John Jeffrey "J.J." Wittenborn
Proven Protective Systems president JJ Wittenborn spent 27 years with the Illinois State Police, with operational and supervisory assignments in patrol, investigations, and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT). He eventually worked his way to the rank of Master Sergeant before he and over a dozen others returned rank in protest of corruption in state government and policies before retiring honorably as a Sergeant in 2012. Prior to entering the Illinois State Police he spent a year as a patrolman with DuQuoin, Illinois PD, graduating the Police Training Institute at the University of Illinois as the recipient of the Ervin H. Warren Award for excellence. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Southeast Missouri State University with a major in Criminal Justice, a minor in Psychology, and was a letterman on the football team. His graduate level research lead him to be named to Psi Chi - the national honor society in psychology, as well as repeatedly being named to the dean's list.
As a member of the Illinois State Police, JJ was initially assigned routine patrol in both rural remote areas in Southern Illinois, and in the high crime urban zone in and around East St. Louis. After promotion to Sergeant in patrol and Master Sergeant in SWAT, his non-SWAT postings include being selected as Patrol Commander for ISP District 13, supervising the efforts of approximately 60 uniformed Troopers, Sergeants, and Master Sergeants. JJ was then named Investigations / Southern Illinois Drug task Force Supervisor in southeastern Illinois at the height of the methamphetamine epidemic. In that capacity he oversaw complex Federal drug conspiracy investigations that resulted in hundreds of felony indictments and subsequent convictions. Additional investigative priorities were major felonies including homicide, sex crimes, and public corruption - among others.
In his SWAT career, JJ was selected as a Tactical Response Team member only nine weeks out of the ISP Academy, serving on district and regional teams as an entry member, sniper, squad leader, and tactical firearms / sniper instructor prior to the department developing three full time statewide SWAT teams. In a full time capacity, he continued his instructor duties before being named as Assistant Team Leader, Sniper Training Coordinator, and eventually Team Commander of the most active SWAT unit in Illinois.
JJ has trained with the most elite police and U.S. military counter-terror operatives in the country, and conducted operations with associated law enforcement entities. He was named as an assistant range officer and Tactical Response Team (TRT) member in his rookie year, and went on to receive training as a Field Training Officer, DEA meth lab dismantler, and in dignitary protection, ground search and rescue, school safety assessments, Unified Statewide Anti Terrorism, National Incident Management, Building Safety/ Terror Threats, and rapid response to active shooters. His SWAT training includes ISP TRT school, Rappel Master certification (101st Airborne, Air Assault), Los Angeles PD SWAT Close Quarters Battle, Instructor Development, ISP Sniper Observer, FBI Sniper school, HK MP5 Instructor, ISP Advanced Sniper Observer, FBI Advanced Sniper, TRT Instructor Development, tactical pistol instructor development, and less lethal weapon instruction. Joint training ventures with the United States Army Special Operations Command include tactical pistol, close quarters battle (CQB), aviation asset deployment, fast rope insertion, explosive breaching, patrol counter ambush, and urban sniper deployment. JJ has received training from private companies to date from: Practical Shooting Academy (Ron Avery/ Practical Shooting Instructor), Singleton International (Phil Singleton/ MP5 Submachinegun Instructor), SSI (Counter Terror Building Security), Steve Ijames (Less Lethal Instructor), AR-15/M-16 Armorer (Armalite, Inc), Valor Ridge (Reid Henrichs/ Pistolcraft), Rogers Shooting School (Bill Rogers, Ronnie Dodd, Billy Lumpkin, Kyle Armstrong/ Intermediate-Advanced Pistol), Combat Shooting and Tactics (Paul Howe/ Patrol Counter Ambush), Special Response Training (Kyle Armstrong/ Close Range Combatives). Awards from the Illinois State Police include: Department Commendation (2), Department Unit Citation, Physical Fitness Award (Gold Star), ISP Purple Heart, and over 50 letters of commendation and thanks from other city, county, state, & federal law enforcement agencies, private citizens, and the ISP.
During his teaching career, he has instructed approximately 1,000 city, county, state, and federal law enforcement officers in pistol, shotgun, sub machine gun, and patrol rifle courses, as well as sniper operations and close quarters battle. He co-authored lesson plans in all those subjects in addition to response to active shooters. Following ISP retirement, JJ has taught roughly another 1,000 students in his role as an instructor in commercial firearms as an Illinois concealed carry trainer, plus pistol skills, defensive rifle, precision rifle, patrolling, counter ambush, and team tactics for companies in Illinois and Tennessee. Over two million rounds have been fired under his direct supervision without incident. Most importantly - and to their credit - former police and private citizen students are undefeated in approximately 30 deadly force incidents with semi auto pistol, revolver, shotgun, sub machine gun, patrol rifle, and sniper rifle.
As a competitive shooter, JJ was captain and member of the World Champion Police Service Rifle Team. He is designated a master class service rifle shooter, earned a spot in the National Top 20 at the United States National Championships in the U.S. Wimbledon Cup - the nation's premier 1000 yard shooting event. He is an NRA Life Member, Illinois State Rifle Association Member, co-designer/ developer of a multi purpose rifle cartridge - the 264RLB(TM), and is a long time 2nd Amendment / concealed carry activist. Post retirement activities also include serving his community in his capacities as a wilderness search and rescue team member, and as a school reading and security volunteer. JJ holds state certification as an Illinois Concealed Carry Instructor through the Illinois State Police, and as a Firearms Instructor with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, credential #263000461.