Jessica Farrias is an accomplished defensive tactics leader and has developed curriculum for multiple firearm courses. She became an instructor after attending numerous tactical defensive operations courses through the military. As the Academy Operations Director Jessica leads, manages, and supervises other instructors in Active Shooter, Shoot Move Communicate (SMC), Force-on-Force, Tactical Vehicle Mount and Dismount Movements, Close Quarters Battle (CQB) or Tactical Drills, Security of Convoy Response Movements, Self-Aid Life Saving Procedures, Less-Than-Lethal Weapons, Combatives/Self Defense, and Fitness Instruction.
Throughout her career she has conducted multiple convoy missions and has flown all over the world. She also was one of the youngest enlisted members to become part of an inspection team having to evaluate the compliance and effectiveness of personnel. She has continued to further her military career as a patrol officer by being an instructor for high stress and realistic scenarios designed to teach personnel how to effectively move through potentially hostile environments. Having to control and secure against the threat of hostile forces, she has been awarded multiple awards for her distinguished mission accomplishments and continues to thrive as a Defensive Tactic’s Operations Manager.
Although, she has many professional accomplishments, her biggest accomplishment would be becoming a wife and mother of two. Her and her husband, both members of the military, have worked hard to share their knowledge and the experiences with others. Being a husband/wife duo instructing team, they enjoy seeing students reach their goals and become more comfortable and confident with firearms.
After serving with the Idaho State Police (ISP) for the past 29 years, Jim retired, bringing with him his years of experience in curriculum development and firearms instruction. During the his last 17 years with ISP, Jim was instrumental in developing their current firearms curriculum while serving as their full-time training specialist in the ISP training section. In this capacity, Jim served as the lead firearms instructor and armorer and holds an Idaho POST master firearms instructor certificate.
Prior to his time in training, Jim spent five years assigned to the Idaho Governors office where he was responsible for the development and implementation of the Dignitary Protection Unit. Preceding his law enforcement service, Jim also spent six years in the United States Air Force. Jim and his wife Liz currently reside in Meridian, Idaho where they have raised two sons, one of which currently serves in the United States Navy as a military law enforcement officer. The other regularly competes in United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) competitions.
Jim is a member of the USPSA and regularly competes in both USPSA and multi-gun events. Jim is looking forward to sharing his experience with novice shooters as well as those who have been shooting for years.
Academy Instructor: Pistol Defense
As a retired Senior Investigator for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office in Southern California, Bill brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Independence Indoor Shooting.
Bill has served as a police officer for more than 27 years. For 25 of those years, he received extensive training within the law enforcement community. Prior to working for the County of Riverside, Bill was a Detective Sargent with the City of San Bernardino Police Department where he supervised the Homicide Unit, Robbery Unit, and served several years as a Detective. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Education with an emphasis in the training of the adult learner.
As a graduate of the FBI Firearms Instructor School, the FBI Police Rifle Counter Sniper Course, and the American Pistol Institute (API) or “Gunsite Academy," Bill has demonstrated the importance of becoming a life-long learner.
Bill has taught and trained firearms related subjects to law enforcement officers and others for more than 20 years. He was an instrumental member of the standardized firearms program for the H&K pistol with the City of San Bernardino in the early 1990’s. As a graduate of the H&K Firearms Instructor School and several other pistol armory schools, Bill is continually striving to improve his working knowledge in handgun manipulation skills and tactics. In the past few years, Bill has sought out and completed advanced firearms training with instructors such as, Dave Spaulding.
As a police detective, Bill has seen, investigated, and supervised several lethal/non-lethal use-of-force related cases. This experience has brought to bear a genuine understanding of the use of a pistol in personal defense both at the time of the fight and in the aftermath that follows such an incident.
Academy Instructor: Pistol Defense
LeRoy began his career as a U.S. Army military police officer, serving in Fort Polk (USA) and obtained top secret security clearance for an assignment at N.A.T.O HQ (Netherlands) for Central Europe. His military career also included two separate, one year tours with the Army National Guard – air assault and military intelligence.
After moving to Boise 3 years later, he attended Boise State University and dedicated 26 years to the Boise Police Force, where he was promoted to Sergeant. He had a wide variety of assignments including SWAT, Gang Unit, Narcotics, Criminal Intelligence, and many more.
Serving on three legislative committees he helped enact three current laws. He was also the supervisor in charge of bringing Mobile Data Terminals (computers) to police vehicles, and brought a case management and intelligence system to the department.
