Instructor

  • S&W Academy Concealed Carry Handgun Instructor

  • S&W Academy Reduced Light Training Instructor

  • S&W Academy Chemical Munitions Instructor

  • S&W Academy Interactive Training Instructor

  • Def-Tec Chemical Munitions Instructor

  • LECCO Chemical Munitions Instructor

  • A.S.I. (Distraction Device) Instructor

  • Handgun Retention Instructor

  • Monadnock PR-24™ Instructor

Armorer's Training

  • Armorer, S&W Pistol

  • Armorer, S&W Revolver

  • Armorer, Glock Pistol

  • Armorer, Sig-Saur Pistol

  • Armorer, Heckler & Koch Pistol/Shotgun/Submachine Gun

  • Armorer, Ruger Handgun/Rifle

  • Armorer, Remington Arms Rifle/Shotgun

  • Armorer, Charter Arms Revolvers

  • Armorer, Ithaca Shotguns

  • Armorer, U.S. Army trained (Aberdeen, MD)

Commendations & Awards

  • Awarded four (4) duty commendations for significant felony arrests while serving as a municipal police officer in New Jersey

  • Recipient of two “Special Recommendation” awards (12/92) from the Mexican Federal Judicial Police Institute of Training for training provided at their facility

  • Awarded “Firearms Instructor Examiner” certification by the Australian Federal Police (9/92) for training provided in Sydney, Australia

  • Awarded “Inspector General’s Integrity Award” (6/94) for training provided to Special Agents with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development

Scholastic Achievement

  • Maintained 3.6 Undergraduate GPA and 3.7 Graduate GPA despite frequent business travel commitments.

  • Acquired/maintained membership in National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

Featured Instructor/Lecturer:

  • 2010 Performance Institute, Use of Force Summit, Arlington, VA

  • 2009 Performance Institute, Use of Force Summit, Arlington, VA

  • 2008 TREXPO East Conference, Chantilly, VA

  • 2008 Performance Institute, Use of Force Summit, Arlington, VA

  • 2007 Performance Institute, Use of Force Summit, Arlington, VA (Oct)

  • 2007 Performance Institute, Use of Force Summit, Arlington, VA (May)

  • 2006 ILEETA Annual Conference, Arlington Hts., IL

  • 2006 ASLET Annual Conference, Albuquerque, NM

  • 2005 Texas Bar Association CLE, "Suing & Defending Governmental Entities."

  • 2005 Wyoming Police Chiefs Association Annual Conference

  • 2005 ILEETA Annual Conference Instructor, Arlington Hts., IL

  • 2003 ASLET Annual Conference, Ontario, CA

  • 2002 MALEFI Annual Conference, Coon Rapids, MN

  • 2001 Southern Police Institute Annual Conference, W. Palm Beach, FL

  • 1998 IALEFI Annual Conference, W. Palm Beach, FL

  • 1994 IALEFI Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV

  • 1990 IALEFI Annual Conference, Washington, DC

Partial List of Published Articles (Previous 15 years)

Empirical & Post Facto Research

  • (2008) A Critical Analysis of the Police Use of Deadly Force Under Ambiguous Circumstances,

  • (2002) Officer-Involved Shootings: What We Didn't Know has Hurt Us,

 Law & Order Magazine

  • The Unholstered Handgun, Vol. 54, No. 1, January 2006
  • The Must-Shoot vs. May-Shoot Controversy, Vol. 53, No.1, January 2005
  • Successful Approaches With EDPs, Vol. 52, No. 10, October 2004
  • The Continuum Conundrum, Vol. 51, No. 12, December 2003
  • Following Standard Procedure, Vol. 51, No. 8, August 2003
  • The Facts, Fictions and Liabilities of Handgun Qualification, Vol. 50, No.9, Sept. 2002
  • The Persistence of Questionable Shootings, Vol. 50, No. 6, (pg.70) June 2002


