De-Escalation & Active Shooter Course

Course Overview

The de-escalation and active shooter course uses real-world situations to teach and train strategies to de-escalate potential life-threatening situations. The core topics include verbal and nonverbal communication, crisis prevention, and strategic and critical thinking to avoid or prevent escalation. It features instructor-led lectures, class discussions, practical exercises and scenarios in person.

Course Philosophy

Tactical52 provides a unique learning experience for professionals in a different settings and industries. Throughout this De-escalation course students will be taught, trained, and evaluated on their learning and acquired de-escalation techniques in a controlled classroom setting. The course will be customized to align with each agency or organizations core competencies and industry.

Benefits of De-Escalation and Active Shooter Training

In the Workplace

Reduced conflict and violence: De-escalation and Active Shooter training can create a more positive and productive work environment by minimizing conflict and preventing workplace violence.

Improved employee retention: Feeling safe and supported contributes to employee satisfaction and reduces turnover costs for businesses.

Enhanced customer service: Effective De-escalation skills can help employees handle difficult customers constructively, leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Positive brand reputation: Implementing De-escalation and Active Shooter training demonstrates a company’s commitment to creating a respectful and safe work environment, enhancing its brand image.

In Communities

Safer communities: Widespread adoption of De-escalation and Active Shooter skills by individuals in a community can lead to a decrease in overall crime rates, creating a safer environment for everyone.

Reduced social tension: De-escalation training can bridge communication gaps and promote understanding between different groups, fostering a more harmonious and inclusive community.

Stronger social connections: By improving communication and conflict resolution skills, De-escalation and Active Shooter training can strengthen social connections within communities.

Reduced burden on law enforcement: Equipping individuals with De-escalation skills can lighten the load on law enforcement and emergency services, allowing them to focus on more serious incidents.

Course Objectives

Course Instructors

Ken Abrams, Founder and Senior Instructor

With over 30 years of experience in law enforcement, both in the field and as an instructor, Mr. Abrams founded Tactical 52 to help law enforcement professionals at all levels successfully navigate today’s challenging policing environment.  With an emphasis on professional ethics and values, Ken and his experienced team of instructors demonstrate how to effectively manage real world situations.

Ken Abrams began his teaching vocation as a Marksmanship instructor for the United States Air Force at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. During his military service, he received an accelerated promotion to Non-commissioned officer; wherein as a young Non-commissioned Officer, he led a cadre of instructors selected to give a weapons exhibition and demonstration for a visiting presidential and vice-presidential delegation in 1986.

Years Later he was appointed by the Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons (BOP)

To the position of Federal Correctional Officer. While working for the BOP, his duties included suppling supervision and care for federally housed inmates; including but not limited to, guidance to lower-ranking Correctional officers and staff. During his tenure with the BOP, he supervised a host of high-profile New York-based organized crime family members, notable John Gotti, Russian mafia boss Viktor Ivanov, and street gang leader, Kenneth ‘Supreme’ McGriff and members of his Organization.

In 1998, Ken was selected to attend and graduated from the Drug Enforcement Administrations’ (DEA) Basic Agent training course hosted by the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Following graduation, and throughout the course of his 19-year career; he worked as a DEA criminal investigator in DEA offices in New York, Washington DC, and Baltimore Maryland.

From 2005 through his retirement, he held a collateral Assignment as a Drug Prevention Advocate for DEA in the Washington Metropolitan area, wherein he sat as a non-voting board member for Washington DC Council of Government, and Chantilly, Virginia Drug Treatment and Prevention Community Coalition. Of Significant note, he was a drug/alcohol awareness Town Hall panel member in Fairfax County, Virginia event covered by C-Span and local media outlets.

In 2008, Ken was selected for the position of Instructor/Course Developer at the DEA Training Academy, in this assignment, he taught basic agents about the nuances of being a special agent, with a focused emphasis on the inherent dangers associated with undercover work. During this assignment, he was selected to attend and receive a certification form the Institute For Law Enforcement Administration, Plano, Texas, Ethics, Train and the Trainer Course in 2009. He also served as the public Information Officer – in this role he coordinated public relations activities, events, and media requests for DEA Academy Executive staff and the Training Academy’s community outreach programs.

