Steve has an extensive background as a tactical supervisor to include but not limited to, Acting Assistant Director, Unit Chief for Tactical Operations, Tactics Section Chief, Program Manager for Defensive Tactics, Program Manager for Enforcement Tactics Refresher Training, a nationally delivered program, and National Tactical Coordinator for the agencies SRT program. Steve’s educational background spans 40 years of military and federal law enforcement experience and training. He has numerous certifications to include, Force Science Institute graduate, Firearms Instructor/Trainer, Defensive Tactics Instructor/Trainer, Tactical Entry Instructor/Trainer, Use of Force Instructor, Taser Instructor, and many more. He is a graduate of numerous state, local, and federal SWAT schools, to include the FBI SWAT operators training course. Steve is known throughout the nation for his ability to motivate and inspire officers to self-assess one’s true operational capability.
Stephen (Steve) Podaras began his law enforcement career as an Air Force Security Policemen in 1979. He distinguished himself for the next ten years serving on active duty in the Air Force and receiving an honorable discharge in 1989. Steve transitioned into federal law enforcement joining the United States Customs Service in 1990. Steve was assigned to the Miami narcotics interdiction group for the next 12 years, working the entire south Florida region. He participated in multiple defendant investigations, dealing with intricate smuggling organizations resulting in the seizure of thousands of pounds of illegal narcotics. Steve specialized in marine smuggling responsible for operating high speed watercraft designed to interdict narcotic smugglers via private and small commercial vessels. Steve was a Team Leader, Training Coordinator, and Tactical Operator for the U.S. Customs Miami Special Response Team, (SRT), for 11 years. The Miami SRT team was responsible for all high-risk warrant service and tactical operations in South Florida. As a certified Dive Master, Steve was also on the Miami Dive Team. Steve continued his career as U.S. Customs transitioned to Homeland Security Investigations in 2003. Steve became the lead SRT instructor for the agencies national training program in Fort Benning, Georgia, while maintaining operational status working various tactical operations throughout the nation.
“It’s not just about you going home safe, but every officer working with you going home safe”.