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Meet the Instructors

Officer Ronald Zirk

Officer Zirk has 13 years of law enforcement experience in conjunction with a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He began his career with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department as a Corrections Officer. While at the jail, he was a member the SRT Team, the Corrections I.D. Specialist and instructed numerous training classes.

In 2002, he was transferred to the patrol division and graduated as Class President of Class 993 at the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy. He went on to join the Tennessee Highway Patrol as a State Trooper, and graduated from the THP Training Academy as the Class President of Class 602. He next went to the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and assisted with Meth Lab Eradication.

In 2005 he joined the Chattanooga Police Department and graduated from the academy as Class President of CPD Class 2005-1. He was first assigned to the patrol division and worked Fox team which is the East Lake area of the city.

Officer Zirk was awarded the Rookie of the Year in 2007. In May of 2008 he was selected as a member of the department’s Perimeter team. In September of 2008, he was assigned to the Training Division as a police instructor. During his time with the department he has completed the Instructor Development Course, and he has been certified as a Field Training Officer, an instructor in Defensive Tactics as well a tactical rifle and pistol instructor.

Email Contact:   rzirk@theshootersdepot.com

 

Sergeant Mark Haskins

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Sergeant Mark Haskins is a 30 year veteran of the Chattanooga Police Department. He was a member of the Chattanooga Police Department Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT ) team for twenty years, eventually becoming  Sniper Team Leader. Sergeant Haskins retired from the Chattanooga Police Department in December 2013.

Sergeant Haskins is also certified as an FBI firearms Instructor. He has completed extensive training in Precision Marksmanship and Hostage Negotiation. He has attended numerous Sniper Schools and is a Certified Pistol Instructor. Sergeant Haskins worked as a Detective in Burglary and Robbery for eleven years before becoming the supervisor of the Regulatory Bureau.

A graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and holding a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice, Sergeant Haskins was a professor of Criminal Justice at Chattanooga State for 9 years.

Sergeant Haskins is a competitive action pistol shooter and a lifetime NRA member. Sergeant Haskins has 18 years of experience teaching the Tennessee Handgun Permit Safety Course.

Email Contact: mhaskins@theshootersdepot.com

Officer Billy Atwell

Officer Billy Atwell has thirteen years of mixed law enforcement experience.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security from Austin Peay State University.  He began his law enforcement career in the U.S. Army as a Military Police Officer, where he was assigned to Yuma Proving Grounds in Yuma, AZ.  After four and a half years in the Army, he went into civilian law enforcement in Tucson, AZ.

He attended training at the Pima County Sheriff’s Department class 96-3 and began working in the Pima County Jail.  While assigned in the jail, he worked in general population and in the identification unit.  He was also a member of the Tactical Assistance Group (TAG) Team.

After several years with Pima County Sheriff’s Department, he gave up law enforcement to obtain a college education.  In 2005, he attended training with the Chattanooga Police Department Class 2005-1.  He was then assigned to the patrol division and has worked in the Delta Team (Brainerd) area and Echo Team (East Chattanooga) area.  In September 2008, he was selected for the position of K-9 handler.  He is currently assigned to the Special Operations Division K-9 Unit where he works a police K-9 full time.

He is also certified as a Field Training Officer (FTO), and is an instructor in basic self-defense, tactical rifle, tactical pistol, and CPR.

Contact e-mail:  batwell@theshootersdepot.com

 

Joe Kochis

Joe Kochis has twelve years of mixed law enforcement experience including the U.S. Army Military Police, the New Jersey State Police, Morris Plains Police Department and the FBI. His education includes Military Science, Corporate Finance and Management attending The Provost Marshal’s General School, Rider College, New Jersey Military Academy and NYU. He served as an Army Officer commanding Military Police operations and Special Forces “A” and “B” Detachments. He began his law enforcement career in the U.S. Army as a Military Police Officer, after which Joe successfully completed Special Warfare training earning his Green Beret, where he became accomplished with small arms training techniques. His assignments included weapons training for Army Special Warfare units as well as various federal agencies; with a focus on shooting tactics involving fully automatic and other type assault weapons. During that time Joe built his own 1911 – 45ACP and participated in competitive shooting for U.S. Army and other non-military teams.

After leaving the military he successfully completed training at the New Jersey State Police Academy, working as a uniformed State Trooper, as well as other assignments; i.e. personal security for Governor Hughes and his family plus a variety of investigations. After working for the New Jersey State Police he attended NYU studying Corporate Finance and Marketing, working for an investment banking firm as their liaison to the NASD and FBI and other missions. Following that Joe was invited to help establish a new security corporation with two retired FBI agents, who he worked with earlier in his career. That corporation provided security and conducted investigations for fortune 500 companies, also providing NRA firearms training for security personnel, firearms safety programs along with tactics and procedures. The last many years Joe has been a consultant to corporate security organizations, police departments and others providing gun safety and proficiency training as well as other assignments.

Contact e-mail:  jkochis@theshootersdepot.com