After retiring as Sergeant, LeRoy taught for Drug Free Idaho and has enjoyed the last 6 years teaching firearms safety, Idaho laws, personal protection and the use of firearms.
30 years military and law enforcement
NRA Certified – Pistol, Personal Protection in and outside the Home, Range Safety Officer
P.O.S.T. Academy Class Instructor (and various others)
Drug Free Idaho and Rural Meth Initiative Instructor
Secret Service Threat Analysis Seminar
LA County S.E.B. Swat School
Officer Survival (various)
Clandestine Lab Investigations
Site Safety Officer Training
Academy Instructor: Pistol Defense, Carbine, Shotgun, & Self-Defense
With over 30 years in law enforcement for LA County, Jon brings a comprehensive knowledge and expertise to the team. His responsibilities included special weapons tactics, undercover operations, hostage rescue, anti-terrorism, elite tactical teams, detective, and more!
Jon has been an expert firearms instructor for over 20 years, training teams for the U.S. Navy SEAL Team, U.S. Marine Corp, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, FBI and numerous law enforcement agencies around the world.
Jon has had the honor of being selected for many Dignitary Protection teams protecting various U.S. presidents, U.S. Vice Presidents, popes, kings, queens, princes, dukes, numerous Academy Awards, and other high risk events. As part of the 1984 Olympics anti-terrorist response team, Jon and his team trained extensively everyday 40+ hours a week for 6 months.
Jon retired from LA County as an Undercover Narcotics Detective Sergeant. He continues to be a highly sought out consultant, specializing in weapon systems and tactical training for law enforcement and government agencies (local and abroad). He recently helped an organization with the development of a bio-metric handheld 3D facial recognition and identification system.
31 years law enforcement
LASD Sniper Instructor (and various others)
FBI Certified Firearms and Sub-Machine Instructor
P.O.S.T. Certified Special Weapons Team Tactics and Officer Survival Instructor (and various others)
Maritime Interdiction of Terrorism (US State Departments) Instructor
Covert-Undercover procedures training and procedure development
Advanced officer and firearms trainer
Special Weapons and Tactics
Sniper Deployment and Initiated Assaults
Basic and Advanced Entry Techniques
Bus and Vehicle Assaults
Dynamics of Hostage Rescue
Use of Diversionary devices
High Risk Warrant Service and Dignitary Protection
Narcotics Intervention and Transportation
Academy Instructor: Pistol Defense & Sportsman
Sarah VanAcker, an Idaho native, grew up with a love for the outdoors. For 14 years, Sarah has been an avid hunter, bow-hunter, and sport shooter. As a wife and mother, Sarah saw a need to become more prepared for self-defense and personal protection, and began attending various firearms and self-defense courses. The experiences, knowledge, and sense of empowerment she gained gave her the enthusiasm to bring this same confidence to others. She has been working and teaching at Independence Indoor Shooting since 2017.
Sarah instructs women and men in firearm defense theory, firearm manipulations, and marksmanship, helping new shooters become more comfortable and confident with their own handguns. Currently, she instructs Basic Pistol, Women's-only Basic Pistol, Intermediate Pistol, and Hunter's Education courses for all ages.
In addition to being certified as a handgun defense instructor by the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA), and as a Basic Pistol instructor through the National Rifle Association (NRA), she is also certified as a Hunter's Education instructor for the Idaho Fish and Game Department. She thoroughly enjoys continuing her education and expanding her knowledge in order to pass this knowledge and experience to others.
Academy Instructor: Long Range Rifle
As a professional, Mike served as a police officer for 30 years, with 27 of those years operating as a sniper on various Swat Teams. For seven years, Mike worked for Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department in San Jose, California and for the Boise Police Department, in Boise, Idaho for 20 years.
Mike has had the opportunity to attend regular sniper training throughout his career, allowing him to become a highly recognized and sought after instructor. Mike has attended FBI Sniper School at Camp Pendleton, California and has trained with the FBI and Secret Service in sniper operations. Mike was asked to serve as sniper over-watch for the 1984 Olympics. He has also served as executive protection for high profile government officials including sniper over-watch for four presidents and close personal security for Governors, Senators, and numerous company executives.
For 17 years, Mike served as Lead Sniper instructor for Counter Measures Tactical and competed in military/police sniper competitions around the world. Due to his extensive training and experience, Mike was tasked by the Secret Service and FBI to assemble the sniper over-watch teams for the Salt Lake Winter Olympics and worked that assignment for three months preparing, training, and deploying during the games.