In 2011 Ken was selected and promotions to the position of Country Attaché; at the US Embassy Bucharest, Romania; while in Romania, part of his duties included working in an International Intelligence Fusion Center, called SELEC. In this capacity, he worked closely and collaborated host and 17 other foreign law enforcement partners to develop strategic drug trafficking initiatives and agendas.

In 2013, he was assigned to the DEA Baltimore District Office; in this assignment he was selected as Supervisor of the Heroin Task Force in Baltimore, Maryland. In this assignment he served as the Team Leader in offices’ partnership with the Baltimore City’s Medical Examiner’s Office, Mayor’s Office, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other stake holding addressing the surge in fentanyl-heroin overdoses in Baltimore Maryland metropolitan area.

March 2023 - Certified Administrator for Everything DISC Behavioral Self- Assessment

Ivan Rios, Senior Instructor

A military veteran and retired DEA Supervisory Special Agent, Mr. Rios is an expert in firearms, and tactical defense. He has conducted combative classes for SWAT teams throughout the Washington DC region. In addition, he has taught tactical courses in foreign countries, including Afghanistan, Thailand, Spain and the Dominican Republic.


Mr. Ivan Rios is currently a senior physical security professional, a military veteran, and a retired DEA Supervisory Special Agent with over 30 years of experience in protective security, intelligence, military, and law enforcement. He served with the DEA in the Caribbean, Office of Training in Quantico, Washington, DC, and Baltimore, and was a team leader in the DEA Executive Protection Detail, protecting the DEA Administrator domestically and internationally. Mr. Rios served in the DEA Special Response Team and the Quick Reaction Team and executed hundreds of high-risk operations. He also became a DEA Firearms, Tactical, Defensive Tactics, and TEVOC Instructor. Mr. Rios was a board member of the National Capital Region SWAT Association and conducted dozens of Combative classes for SWAT teams throughout the Capitol region, and overseas. In addition, he led numerous drug trafficking investigations. One of the investigations was achieved by intercepting Spanish e-mail communication, which he translated, and led to the extradition of several individuals from Panama. 

Furthermore, he taught many tactical courses in foreign countries, including Afghanistan, Thailand, Spain, and the Dominican Republic. In his final assignment with the DEA, he was the DEA Baltimore Strike Force supervisor. The DEA Strike Force was the lead group focused on violent gang investigations in Baltimore. Before joining DEA, he served in the U.S. Navy as a Special Boat Team operator (Maritime Special Operations) and in the Army National Guard as an intelligence officer. He is a veteran of Desert Shield/Storm. Mr. Rios is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Krav Maga 3rd-degree black belt, Kenpo 5th-degree black belt, 1st-degree black belt in TKD, 4th-degree black belt in Japanese Jujitsu, holds a BS and MA in Criminal Justice Management, and a 3 Gun competitive shooter.

Rodney Young, Senior Instructor

As a certified DEA instructor and former police officer in Washington DC, Mr. Young has coordinated training and instructed over two thousand police officers in his career, including courses in counter surveillance, undercover operations, interview interrogation and more. He is now bringing this experience and skill set to Tactical 52’s ethics based training program.


Rodney Young began his law enforcement career as Washington, DC Police Officer and operated in uniform patrol, plain clothes crime suppression, counter narcotics, and district motorcycle patrol.  Mr. Young then moved on to The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) where he served as a Special Agent in Miami, Florida, Assistant Country Attaché in Quito Ecuador - South America, Assistant Country Attaché in Lagos Nigeria, a Special Agent in Washington, DC and finally a Special Agent in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he retired after twenty-five years of service.  As a DEA Special Agent, in addition to investigative responsibilities, Mr. Young was a certified DEA instructor and taught courses for DEA Domestically, in South America and Africa and has coordinated training and instructed more than two thousand agents, police officers, civilians, and military personnel.  Mr. Young instructed courses in Surveillance Counter Surveillance, Undercover Operations, Interview Interrogation, Report Writing, Drug Identification, Telephone Exploitation, and Intelligence Gathering.

Currently, Rodney Young is a Prince Georges County Maryland high school Spanish language teacher.  Rodney has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Spanish language and attended Illinois State university.  Mr. Young is a native of Chicago and resides in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area.