Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Defense Instructors Offer Training | after Realtor Was Assaulted, a Rush to Help Others with Safety

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Defense Instructors Offer Training | after Realtor Was Assaulted, a Rush to Help Others with Safety

Article excerpt

AGENT ATTACK

Just days after an ex-con was arrested for kidnapping and trying to rape a 69-year-old female Realtor, firearms and tactical instructors throughout southwest Florida are rushing to provide tips, techniques and training to keep the agents safe.

"It requires a very specialized course and instruction, given the nature of their job and the hazards they face," said Marc Pezzella, a retired Sarasota County Sheriff's lieutenant and SWAT team commander, who owns Advanced Defensive Concepts, a firearms and tactical training firm in Sarasota.

Pezzella's firm offers self-defense instruction and firearms classes for Realtors and other professionals.

Andy Werger Tolbert, a licensed real estate broker and one of the region's few female firearms instructors certified by the National Rifle Association, developed her "Safer Agent" course specifically for Realtors.

"I see the issue from both sides," Tolbert said. "I specialize in teaching men and women how to make a decision on their own personal protection plan based on their own personal physical abilities, training, and mindset."

Her training course has been approved for continuing education credit by several realty associations.

"We start with a three-hour class on situational awareness in the morning, and show them how to meet new customers safely," Tolbert said. "In the afternoon, we'll go to the range for an NRA First Steps pistol class, which is optional."

Tolbert, a licensed broker since 1998, said Realtors can face more than just threats from their clients.

"I've gone into 'vacant' homes and been chased by a dog. I've cut myself on sharp metal hidden in high grass," she said. "If you're not expecting a threat, that's a threat too."

Joe Krawtschenko, owner of Bradenton's Aegis Tactical, is giving a speech on safety to a large group of Sarasota Realtors next month. When Sotheby's Real Estate Auctions received a specific threat, they hired Krawtschenko. He's been working with several national firms for years.

"They'll bring their whole office in for a class," he said. "We'll give them both defensive tactics and firearms training."

Many of the tips and techniques he offers break longstanding industry practices. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.