1999- 1st Place Team- Top Shooter- Countermeasures Tactical Match
2000- First US Team to win the Austrian Super Sniper Shootout – Vienna Austria
2006- 1st Place Team – Top Shooter – Far West Sniper Challenge
2007- 1st Place Team- Top Shooter – Far West Sniper Challenge
2009- North American Sniper Championships – Top Shooter- 3rd Place Team
1999-Present- Owner Cross Hairs LR Hunting School - teaching LR shooting classes around the United States and in New Zealand and Sniper schools for law enforcement agencies.
Academy Instructor: Medical
As a native to Idaho, Sean is passionate about using the knowledge and skills that he has gained over his extensive career to help others become equipped with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to save lives.
Growing up in Pocatello, Idaho, Sean graduated from Highland High School. After graduating, Sean moved to Omaha, Nebraska where he pursued and obtained a bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Nebraska. Sean then had the opportunity to stay in Nebraska when he procured a job as a professional fire fighter. Over the 20 years of his professional career, Sean has worked as both a professional fire fighter and lead paramedic in the urban environment. Sean has also worked as a paramedic in hospital based level one ERs, PACU’s, Cardiac telemetry, and medical surgical units. During his time in Nebraska, Sean had the opportunity to participate in tactical paramedic units along side local LEO’s in service of warrants and hostage situations.
Sean holds the following certifications: EMT, EMT-Paramedic, Fire Fighter I, Fire Fighter II, ACLS, BLS, PALS, and PHTLS . Additionally, he is currently working to obtain his BLS/AED instructor certification. Even before procuring employment as an instructor at Independence Indoor Shooting, Sean was determined to advance his skill sets in advanced firearms manipulations which he did in our classes at Independence.
Academy Instructor: Sportsman & Reloading
In 2009, Rob Nielsen retired from his day-to-day career in the dairy industry of California, where he devoted 32 years of his life. After retiring, Rob moved to Idaho, where he has enjoyed his retirement by helping others become more prepared sportsman.
While working in California, Rob was an active proponent of hunting and the shooting sports. From an early age, Rob enjoyed hunting Big Game and Upland Game Birds, a passion that he has maintained into his golden years. Taking his training seriously, Rob has gained a wealth of knowledge as a certified RCBS reloading instructor, chapter Chairman of the Mule Deer Foundation, big game hunting guide for Antelope and Deer, Taxidermist, NRA Member, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation committee member, and Hunter's Education instructor.
Independence Indoor Shooting and the residents of the Treasure Valley are lucky to have the talent represented in Rob Nielsen.
Academy Instructor: Sportsman
Information Coming Soon
Academy Instructor: Gun Build/Maintenance & Range Safety Officer Certification
Information coming soon!
Academy Instructor: Olympic Air Pistol
Coach Sill Lyra is a USA/NRA International Advanced Shooting Coach who has been involved in Olympic Air Pistol for more than 20 years. He came to Colorado Springs in 1997 to be a pupil of Mr. Eric Buljung, who was at that time the National Head Coach of the U.S. Pistol Team and the only Olympic Silver Medalist in air pistol for the U.S. since the Olympics in Seoul. Coach Sill was Pistol Head Coach for the Olympic Training Center Juniors Shooting Club and then pistol coach for the Modern Pentathlon US Army World Class Athlete Program team and for the USOC-USA Modern Pentathlon Team.
Air Pistol is one of the events of Modern Pentathlon, and Coach Sill worked with elite athletes from a variety of sport backgrounds. These Modern Pentathlon athletes have often never shot a firearm before, and his work was to transform them in Olympians.
After traveling internationally as a pistol coach for over 10 years, Coach Sill has experienced the shooting philosophy in a diverse cadre of world shooting schools. He has coached Olympians in Modern Pentathlon over three Olympic cycles. His athletes include a world cup gold medalist and Silver Medalist at the 1999 Pan American Games, three athletes who qualified and two of whom competed in the 2000 Olympics, two Gold and two Silver medalists at the Pan American Games in 2003, and three athletes who competed in the Olympic Games in Athens.
Coach Sill founded the site Airpistolcoach.com in 2006, an innovative internet coaching system that serves athletes all around the United States and the World from the immediate beginner, junior, to the Olympic level. Sill looks forward to helping you start your air pistol journey or help you reach a higher level of performance.