Police & Security News


  • Vehicular Assault: Fight or Flight?, Fall 2005

  • Critical Issues in Reduced Light Training, Summer 1998


Answering the Call

  • Death by Defiance™, Vol. 6, Spring 2008

  • Contagious Fire: Fact & Fiction, Vol. 5, Winter 2008

  • Surviving the NightShift,  Vol. 1 & 2, Spring 2007

  • Surviving the NightShift,  Vol. 3, Summer 2007

  • Surviving the NightShift,  Vol. 4, Fall 2007

  • Surviving the NightShift,  Vol. 5, Winter 2007

Polizei & Wissenschaft, (Germany)


  • Police Marksmanship Under Fire: Paradox & Promise, August 2004


Smith & Wesson Academy Newsletter


  • The Vermont Technique, Issue #34, Winter 2001

  • Managing Occupational Risk & Public Perception, Issue #33, Summer 2000

  • Shift Work and Officer Survival, Part II, Issue #32, Fall 1999

  • Shift Work and Officer Survival, Part I, Issue #31, Summer 1999

  • A Training Frontier: Reduced Light, Part III, Issue #30, Winter 1998

  • A Training Frontier: Reduced Light, Part II, Issue #29, Spring 1998

  • A Training Frontier: Reduced Light, Part I, Issue #28, Autumn 1997

  • Long-Gun Conditions of Readiness, Issue #27, February 1997

  • Minimizing Hazardous Conditions on Outdoor Ranges, Part. II, Issue #26, June 1995

  • Minimizing Hazardous Conditions on Outdoor Ranges, Part. I, Issue #25, April 1994

  • Course of Fire Considerations, Issue #24, Oct. 1993

  • The Precision Rifle in Contemporary Law Enforcement, Issue #23, April, 1993

  • Course of Fire Development, Part II, Issue #22, Oct. 1992

  • Course of Fire Development, Part I, Issue #21, May 1992

  • The Trigger Finger Dilemma, Issue #20, Jan. 1992

  • Low Signature Weapons, Part III, Issue #19, June 1991

  • Low Signature Weapons, Part II, Issue #18, Feb. 1991

  • Low Signature Weapons, Part I, Issue #17, Nov. 1990


Specialized Law Enforcement Training

  • 10/09  Force Science Certification Course, Milwaukee, WI

  • 10/09  Group Crisis Intervention, ICISF, Uxbridge, MA

  • 01/09  Basic Crime Mapping (ArcGis 9.3), NLECTC, N. Charleston, SC

  • 06/08  Shooting Scene Reconstruction, NHPSTC, Concord, NH

  • 05/08  Crisis Prevention & Intervention, CPI, Brattleboro, VT

  • 04/08  Crisis Intervention Team Training, Memphis Model, Middlebury, CT

  • 04/08  Advanced Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, Louisville, KY

  • 03/08  Basic Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, Louisville, KY

  • 02/08  Preventing & Responding to Suicide Bomb Incidents, New Mexico Tech

  • 02/07  NC Governor's Crime Commission Conference, GE Lighting Institute, NC

  • 05/06  Simunition® FX® Scenario Instructor and Safety Certification, Avon, CT

  • 04/06  Airsoft™ Instructor Course, ILEETA Conference, Arlington Hts., IL

  • 04/06  Unintended Consequences of Well Intentioned Training, K. Murray, ILEETA

  • 04/06  ILEETA Annual Training Conference, Arlington Hts. IL

  • 01/06  ASLET Annual Training Conference, Albuquerque, NM

  • 08/05  ID, Prevention, Mgt, and Investigation of Sudden & In-Custody Death Instructor, W. Chester, PA

