ALTON - Rich Portwood discussed his background in law enforcement, on TV, and more, as well as his latest venture Blue Line Tactical Academy, on an episode of Our Daily Show! on Riverbender.com.
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After starting his career in law enforcement, Portwood said he actively sought additional training and found some success with competitive shooting. Then one day, he got a call from James Towle - who he had never met before - asking Portwood to appear on his new TV show.
“[I] ended up being a guest on eight seasons of Stop The Threat, and it was one of the best experiences of my life - it really was,” Portwood said.
Stop The Threat featured a panel of experts, Portwood included, who would analyze videos of citizens using firearms in self-defense and discuss what they could have done better or differently in their situations. Episodes of the show are available on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video.
After a 19-year career in law enforcement, Portwood said his battle with cancer and resulting side effects from chemotherapy caused him to take an earlier retirement from the profession than he was planning on, and he essentially had to “start over” and find something new.
“I had it in my mind that this is just another fight. I’m going to win this … but at the same time, you get to a point where, Okay, I’m through all this, now I’m no longer a cop,” Portwood said. “Cancer took this from me, and that’s a big part of your identity.
“You’re kind of forced to start over. I had just turned 48 years old, and I never expected at the age of 48 to be starting over, trying to figure out, ‘What am I going to do with the rest of my life?’”
A few years ago, Portwood went to work with Wes Doss, the late founder of Khyber Interactive Associates, to help train members of the police and military across the United States. After Doss passed away, Portwood went on to start his own training academy with a local focus.
“I started this business in the hopes that I could train local police, local armed citizens, [and] just kind of pass on a lot of what I’ve learned,” Portwood said.
He said this training also extended to church security groups, and part of the training includes de-escalation tactics.
“You might think, ‘Well gosh, this is a gun guy, why is he teaching de-escalation?’ Because I’m really proud of the fact that during 19 years of law enforcement, I never had to shoot anybody,” Portwood said.
“I feel like that is the goal, is you are trying to solve as many situations as you can without shooting. That’s not always true by any means, but you know, if you can do that, then you have succeeded.”
Portwood said he has 17 different instructor certifications, and can teach everything from “flash bangs to CQB (Close Quarters Battle) to active shooter response to rifles to handguns,” and more.
Several training courses are coming up throughout June and July and can be signed up for at bluelinetacticalacademy.com/upcoming-classes.
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