With a robust career spanning 48 years in firearms instruction, Peter Tarley’s initial interest was sparked as a handgun shooter, which led to his involvement in the Air Force OSI, where he played a crucial role in transitioning agents worldwide to the custom OSI Compact .45. His passion for training others has remained unwavering since then.
Peter served 21 years as the Use of Force Coordinator and Range Master at the New York State Zone 4 Police Academy, where he trained over a thousand recruits and certified hundreds of firearms instructors. He is the recipient of an FBI Outstanding Instructor Award and has developed and taught innovative programs such as the first 5-day senior Firearms Instructor Program. Peter’s contributions to the field also include writing the Sniper Logbook in the early 1980s and teaching one of the first Law Enforcement Sniper Schools for NYSDCJS.
His teaching philosophy, “PODUS: Performance on Demand Under Stress,” emphasizes providing training for the essential skills necessary to survive. Peter is particularly passionate about instructor training and certification, recognizing the profound impact a well-trained instructor can have on numerous officers throughout their careers.
Peter employs unique methodologies in his training, focusing extensively on terminal effects to prepare officers for real-life combat situations. He teaches his students to assess the legality and morality of their actions until a change in the situation is perceived. One of his proudest moments came when he provided testimony that contributed to a Grand Jury’s decision not to support any charges against a rookie officer involved in a gunfight.
Peter’s dedication to firearms instruction has earned him several accolades, plaques, and letters of thanks. Outside of his profession, he enjoys flying, skiing, and cave diving. Jeff Cooper’s writings have significantly influenced his professional journey.
To stay updated in the evolving world of firearms training, Peter engages in continuous learning, observation, and discussions with other instructors. He became involved with IALEFI in 1983 and values the organization’s commitment to safety and raising the bar in training standards. Peter sees the future of firearms instruction as integrating more cost-effective and versatile virtual reality training and advises aspiring instructors to be knowledgeable and approachable.
Peter appreciates the importance of networking, which has played an instrumental role in his professional journey. Despite his light-hearted search for an older mentor, his extensive experience, innovative approaches, and commitment to elevating the standards of firearms instruction make Peter Tarley a respected and admired figure in the industry.