Sad tidings: the passing this week of Ed Nowicki in Wisconsin.  My career has brought me into contact with literally thousands of cops.  A very few among them deserved the title Supercop. Ed was one such.

Nowicki began his career on the mean streets of Chicago in some of that city’s most turbulent  years.  He not only survived, but prevailed in, six gunfights.  He later became a chief of police in a Wisconsin community, and even a lay judge.  His life experience gave him an awesome perspective, both wide and deep, of criminal justice in America.

In this 2005 photo, Ed Nowicki towered over me the way he towered over all of us in the police training world

Impressive as he was as a street cop and a leader of police, his strongest point was teaching. Thugs were terrified of him because he had not only imposing size and strength, but a deep knowledge of the fighting arts.  Students loved him because this bear of a man could teach the smallest, weakest officer how to prevail using leverage, force-multiplying tools, and above all, cool competence under life-threatening pressure.  He taught that compassion and reason had to accompany the ability to use all levels of force. 

There has been no greater leader in law enforcement training in my lifetime. I met Ed in the late 1970s when we both taught at the Monadnock PR-24 Baton Instructors’ Seminar, held annually back then at OPOTA, the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.  In the latter 1980s, he was the leader who formed ASLET, the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers.  In the early 2000s, when internecine warfare threatened that organization, he created ILEETA, the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association.  When ASLET sank in 2006, ILEETA became the lifeboat that picked up the survivors, and continues today as the world’s premier multi-disciplinary law enforcement training organization under Ed’s chosen successor, Harvey Hedden.

Ed had spent many years fighting the terrible, debilitating disease that finally killed him all too soon.  He leaves a legacy of professionalism and advancement in law enforcement training that will never be equaled.

Deepest condolences to his widow, Dianne, and his fine family.  All of us in the training sector should strive to continue his legacy.


    • My greatest memories of Ed were in the beginning of ILEETA. Ed was a kind man, great cop but most of all a true mentor. He always had a smile and words of encouragement for everyone. He left us with a great legacy and challenged us all to take care of each other. Super Cop is a truly accurate description of this great man. It is my prayer that God give comfort to his family and friends in this time of loss. I know that every time I train or teach I will think of him and try to pass on what he taught me. Rest In Peace Ed.

    • David, all law enforcement officers ARE civilians, unless they are in the reserves too. Many cops, especially the tactical types, fantasize they are part of the American military but that just ain’t so. Any cop who can’t obtain medical treatment by the Veterans Administration is a lowly civilian.

  1. His legacy will continue on through the many, many trainers who consider him a mentor and through the ILEETA organization! RIP Ed!

  2. Mas:

    We have lost Elmer, Askins (both), Bill Jordan, Uncle Jeff, Col. Rex, Skeeter, etc. I have been shooting 50-plus years now, and reading even longer. I miss the old days, and I always loved reading what Mr. Nowicki wrote when it came to guns, tactics, or just about any other topic related. The days get sadder and sadder as news like this comes, because these days it is about people of my generation or even younger. Col. Jeff once told me (late in life) that he felt as if he had more to look back on than to look forward to. I understand that feeling more and more. Let us celebrate a life well lived, and be thankful we still have you, Clint Smith, and a host of others to carry on with the important business of training us to live. Thank you for all you do.

    Best regards,
    Shawn McCarver

  3. Rest in Peace Ed, I was honored to know you and train with you in the 70’s and 80’s, till we meet again.

  4. My condolences. I have never met Mr. Nowicki but wish I had. It’s always sad to lose a good fellow former LEO for whatever reason(s). R.I.P.

  5. ” … and above all, cool competence under life-threatening pressure. He taught that compassion and reason had to accompany the ability to use all levels of force. ”

    Much respect. The highest accolades.

    God Bless, RIP.

  6. I think what you said made a bunch off sense.
    However, consider this, what if you were to write
    a killer post title? I ain’t suggesting your content is
    nnot good., but what if you added soething to maybe grab
    folk’s attention? I mean R.I.P. ED NOWICKI, SUPERCOP iis a little boring.
    You could look at Yahoo’s home page and watch how they
    write nerws healines to grab people interested. Yoou migut
    try adding a video or a related pic or two to grab people excited about whqt you’ve written. Just my opinion, it might bring your
    posts a little bit more interesting.

    • We don’t do clickbait here, Isobel. At the moment, what we’re doing is paying somber respects to a great man.

    • Isobel,

      I respectfully disagree. In the headline, the word “Supercop” grabbed my attention. Besides, we fans know everything Mas writes is great. He doesn’t even need headlines. Like a classical music composer, he could just number his articles like this; Opus 1, Opus 2, Opus 3 and so on. We would still read them.

  7. What a terrible loss to the community. Ed cast a huge shadow and his loss will be felt for years to come. I was proud to be a charter member of ILEETA as it was a great and well respected community of trainers that Ed created. The knowledge that he shared was and is invaluable to all that had the pleasure of meeting and learning from him.
    Condolences to his Family. God speed Ed. You will be missed.

  8. I met Ed at an ASLET conference- talked to me as a fellow instructor- joined him when he formed ILEETA
    As a charter member- such a dedicated man with professionalism coming out of his pores- and humor from his lips
    I am so lucking to have known him/ something I carry with me
    In every class I teach
    Rest In Peace brother

  9. Thank you Mr. Ayoob! Such kind words about my father. Funny! I literally thought he was Superman when I was a little kid. While I was watching the old Superman show on tv, he came home with a suit and tie on. He was a detective for the Chicago Police Dept. at the time. He told me to come into the dining room and he unbuttoned his dress shirt. Underneath was a blue Superman t-shirt. I was in aw as he put his finger to his lips and whispered, “sshhh.” I think Super Cop is appropriate!
    My father had the utmost respect for you as well sir. Your name came up numerous times during our many talks. Keep doing what you do and thanks for being such a great friend to my father! Godspeed!

    • Great to hear from you, Eric. I know your dad was extremely proud of you and what you’ve accomplished in your own career in LE.

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