- I strongly recommend the Police Officer Team Tactics/Pre-Escalation™ training program offered by Julie Werhnyak and her Artemis Self Defense team. This instruction delivers a powerful blend of practical physical technique, combined with effective decision making and the essentials of effective communication. We provided the training to our officers and immediately saw improvement in their ability to work together as a team to address resistance and ultimately resolve incidents more effectively, reducing injury to officers and suspects. I believe the Artemis Self Defense Pre-Escalation Training Program is the best available defensive tactics training offered today.
Chief of Police
- In April 2019 I was selected to be the first police chief of the new Menifee Police Department. In late 2018 the Menifee City Council voted to create their own police department. From the first moment I was hired I realized what an amazing opportunity I had to create a police culture as opposed to inheriting one.
I knew that all my staff would be laterals with a variety of experience from other police departments. While this is reassuring to have experienced staff, my concern was how to make sure they could work together as it pertains to officer safety and defensive tactics.
I also wanted to make sure we employed a defensive tactics process that standardized technique, was safe, and got everyone on the same sheet of music. That decision came easy once I met Julie Werhnyak of Artemis Self-Defense. Julie’s system is easy to learn, uses control and has the exact philosophy I was looking for in my department.
In this time in our history, police departments need to re-assess the tactics they employ and ensure their officers can safely and efficiently use team tactics for a safe resolution during force.
Julie preaches, self-calming, effective communication, decision making, slowing down, active listening, and team tactics. Her methodology is exactly what is needed to peacefully and safely resolve use of force incidents.
I strongly recommend Artemis Self-Defense for police departments and think this program will revolutionize defensive tactics in American police departments.
Chief of Police
- Given the current state of the nation and the law enforcement community, it has never been more important to get our peace officers a robust and well-rounded approach to defensive tactics and de-escalation training. The program offered by Artemis Self-Defense and Julie Werhnyak is an all-encompassing training program that incorporates the six key points of de-escalation that have proven to be crucial in the successful handling of calls for service that are centered around subjects who are experiencing mental and emotional crisis. The Artemis program is focused not only on de-escalation and defensive tactics, but the emotional and cognitive systems behind an officer’s response to high stress types of calls. This course has already greatly enhanced the training of our officers, and will undoubtedly have a positive impact on policing as a whole.
Chief of Police
Citrus Heights, California
54th President, California Police Chief’s Association
- This is a transformative time in law enforcement and I do not know where the profession will settle. What I do believe though, is that communities are more vigilant and critical of their respective police department’s policies and training regiments more than ever. Julie Werhnyak has developed and introduced a comprehensive defense tactics system that allows law enforcement an avenue to train in a manner that can greatly reduce unproductive and unnecessary use of force in the community. Julie has recognized and addressed the need to reinforce personal restraint and maintain calm when going hands on with people. Julie’s concept of pre-escalation has the potential to reinforce positive relationships with a police department and its community.
Chief Greg O'Rourke
Yurok Tribal Police
- I heard Julie Werhnyak speak at a Women’s conference hosted by Little Rock PD in 2018. As she spoke, I was hooked on every word and was touched by how passionate she was about helping Law Enforcement professionals. I invited Julie to present her Artemis Pre-Escalation™ training program to the Houston Metro Police Department. The techniques on how to respond to a suspect who is combative or resisting changed how our Officers engage a suspect. The encounter demonstrated how an officer can subdue the suspect and control the situation with confidence. Many MPD Officers and Supervisors commented that it was the best training they had attended during their career. The training had an overwhelming impact and continues to be shared with current and new officers.
Julie is one of the most caring and committed professionals that I have met. She speaks from the heart and believes the results will follow if the techniques are used properly. With the recent disturbing images and conversations about Law Enforcement, officer wellness and training has to be a priority. I cannot think of a better training program that can build community trust, inspire officer confidence and reignite dedication to serving in this great profession. Listening to Julie will remind Law Enforcement professionals of how important it is to honor and respect the “Police Officers Oath”.
Chief Vera Bumpers
METRO Police Department
41st National President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
- LAWPOA has been in existence since 1925 and as an association rich
with diversity offers training and development opportunities for both
men and women who serve within the public safety sector. Our expert speakers are traditionally well respected authors and lecturers. At this
year’s symposium, we had 960 registered attendees with over 57 public
safety agencies from throughout the state of California.
