For most of his life, Chris has been a resident of Southern Illinois where he raised his 3 sons. Chris graduated with a degree in criminal justice in 1994, and during that same year he started his career in public service with MedStar Ambulance working as a dispatcher. The following year, Chris began his journey into law enforcement as a part-time police officer and in the telecommunications field. He became a full-time police officer in May of 1998, graduating from the police academy in November near the top of his class. During his career as a full-time Law Enforcement Officer Chris served in a variety of positions including patrol officer, juvenile officer, crime scene investigator, field training officer, firearms instructor, in addition to 4 years as Chief of Police for two different municipal departments.   

N.A.P.S.I. Foundational Member:

Chris Brooks

Chris changed gears in 2013 when he teamed up with two fellow police officers to form “Behind The Badge Personal Defense”, a firearms training company that continues to provide professional instruction to law-abiding citizens and armed professionals to this day.  That same year, he became a certified High School Instructor in the fields of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice and has continued to teach this program for the past 8 years while maintaining his sworn law enforcement status as a part-time police officer. In 2016 Chris opened a small, family-owned gun store (C4 Gun Store, Sparta, IL), to complement his training business.  He and his associates pride themselves on offering outstanding customer service, an extensive inventory, and competitive pricing to the people of Southern Illinois.  

In addition to his many years in law enforcement and as an educator, Chris has also dabbled in competitive shooting in both IDPA and USPSA.  In early 2020, he was asked to collaborate on the development of the new NAPSI Foundations of Home Defense Shotgun curriculum which was released to the public in March, 2021.  Chris then accepted an invitation to join the NAPSI Training Department in the summer of 2021.  While an accomplished instructor and shooter in his own right, he continues to take training classes and participate in collaborative projects as often as possible.     

Chris's Certifications Include:

NRA Pistol Instructor
NRA Shotgun Coach
NRA Range Safety Officer
Utah Concealed Weapons Instructor
Illinois Concealed Weapons Instructor
Illinois LETSB Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun Instructor

Certified Stop The Bleed Instructor
N.A.P.S.I. Approved Advanced Defensive Pistol Instructor

N.A.P.S.I. Approved Advanced Defensive Shotgun Instructor

N.A.P.S.I. Approved Senior Instructor Trainer

P.O.S.T. Approved (SRT Group) Basic Patrol Rifle/LE Rifle Instructor
P.O.S.T. Approved (SRT Group) Basic Patrol Shotgun/LE Shotgun Instructor

P.O.S.T. Approved (SRT Group) Tactical Handgun Instructor
P.O.S.T. Approved (SRT Group) Force-on-Force Instructor

Fortress Defense Consultants 16-Hour Force-on Force/Scenario Based Trainer​

National EMT-B Certification (Expired)

Sage Dynamics - Certified RDS Handgun Instructor

AOR Dynamics - Certified Pistol RDS Instructor

Additional Training Summary:

Illinois LETSB 400hr Basic Police Academy
Illinois 40hr LE Firearms training (2-time graduate)
Armed Missouri, Inc. (Chris and Nic Shoffner) - Dynamic Defensive Pistol (Multi Graduate & winner of "Best In Class -Top Shot" Award)

ShivWorks (Craig Douglas) - "ECQC Extreme Close Quarters Concepts"

FPF Training (John Murphy) - "Concealed Carry: Street Encounter Skills and Tactics"

​SRT Group - "Civilian Trauma Medicine"
SRT Group - "Defensive Rifle Skills/Performance Rifle"

Awareness Defense Training (Spencer Keepers) - "AIWB Skills"
Awareness Defense Training (Spencer Keepers) - "Performance-Focused Skills, Drills, and Tests"​

Professional Affiliations:

NRA Life Member

Guns Save Lives Member

Illinois State Rifle Association Member

Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network Member 

N.A.P.S.I. (National Association of Professional Shooting Instructors) Foundational Member