  • 03/05 Management of Aggressive Behavior™ (MOAB) Instructor, Chicago, IL

  • 12/04 NASA Fatigue Countermeasures Workshop, Moffet Field, CA

  • 10/03 Crimson Trace Master Trainers Summit, Chehalis, WA

  • 06/03 Redefining The Use of Force In Law Enforcement, Lincoln, NH

  • 02/03 ASLET Annual Training Conference, Ontario, CA

  • 07/01 Southern Police Institute Annual Training Conference, Palm Beach, FL

  • 02/01 ASLET Annual Training Conference, Orlando, FL

  • 09/00 MCJTC Use of Force Instructor Recertification, Agawam, MA

  • 10/00 Calibre Press, “Street Survival Seminar,” Springfield, MA

  • 08/99 DTI Defensive Handgun Course, Springfield, MA

  • 08/99 DTI Urban Rifle & Shotgun Course, Springfield, MA

  • 10/97 Calibre Press, “Street Survival Seminar”, Staff, Springfield, MA

  • 10/96 S&W Academy “Raid Tactics 1 Course”, Taubert, Springfield, MA

  • 04/96 S&W Academy “CQB Pistol Course”, Taubert, Springfield, MA

  • 01/96 S&W Academy “Close Quarters Defense Course”, Deiter, Spgfld, MA

  • 03/94 PPCT Defensive Tactics Instructor, PPCT, Springfield, MA

  • 09/91 Intl. Training Consultants "Urban Rifle Course", Concord, NH

  • 05/91 S&W Pistol Armorer's Recertification, S&W Academy, Springfield, MA

  • 05/91 S&W Scope Sighted Rifle Course, Staff, S&W Academy, Spgfld, MA

  • 05/91 S&W Concealed Carry Handgun Course, S&W Academy, Spgfld MA

  • 03/91 S&W Transitional Pistol Course, S&W Academy, Springfield, MA

  • 03/91 S&W Intermediate Pistol Course, S&W Academy, Springfield, MA

  • 03/91 S&W Advanced Pistol Course, Staff, S&W Academy, Springfield, MA

  • 02/91 S&W Academy Handgun Retention Instr., S&W Academy, Spgfld, MA

  • 12/90 S&W Chemical Munitions Instr. Course, S&W Academy, Spgfld, MA

  • 10/90 S&W Firearms Instructors Course, S&W Academy, Springfield, MA

  • 08/90 S&W Shotgun Instructors Course, S&W Academy, Springfield, MA

  • 07/90 S&W Submachine Gun Instructor Course, S&W Academy, Spgfld, MA

  • 06/90 S&W Firearms Program Management Course, Lakeshore College, WI

  • 03/90 S&W Firearms Instructor Update, S&W Academy, Springfield, MA

  • 10/89 Specialized Policing & Liabilities Course, DDD Co., Atlantic City, NJ

  • 04/89 Def-Tec Chemical Agents Instructor, Def-Tec Inc., Rock Creek, OH

  • 04/89 Tactical Teams Operations Course, Casavant, M.T.T.I., Pomona, NJ

  • 03/89 NRA L.E. Submachine Gun Instructors Course, Recknor, Mt Holly, NJ

  • 10/88 Police Use Of Lethal Force Seminar, (LEDS), Mt. Laurel, NJ

  • 05/88 Tactical Operations Seminar, O'Brien (LEDS), Mt. Laurel, NJ

  • 11/87 Accuracy Systems Instructor Course (Distraction Devices), Mt. Laurel, NJ

  • 10/87 F.B.I. Sniper/Observer In-Service Course, Pomona, NJ

  • 10/87 L.E.C.C.O. Chemical Agents Instructors Course, Pickler, AC, NJ

  • 09/87 Dynamic Building Entry & Search Techniques, Nutshell, Blackwood, NJ

  • 09/87 Glock Armorer's Course, Tarley, Cranford, NJ

  • 09/87 Glock-17 Familiarization Course, Kapelsohn, Cranford, NJ

  • 06/87 Tactical Load Bearing Vests for Special Ops, Garrison, Chicago, IL

  • 06/87 Logistical Considerations for Tactical Operations, Weber, Chicago, IL

  • 06/87 Special Purpose Weapons & Employment, Shults, Chicago, IL

  • 05/87 NRA Law Enforcement Rifle Instructors Course, Julian, Quantico, VA

  • 03/87 Heckler & Koch Armorer's Course, Shatz, Chantilly, VA

  • 03/87 L.E.C.C.O. Chemical Agents Seminar, Pickler, Atlantic City, NJ

  • 03/87 Control & Restraint Course, Jerdan, Northfield, NJ

  • 11/86 SIG-Sauer Armorer's Course, Staff, Tysons Corner, VA

  • 10/86 Pressure Point Control Instructors Course, Staff, Cherry Hill, NJ

  • 09/86 Counter-Terror Response, INTERSEC, Runnemede, NJ

  • 08/86 Handgun Retention Instructors Course, Lindel, Mt. Holly, NJ

  • 05/86 Advanced S.W.A.T. Operations Course, Taylor/A.S.A.A.,Valdez, AK

  • 04/86 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Seminar, USAF E.O.D., Logan, UT