One of our main featured speakers was Police Officer Julie Werhnyak of the Tempe, Arizona Police Department. Officer Werhnyak’s presentation literally brought down the house. Though she was the last presenter after a very long day, no one wanted to leave.
Julie was so engaging that she captivated the audience as she described in detail her resilience and strong will to survive from such a horrific incident that many of us felt that our officers needed and surely benefited from her experience.
Our Board of Directors strongly and whole heartily recommend that you consider her
for any of your future training courses.
Regina Scott, President
Los Angeles Women Police Officers and Associates (LAWPOA)
I have known Julie for several years and have deep respect for her mission of providing high quality training to officers in difficult and dangerous situations. Her passion for training is equal to her compassion for those we serve. Julie creates a positive learning environment that allows officers of all experience levels to learn and develop their skills. I appreciate her focus on resolving escalated situations in a manner that reduces harm to officers and the individuals with whom they are coming into contact. This program has greatly enhanced the skill set of the Martinez Police officers and we look forward to continuing a partnership with Julie and her staff.
Martinez, California Police Department
- Julie, I can't thank you enough for creating this program. After I became a Force Science Analyst I have had a hard time finding a course which implements the principals and science into their training. You have done that and then some. Your course is perfect and bridges the gap between the old and the new like I have never seen before. I am drinking from the punch bowl 100%.
Sergeant Nathan Dorfman
Sedona, Arizona Police Department
-I was hired as the Police Chief in Newark, California in April 2020 and have since had to navigate through a global pandemic, mass protests against racial injustice and police brutality, as well as community concerns related to how officers are trained in use of force situations. I was pleased to learn that training has always been a top priority here; however, with public scrutiny at an all-time high, we knew we had to provide our officers with the most current and effective defensive tactics training available. After extensive research, we selected Artemis based on the relevancy of the topics covered and the stellar testimonials from other agencies. Julie’s staff came to our department and presented their week-long Defensive Tactics/Pre-Escalation Instructor training, which included tactical communication, pre-escalation, team control tactics, handcuffing, and responsible takedowns and ground control. Everyone involved in the Artemis team was very responsive during every step of the process, from initial consultation to completed training. Our department has always taught officers how to develop plan of actions, slow down situations, and assign roles when approaching an incident, but the comprehensive training provided by Artemis took us to another level. Our certified instructors are now able to teach staff the latest techniques that will help minimize injuries to officers and community members, as well as mitigating risk by providing a solid training base and emphasizing best practices.
Chief of Police
- I hired Julie Werhnyak with ARTEMIS SELF-DEFENSE, to instruct defensive tactics for the sworn members of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Investigations Division. The vast majority of these detectives have more than twenty (20) years of law enforcement experience and many have been first responders on officer-involved shootings as well as experience with a multitude of critical incidents. It was important that I have an instructor that had credibility with these veteran detectives and also someone that they would respect. I found that and more in Julie Werhnyak and ARTEMIS.
Julie’s teaching methods provided for a safe, hands-on learning environment. Her knowledge, experience, and ability to relate to my staff was outstanding. I had many positive comments from my staff and have asked her back several times to build on what she previously taught and shared with them.
I highly recommend ARTEMIS and Julie to any organization wanting to implement a defensive tactics program that is both practical and effective. Her ability to engage with her students is exceptional. She truly cares about the training environment and wants each student to benefit from her course of instruction.
Karen Ashley, Chief
Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
- Our department was searching for defensive tactics training and we decided on ARTEMIS. The training was top notch! Julie’s teaching method provided us a safe, informative, and fun training environment. The material was easy to grasp and employ by all officers regardless of their experience, training, or fitness level. The following week, several officers had already implemented what they learned in class and their feedback was very positive.
Julie’s experience and knowledge comes through in her teaching; she is the consummate professional. Always vigilant as to any safety issues, she conveys the concepts of ARTEMIS easily and in a manner that any officer can quickly understand as well as relate to. I highly recommend her course for anyone looking to implement a defensive tactics program that is as practical as it is effective.
