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A Pivotal Advantage For Washington County Law Enforcement


Washington County Law Enforcement Officers, Farmers and Merchants Bank staff and Triumph Systems personnel stand by the Pivotal Trainer. FROM LEFT, Karianne Schnitker, Dan May and Stephen Greene of F&M Bank; Washington County Sheriff Danny Bradac; Ken Harris and Jared Ogden of Triumph Systems; Nancy Hish and Kim Gill of F&M Bank, Nashville Police Chief Brian Fletcher and Okawville Police Chief Steve Millikin.

By Alex Haglund

There’s a lot to law enforcement beyond shooting, and many law enforcement officers are fortunate to never have the need to fire their weapon in a life-or-death situation. If that sort of situation does arise though, proper training, and lots of it, can be the difference between an officer making it back home safely at the end of the shift or not. That same training can also be what helps an officer distinguish whether a person is a threat or not during one of those situations.

To that end, Triumph Systems of St. Louis has devised the Pivotal Trainer, a firearm target system which can flip a target back and forth between the threat side (a silhouette pointing a gun at the office), and the non-threat side (the silhouette holds an iPhone), allowing for training not only a quick trigger finger, but perhaps even more important, quick judgement.

Farmers and Merchants Bank of Nashville has held a “Back The Blue” fundraiser to help show support for law enforcement, selling t-shirts and wristbands, and has donated the proceeds of this fundraiser to Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 274, in order to help purchase two of the Pivotal Trainers for use by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, the Nashville Police Department, and the Okawville Police Department.

On Friday, September 23, Triumph Systems Chief Executive Officer Jared Ogden and Chief Strategy Officer Ken Harris visited F&M Bank to present the trainer to Sheriff Danny Bradac and Police Chiefs Brian Fletcher and Steve Millikin, of the Nashville and Okawville Police Departments, respectively.

Harris was happy to present the system here, because in addition to designing the product, he is a class of 1999 graduate of Nashville Community High School, and the son of Nashville residents Rita and Rick Harris, who is a former Nashville Chief of Police.

Harris is also a 16 year veteran of the United States Army Reserve, and a graduate of SIU, Carbondale, where he majored in industrial design.

Ogden, a Georgia native, is a retired United States Navy SEAL, founder of Phoenix Patriot Foundation, and a cast member of Ultimate Survival Alaska on the National Geographic Channel.

Ogden describes the Pivotal Trainer as to be used “for discretionary shooting skills training,” adding that the device is very mobile and very affordable.

At a retail price of $399, with a discount for law enforcement purchases, the device is significantly cheaper than computer and video based shoot/no-shoot simulators, and carries the added bonus of allowing the officers using them to train with real firearms, the ones they carry on a day-to-day basis, rather than an expensive laser or light pistol.

The device is tough too, with the motor being protected by a barrier which can take a pistol shot, and according to Harris, “everything else can be replaced.”

The device can be used in a number of ways, with a remote control able to set the target to flip between the two sides of the target at random intervals, as well as a command mode where another officer or instructor can initiate the flip.

Finally, multiple Pivotal Trainers can be slaved together to allow for an officer to train in engaging (or just as importantly, not engaging) more than one target at a time.

If readers would like to see how the Pivotal Trainer works, a video of Harris and Ogden demonstrating it has been posted to The Nashville News Facebook page.

F&M Bank is still taking orders for “Back The Blue” shirts, and if readers are interested, stop by or call at (618) 327-3240, and ask for Kariann Schnitker or Nancy Hish (whose son, Nathan, is a police officer in Austin, Texas).

For more information on Triumph Systems, visit their website at, or look them up on Facebook, Twitter or other social media.