If you’re looking for Will Petty just listen to the sound of gunfire. Truthfully, he easily spends over half the year on the range. Will, and his crew from Centrifuge Training, are one of the leading experts in marksmanship for the Law Enforcement (LE) community. Composed entirely of active duty or retired LE, Centrifuge has built its foundation on a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. Using this systematic based training, Centrifuge fills half their year traveling across the U.S. Their focus: vehicle-based tactics (VCQB), low light and structure problem solving, K-9 integration, performance-based skill building, and more.
It’s fairly easy to understand Will Petty’s sense of humor after a single question. When asked about his childhood, his quick retort: “My childhood was very rad, albeit modest. I was born with a couple of eyes, a nose, and some ears.” Petty goes on to say, “Growing up it was bright AF during the day and made me an ideal candidate for sunglasses. Growing up Oakley was the go-to if you weren’t a nerd and has been for the past 30 years.”
After high school, a future in LE seemed like a logical choice. “The 80’s were a supernova for all things heroes and of course, what kid didn’t want to contribute?” says Petty. “At the ripe age of 21 and, with a couple of hours of community college burning a hole in my pocket, law enforcement seemed like a natural choice.”
William Petty officially began his Law Enforcement career in 2003 in Albuquerque, NM. While there he served as a Firearms Instructor, an Emergency Response Team member, and was also a member of the department’s shooting team. During that time, it was your standard grind; on patrol, early mornings, long days, plenty of arrests, and serving plenty of warrants. In 2011, as a change of pace, Petty relocated to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates where he worked as a Counter-Terrorism Instructor with the Critical National Infrastructure Authority. In 2013 (to present) he returned to the U.S. and resumed law enforcement with his department in Texas. While there he worked patrol and ran the firearms programs for several large regional Police academies.
Q & A
We were able to sit down with Will, and ask a few questions about the community, and what lies ahead.
What do you enjoy the most about law enforcement, and what do you enjoy the most about training guys all across the country?
“It’s easy to get extremely focused on negative events occurring within our country. As I like to say, there’s a lot of ‘life’ going around these days. Traveling every week has allowed me to share range decks, classrooms and shoot houses with incredible men and women who, while differ in every conceivable way, are united in hope for their communities, committed to their personal growth and the evolution of their respective departments. There are a lot of extremely cool people out there and meeting them is what I enjoy the most.”
What is on the horizon for Centrifuge training, and on the horizon for you individually? What are you excited about for the future?
“For Centrifuge and training in general, we are living in an unprecedented era of understanding human performance, accessing massive datasets, and coupling that with technology. Things like modern Non-Lethal Training Ammunition (NLTA), instant video feedback, seeing real time cognitive loads and virtual or augmented reality are now not something only used by elite athletes or NASA, but readily accessible for the end user. We seek to couple the modern advances of sports science and tech with pragmatic solutions for applied use. The possibilities are limitless.”
“The Mantle clothing line is enjoying its own share of modern advances with fabric and laminate combinations never seen before. Lighter, stronger and highly impact resistant (such as our use of D30) materials allow for the best purpose-built garments ever made. 3D modeling provides better fit across a wide range of body types while maintaining an athletic cut and full range of articulation. I’m excited about what is in the works for both companies.”
Favorite eyewear model? Lens color preferences?
“The Holbrook is my go-to. It flows seamlessly between t-shirt & jeans, the range deck, or a suit. For low light, it’s the Ballistic HNBL with clear lenses.”