Houston METRO Police Department
- On August 20th, Tempe Police Officer Julie Werhnyak assisted the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office with teaching Defensive Tactics to deputy and police recruits in the Sworn Basic Training Academy.
Officer Werhnyak’s passion and expertise in the field of Defensive Tactics was clearly evident during the 4 hour block of instruction she taught. Julie was especially effective teaching recruits that previously had difficultly grasping the various techniques.
Julie was able to break down and explain several complex Defensive Tactic movements in a way in which the recruits were able to understand and later demonstrate with ease.
Julie is not only a technically proficient instructor; she also displayed an enthusiasm for Defensive Tactics that inspired each and every recruit in the class. Even though Officer Werhnyak only taught a small portion of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Academy Defensive Tactics program, she had an impact in the recruit’s success.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office would like to extend their gratitude to Officer Werhnyak for her time, passion, and dedication to train and develop the next generation of deputies and police officers.
Director Nick Larkin, Commander
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Training Division
- Officer Julie Werhnyak is a dynamic and engaging speaker. She has a story that is not only relatable to all law enforcement but to anyone in the public safety industry. She tells her story with great compassion, lessons learned and humor. It has been an absolute honor to include Julie in our annual conference twice now. Each time she has had a full room listen to her story. She is thorough, professional and compelling.
Beyond her courageous story, Julie is an amazing woman who is kind and compassionate. Not only is she a pleasure to work with, but she took the time to talk to every attendee who wanted to ask her questions or shake her hand. She has consistently made our event a stand out conference with her presentation and presence!
Meagan Catafi, Training & Program Manager
California Police Chiefs Association
- Anyone looking for self defense training in the U.S,A. look no further than Julie Werhnyak of Artemis Self-Defense. Julie has 20 years of experience on the Police force and over 30 years of Martial Arts and combatives training. Julie has first hand knowledge of who, what, where, how and why crimes are committed. Very few people are more qualified than Julie…most of all she is a super cool chick!
Peter Sciarra -Australia’s highest ranked Close Quarter Combat instructor
- The Women of Law Enforcement Organization conducts an annual training conference every September with the goal of inspiring and empowering female officers. This year, Officer Julie Werhnyak came highly recommended as a guest speaker for the conference. I knew during my first phone call with Julie, she exemplified exactly what the conference represents. A heartfelt desire to inspire females, regardless of rank or position, to be stronger, mentally and physically, than they ever thought they could be.
Julie’s message was so powerful and had such a profound effect on those in the audience. It was by far the most influential message any one presenter had delivered to audiences attending the Women of Law Enforcement Conference in our seven years of existence. After Julie ended her presentation, she took the time to greet every member of my audience (all 400 attendees) and to personally hand them a St. Michael Archangel police medallion. It was very inspirational and we would be lucky to have Julie back as a guest speaker!
Women of Law Enforcement Organization, Texas
- Got the opportunity again yesterday to assist (play the bad guy) in another Self Defense class put on by Julie Werhnyak of Artemis Self Defense. If you’re looking for a class to take yourself or for someone you know, this is the one.
I have not seen a class with a better instructor or a more thorough curriculum, covering both mental and physical considerations, planning/preparation/prevention, and excellent situational drills. HIGHLY recommended.
Niko Huffman, Combative Systema Instructor/Business Executive
- Julie, You are a ray of light for this police department, not just because of the material you presented or your teaching ability, but because of how you treat people.
Houston Metro Police Officer
What Conference Attendees are Saying:
- Oh my gosh, where do I begin... Incredible presentation/story by an incredibly brave woman, Ofc. Julie Werhnyak. As a Peer Support Team member, my heart goes out to her. I'm meeting with my Chief next week to present to him her story and to propose we too have halogens and battering rams in every Patrol vehicle and combat gauze on everyOfficer. And I'm going to present to one of my Lt.'s the call/apartment scenario to use in Department training. Ofc. Werhnyak has given us all such a huge gift by sharing her story because all Departments can learn so much from it.
- I received the most "take-aways" from this breakout session. I wish we had more time with her... Maybe a full afternoon with her, if we go to a three day conference? My only regret with this breakout session is that I didn't get to shake Ofc. Werhnyak's hand and/or give her a hug. Side note: I would've loved to have heard Sgt. Karin Betz's story of what she experienced that day, how she processed everything, how she's doing, etc. ...if she is willing to share. Maybe a two part breakout session with the two of them?