  • 03/86 Firearms Identification Course, Weber State College, UT

  • 01/86 Explosive Entry Concepts, TRA Conference, Las Vegas, NV

  • 01/86 Shooting Simulation Response Course, TRA Conference, LV, NV

  • 08/85 Basic Combat Rifle Course, Taylor/A.S.A.A., Camp Williams, UT

  • 08/85 Special Weapons Course, Taylor/A.S.A.A., Camp Williams, UT

  • 04/85 U.S. Army Small Arms Repair Course, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD

  • 03/85 Monadnock PR-24 Instructors Course, Arsenbault, Pomona, NJ

  • 01/85 Street Survival Seminar, Calibre Press, Atlantic City, NJ

  • 11/84 S&W Chemical Agents Instructors Course, S&W Academy, Spgfld, MA

  • 11/84 U.S. Army Counter-Sniper Course (HONOR GRAD), Ft. Meade, MD

  • 09/84 S&W Pistol Instructors Course, S&W Academy, Springfield, MA

  • 08/84 Smith & Wesson Auto Pistol II Course, S&W Academy, Springfield, MA

  • 08/84 Smith & Wesson Auto Pistol I Course, S&W Academy, Springfield, MA

  • 06/84 Smith & Wesson Pistol Armorer's Course, Springfield, MA

  • 03/84 Charter Arms Armorer's Course, Staff, Stratford, CT

  • 03/84 Ithaca Gun Co. Armorer's Course, Staff, Ithaca, NY

  • 01/84 F.B.I. Firearms Instructors Course, Mt.Holly, NJ

  • 11/83 Remington Arms Co. Armorer's Course, Staff, Ilion, NY

  • 09/83 Smith & Wesson Revolver Armorer's Course, Springfield, MA

  • 07/83 NRA Police Firearms Instructors Workshop, Camp Perry, OH

  • 06/83 Advanced Street Survival Seminar, PMA, Chapman/Ayoob, Phila., PA

  • 01/83 Sturm-Ruger Armorer's Course, Moore, Newport, NH

  • 06/82 NRA Police Firearms Instructors Course, Staff, Allentown, PA

  • 07/79 Tactical Defense Training Course, U.S.A.F.I.C. Staff, Phila., PA

General Police Training

  • 12/07 NASRO Basic School Resource Officer Course, Brattleboro, VT

  • 04/00 New Hampshire Basic Police Training for Part-Time Officers

  • 02/86 NATB Auto Theft Seminar, Staff, Logan, Utah

  • 02/86 DEA “Operation Pipeline” seminar, Salt Lake City, Utah

  • 01/86 Adv. Accident Investigation, Utah Hwy. Patrol, Camp Williams, UT

  • 09/85 Intoxilyzer Operators Course, Utah P.O.S.T., Salt Lake City, UT

  • 09/85 Basic Accident Investigation Course, Utah Hwy. Patrol, Ogden, UT

  • 08/85 Radar Operator Certification Course, Utah P.O.S.T., Salt Lake City, UT

  • 07/85 Utah Peace Officer Certification (Waiver) Course, Utah P.O.S.T., SLC, UT

  • 07/83 NJ Breathalyzer Operator Course, NJ State Police, Pennsauken, NJ

  • 06/83 Methods of Instruction Course, NJ Police Training Comm., Camden, NJ

  • 12/80 New Jersey Basic Police Training, Burlington Co. Police Academy, NJ

  • 08/76 Special Security Training, Burlington Co. Police Academy, NJ

  • 03/76 Rape Investigation Seminar, Staff, Gloucester Co. College, NJ

Ŧ - Officers trained by Mr. Aveni who were not of US origin were from the following nations:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Kenya, Italy, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, Singapore, Tanzania, Trinidad, Turkey, New Zealand, and Venezuela


copyright 2004 The Police Policy Studies Council. All rights reserved. a Steve Casey design.