CATO Podcast

We believe Tactics are a science, and the Art is in how we apply those tactics. Members of the California Association of Tactical Officers (CATO) interview a variety of guests and discuss lessons learned, the evolution of tactics, and other contemporary issues facing law enforcement.

Episode 041: Honor Hike Foundation And Why We Should Support This Noble Cause

May 13th, 2022

In this episode, Brent and Marcus talk with the founding members of the Honor Hike Foundation. Each year members of this organization hike one mile for every fallen Law Enforcement Officer from around the country, creating a moving memorial. The foundation also supports the officers' families and their agencies. The Honor Hike Foundation was created by a group of active and reserve law enforcement officers and during the hike the participant carries only the gear they need to survive, a Thin Blue Line American Flag, and dog tags made in honor of each fallen officer. This year several CATO members joined the hike along the Appalachian Trail and carried dog tags in remembrance of Deputy Sheriff Phillip Jesse Campas from Kern County Sheriff's Office, who was killed 7/25/21 and Detective Luca Pietro Benedetti from San Luis Obispo Police Department, who was killed 5/10/21. 


To learn more about this noble cause and to show your support visit their website and donate what you can. 

Episode 040 - Swans, Rhinos, and Gordon Graham

March 18th, 2022

For this exciting podcast, Marcus is joined by CATO board member and training cadre member, Sergeant Kristofer Jenny, and Travis Norton, a southern California lieutenant. The three sit down with the infamous Gordon Graham to discuss Black Swans, Gray Rhinos, and what you can do now to impact your team, your agency, and our profession. Graham, a 33-year veteran of law enforcement and the co-founder of Lexipol, is also a risk management expert and a practicing attorney. He packs the conversation with real takeaways you can use today to improve your decision-making and avoid the next Gray Rhino!

Episode 039 - Sound Doctrine Chapter 2: Crisis and Conflict

February 18th, 2022

In this episode of the CATO podcast, Brent and Marcus sit down with CATO's Demonstration Response Chair, Adam Sharki, and CATO Training Cadre member, Kris Jenny, to discuss Chapter 2 of the Sound Doctrine, Crisis and Conflict. The group discusses the definition of a crisis, the five characteristics present in all crises and why you should be able to explain them to those you serve with, your superiors, and potentially a jury. The group also discusses how to apply these principles in day-to-day operations.  

Episode 038 - Blast Analytics and Your Brain

February 4th, 2022

Neuroscientist Dr. James Engall, co-founder and President of Blast Analytics and Mitigation Inc., sits down with Brent and me to discuss the results of BAam360's research and mitigation with the Navy Seals, how they are bringing about awareness and mitigation strategies related to blast exposure in the military, and why it led them to develop Operations Blue Shield where they leverage their knowledge to help the law enforcement community.

There are a lot of layers to these issues, and the circles these folks travel in continue to overlap with CATO. We can foresee this becoming a partnership that can help mitigate these types of risks for those in our profession. For the record, James Engall is a doctor, and we are talking about medical issues, so if you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed, please seek medical help and talk to your doctor.

We will be posting additional information on the website and in the show notes. As always, I hope you enjoy the show and see the value in the work these folks have done with the military and how it can save law enforcement lives.


Operation Blue Shield Promo

US NAVY Brain Health

Frank's PSA

GOFUNDME: Operation Blue Shield Campaign

GOFUNDME: LEO Concussion Prevention Program

Episode 037 - AB481 Military Equipment Legislation for California

January 14th, 2022

Marcus and Brent sit down with a panel of experts to discuss California Assembly AB481, affectionately known as the Military Equipment Bill. Panel members have spoken with the folks from Lexipol as well as other attorneys and experts throughout the state and come together to discuss the major components of the law, including some of the poorly written and unclear portions. The group also offers suggestions on the intent of the law and what you can do to ensure you and your agency remain in compliance. While this group does represent a variety of experience and expertise, and they have vetted their opinions with several legal experts, you should consult your agency's legal team for their interpretation of the law.

Panel members include CATO President Brent Stratton, who serves as an Assistant Chief in the Central Valley with a background in the tactical teams, internal affairs, and DOJ oversight. Panel member Adam Sharki is a Lieutenant for one of the largest cities in Southern California and has a variety of experiences at his agency and serves as our Demonstration Response Chair. Panel Member Kris Jenny is a Sergeant at a small to medium size agency in Northern California and is charged with the AB481 compliance for his agency. Kris is an SLP2 graduate, a member of the teaching cadre, and was recently appointed to the CATO Board of Directors. Travis Norton is a Lieutenant in Southern California who is a lethal force expert and chairs the CATO After Action Review Team.