- Officer Werhnyak was the most impactful speaker for me. Her leadership and cool in the face of everything was remarkable. Talking about the aftermath of the critical incident, the tactical response and everything that became critical to her was stunning. Her story touched every single one of us in the room.
THIS WAS MY FAVORITE SESSION!!!
- Excellent!! Julie's story could have been the opening or closing plenary. Her message was important on many levels; for the field personnel to maintain their physical and mental edge and for the executives, a reminder to take care of their people.
- Another GREAT class and speaker.... Will have an immediate impact on how I supervise and interact with my staff within the dept.
- Excellent presentation. Julie was engaging, funny, relevant and wise. She was a very good speaker. A standing Ovation speaks well for her. Tempe, AZ will be loosing a fine officer. I hope you have her again in the future.
- Absolutely amazing! What a testament to the will to survive and being prepared for anything. We need to hear more success stories like this. Ofc Werhnyak shared what life was like for her before, during, and after. She shared the struggles she had and still has with coping from the psychological and physiological aspects as well as the poor
treatment from members of her department. Great speaker.
- This was the BEST overall. The officer did a great job and I am very thankful that she shared her story. Truly inspirational.
- I truly enjoyed the Officer from Tempe Police Department. I recently was involved in an Officer Involved Shooting, and her presentation assisted me in handling my incident.
By far the best session I attended. The speaker did an excellent job and I have nothing but great things to say about her!
- This was my favorite session! This class was excellent for many reasons- I appreciated Officer Werhnyak's message as to why we should all be mentally and physically preparing ourselves for a critical incident. It is refreshing to hear someone speak about addressing physical fitness and how it is important for us to stay in shape. As a CISM team member her insight to how her agency treated her and did not take care of her emotionally really made an impact on me and provided me with an example of what not to do to help an officer get through a critical incident. She did a fabulous job and I hope I can reach out to her in the future and get her to come to my own agency to provide line
officers with that same presentation.
- Officer Julie Werhnyak was OUTSTANDING!!!! What a powerful speaker! THIS is exactly what I was expecting out of this whole symposium. This session made the entire symposium worth the money!! The conference needs more of this...strong, powerful, female officers and their experiences on the street.
- This presentation should have been presented as a plenary. Julie's presentation was unbelievable in every aspect. This is what women in law enforcement should be hearing. The message Julie presented was second to none.
- She was an awesome presenter, and should have been the last speaker on Monday!!! I think everyone should have the opportunity to hear her!
- Excellent, by far the best session the entire weekend.
- A very real and powerful story; extremely beneficial.
- Wow! The presentation was the best I have ever been to in the history of attending WLLE. and any other LE training. Her presentation was powerful and insightful in every way. She was also very well prepared. I would love to have her come as speak at the City where I work. I've already given her name to our training unit.
- I was moved to tears. What an amazing story of courage. She was a great presenter and had a great presentation. I would love to have a copy of her power points. Minus the call information. Just her points on life etc.
- This was the BEST thing I did all conference!
- Best session on various levels. Tactical, fitness, motivational, will/survival, policy/peer support. Excellent speaker. She should return.
- Wonderful speaker provided great feedback, strategies, and information on her incident. Everyone in that room was able to relate to her in some way.
- AMAZING!!! A great message of survival was shared and I have made steps towards a healthier lifestyle since hearing this session.
- Excellent session. She was a very inspirational speaker. I enjoyed listening to her story and she motivated me to become stronger emotionally and physically.
- Excellent session. Please have her back next year!
- By far the most inspiring and best part of the entire Symposium!
- This season was amazing. The officer was very courageous for telling her story. It was very inspiring and insightful. Her story helps other women in law enforcement push themselves to be more physically and mentally prepared for a disaster. This should be shared with not only women but men in law enforcement and their families.
- This presentation had me speechless. It made me consider where I am physically and mentally and what I can do to get stronger. It was absolutely something worth going to and her courage and strength are honorable.
- This was my favorite presentation of the entire conference. The presenter was personable, honest and had very good information she presented. I would really like to see her again especially to hear how the year plays out post retirement. I think she should be a main speaker rather than a class. Her message was powerful.