Northwest Indiana Law Enforcement Academy

NILEA Academy Staff

Executive Director

 Director Markle served 13 years with the Schererville (IN) Police Department before joining the staff of NILEA in 2008. While at Schererville PD, he worked as a supervisor in the patrol division, criminal investigator, SWAT operator and served as the department’s physical tactics coordinator. Prior to entering law enforcement, Director Markle served four years of active duty military service in the United States Navy deploying for Operation Desert Storm, Operation Provide Comfort, Operation Provide Promise/ Deny Flight and several counter narcotics operations. He was honorably discharged from active duty in 1994.

A graduate of the 122nd basic session of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, Director Markle holds several instructor certifications in the area of Physical Tactics and Use of Force and holds the rank of black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He is an instructor in S.T.O.P.S.®, Response to Active Shooters, Fit Force® Fitness and Wellness Coordinator and has been an Indiana State Certified EMT-Basic since 1997.

Director Markle holds a B.S. in Public Safety Management from Calumet College of Saint Joseph and is an Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board Certified Master Instructor. He is graduate of the Police Executive Leadership Academy and the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.

James Markle
Christian Irsa

Christian Irsa

Recruit Training Coordinator

Capt. Chris Irsa is a graduate of the 128th basic session of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and served 20 years with the Portage Police Department before joining the NILEA staff in 2017. While at Portage PD, Chris was the corporal/supervisor for the patrol division, SWAT commander, field-training officer, TASER instructor and lead instructor in the departments' physical tactics program. Before entering law enforcement, Chris served in the United States Marine Corps.

Capt. Irsa founded the City of Portage's Marine Search/Rescue SCUBA team, is a NAUI dive instructor and technical diver and holds numerous SCUBA certifications. Capt. Irsa is a Certified Law Enforcement Training Board Instructor with psychomotor skill endorsements in physical tactics, firearms and emergency vehicle operations. Chris Irsa  specializes in close combat/ground fighting and holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. 

Law Enforcement Instructor

1st Sgt Taylor is a graduate of the 31st Basic Training Class of the Northwest Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and served 9 years with the Hobart Police Department before joining the NILEA staff in 2022. 1st Sgt Taylor is a Certified Law Enforcement Training Board Instructor holding psychomotor skills endorsement in emergency vehicle operations. While at the Hobart PD, he worked as a Patrol Supervisor, K-9 handler, Field training officer, TASER instructor, STOPS instructor, Criminal Interdiction instructor, and TI-VIRTRA active shooter/ de-escalation simulator instructor. Prior to entering Law Enforcement, he served 4 years active duty in the United States Air Force. After being honorably discharged in 1992, 1st Sgt Taylor served 20 years at the Hobart Fire Department which included several training and supervisory roles leading to his final appointment where he finished as Fire Chief.

Brian Taylor
Richard Zormier

Richard Zormier

Criminal Law Instructor 

Rick Zormier is a 30 year law enforcement veteran, serving the last 9 years as the Chief of Police for the City of Hobart.  Prior to his appointment as Chief of Police, Rick served as a Patrol Corporal, Patrol Sergeant, and Patrol Lieutenant.

Rick earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Indiana University Northwest and in 2000 he earned his Law Degree from Valparaiso University School of Law.  He has maintained his license to practice law in Indiana and has been an adjunct instructor at NILEA for the past 5 years.  Rick also served as the past President of the Board of Directors for NILEA.   

James Olszewski

NILEA Law Instructor Emeritus

James Olszewski is a certified LETB Instructor-Specialist and  has been the NILEA Criminal Law Professor for every basic recruit session starting in 1999. He retired from the Lake County Prosecutor's Office after 33 years of service. While at the Prosecutor's Office he served as a trail deputy, Felony Trial Supervisor and was the Director of Police and Prosecutor Training. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Indiana University and a Juris Doctor from Indiana University Law School. James currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Police Board of Directors. 

James Olszewski