Episode 036 - An Introduction to the Book ’Sound Doctrine’ and Why You Need to Read this Book and What It Can Do For You

December 24th, 2021
Brent Stratton, Marcus Sprage and Adam Sharki discuss Sid Heal's book, 'Sound Doctrine'. They discuss what they like about the book and why they feel it should be the cornerstone for the foundation of tactical learning. This will be the first of several episodes that break down 'Sound Doctrine' and how you can apply it to resolve today's tactical problems.

Episode 035 - Is your demonstration response and use of force policies and practices in compliance with AB 48? Here’s what you need to know now

December 10th, 2021

Marcus is joined by CATO SWAT Team Leader Cadre members Kenny Brayton and Kris Jenny, CATO's After Action Review Chair Travis Norton, and CATO's Demonstration Response Chair Adam Sharki for a panel discussion on the component parts of California Assembly Bill 48 and what you need to know to ensure that your demonstration response and use of force is within policy. We'll discuss what you can do to make sure your demonstration response program's training, documentation, and deployments are consistent with this new law.

Episode 034 - A Shotgun Conversation with Sgt. Tom Datro, Host of the Policing in America Podcast

November 26th, 2021
Marcus sits down with Sergeant Tom Datro, host of the POLICING IN AMERICA podcast. Sergeant Datro works for one of the largest police departments on the West Coast and created his podcast to address difficult challenges facing law enforcement today. In this episode of the CATO podcast, Marcus and Tom discuss a variety of topics such as de-escalation, leadership, culture, the importance of empathy throughout the organization, and several other challenges facing our profession. Learn more about Tom's podcasts at

Episode 033 - When Your Training Doesn‘t Prepare You for the Fight

October 15th, 2021

Jeff Felts, from Center Mass, is our guest on the latest episode of the CATO Podcast with Marcus Sprague and Kris Jenny, CATO Training Cadre member. As a young sniper, Jeff found himself well trained, but poorly prepared for a very dynamic hostage situation. This setback sent him on a journey to improve his training and resulted in the formation of Center Mass, the National Patrol Rifle Conference and Championship, and the patrol rifle utilization survey. Each year, participants from around the country compete in a variety of patrol rifle scenarios taken from the streets of America. 

Jeff retired from law enforcement after serving for twenty years as a Police Officer and Sergeant in suburban Metro Detroit. He is also a veteran of the Army, where he was an MP and in the reserves as an Infantry Drill Sergeant. He also served for 12 years in a part-time capacity with the Western Wayne County Special Operations Team as an Operator, Sniper, and Sniper Team Leader. He holds an associate degree in criminal justice, a bachelor's degree in business administration, and is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. Jeff is a certified special weapons and tactics instructor, tactical rifle instructor, sniper instructor, pistol instructor, and President of Center Mass, Inc., and serves as an Advisory Board Member of the American Sniper Association (ASA).


Links of interest:

CMI website

NPRC main page

Patrol Rifle Utilization Survey

CMI Training info

CMI FB page:

NPRC FB page: 


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Episode 032 - The Body Keeps the Score with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

October 1st, 2021

We don't often talk about one of the greatest threats facing our profession. This adversary is hard to name, difficult to identify, and is rarely talked about openly, yet each year it kills more and more dedicated men and women in law enforcement and the military. We all agree these professions leave a mark when you're done. For some, this mark can cost them their happiness, family, and even their life. In an effort to find the best information and tools to address this adversary, we reached out to Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, a pioneer in the field of PTSD research and treatment, a world-renowned psychiatrist, author, researcher, and educator. He’s been researching post-traumatic stress since the 1970s, its effects on the body, and how a variety of modalities can reduce those impacts. He is the author of the bestselling 'The Body Keeps the Score,' which we highly recommend that everyone read.

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk has dedicated his professional life to helping people heal from their traumas, and when we heard about and expressed interest in a brand new 4-week online course on PTSD launching October 20, 2021, Dr. van der Kolk's team graciously offered a limited-time promo code for a discounted rate to our members. CATO is receiving nothing in return for promoting this class, we are not associated with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk or this course in any way, we simply care about our community and want to pass on all resources that can help our community deal with trauma and PTSD. For more information about this 4-week course, and the promo code which expires October 20th, please go to English 4 Week | Bessel van der Kolk, MD..

Joining me as co-host for this episode is Alex West. Alex served multiple tours during his time in the Navy, and led some of the greatest folks our country has to offer through a variety of hot spots around the world. He has dedicated his post-military life to helping veterans and was CATO's keynote speaker at our last annual training conference in San Diego. He also was our guest in podcast episode #3, which we recommend you check out. Alex is truly committed to the CATO Community and joins us today to help veterans and first responders survive the effects of PTSD during and after their careers.


The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma: van der Kolk M.D., Bessel

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