The Independence Academy Team

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Rick Casner

Academy Director

In 2008, following a two year ecclesiastical mission, Rick chose to center his professional career on firearms and firearms education. For the past ten years, Rick has developed a diverse academic and experiential knowledge in these areas. In July of 2010, Rick graduated with an associate's degree in Gunsmithing from the Colorado School of Trades, later practicing as a gunsmith and building machine guns for foreign and domestic militaries.

While living in Colorado, Rick started a business in which he trained and certified others in the use and legalities of carrying a concealed firearm. Rick's love for education and firearms training led him to pursue a bachelor's of science degree and later a master's degree in education. During this time, Rick devoted the bulk of his studies to understanding how to effectively manage recreational shooting facilities. Rick's ultimate passion is to help others develop the skills they need to become self-sufficient in firearm manipulations as well as self-protection. 

For academy related questions, please contact Rick at: rick@iishooting.com.
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Jim Love

Curriculum Developer and Instructor

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.

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Bill Hanley

Academy INSTRUCTOR

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.  

LeRoy Graham

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.

Credentials

  • 30 years military and law enforcement
  • NRA Certified – Pistol, Personal Protection in and outside the Home, Range Safety Officer
  • Certified Idaho Concealed Carry Weapons Instructor (enhanced)
  • P.O.S.T. Certified Master Officer and Supervisor
  • P.O.S.T. Academy Class Instructor (and various others)
  • Drug Free Idaho and Rural Meth Initiative Instructor
  • and more…

Training Highlights

  • Secret Service Threat Analysis Seminar
  • LA County S.E.B. Swat School
  • D.E.A. Academy
  • Officer Survival (various)
  • Gang/Outlaw/Bikers (various)
  • Clandestine Lab Investigations
  • Site Safety Officer Training
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Jon Rhodes

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.

Credentials

  • 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
  • Informant development
  • Covert-Undercover procedures training and procedure development
  • Advanced officer and firearms trainer
  • and more…

Training Highlights

  • 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
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Mike Perkins 

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.

Notable Competitions:

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.