The Preserve Academy Instructors

Robert Cardente

Robert CardenteRobert is an active law enforcement officer with over 20 years of law enforcement experience to date. He is a former member of the Special Response Team (SWAT) and has a wealth of tactical training, active shooter training and raiding experience. He is also an FBI Certified Pistol and Shotgun Instructor, Glock Certified Firearms Instructor, Sig Sauer Active Shooter Instructor, Sig Sauer Shoothouse Instructor, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Active Shooter Threat Instructor, Safariland Certified Rifle Instructor, L.O.C.K.U.P. Certified Use of Force/Handcuff Instructor, and a Glock, Colt and Remington Certified Armorer.

Robert has many years experience training police officers and police recruits handgun, shotgun and rifle skills, use of force techniques, handcuffing procedures and baton/asp methods.  He has taught many of these skills to police officers  across the state of Rhode Island as well as being an instructor at the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy.

On the civilian end, Robert holds 10 NRA instructor certifications in Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Home Firearm Safety, Chief Range Safety Officer, Personal Protection in the Home, Personal Protection outside the Home, Refuse to be a Victim, Metallic Cartridge Reloading and Shotgun Shell Reloading. He is also an NRA Training Counselor who can create instructors in those NRA disciplines. Finally, he is a Utah Certified Concealed Carry Instructor and Massachusetts Approved Firearms instructor.

NRA Certified Training Counselor
NRA Certified Instructor
NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer

Armed and Ready

Derek Brodeur

Derek Brodeur

What started as a hobby of pheasant hunting over 10 years ago with his Brittany Spaniel has turned into a passion for firearms. Derek has always believed in the Second Amendment, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and is committed to guiding others by providing crucial training.

Derek is a member of the NRA, a certified NRA Pistol Instructor, NRA Range Safety Officer, and NRA Chief Range Safety Officer. He has completed Stop Bleed training and several defensive handgun classes, including Intuitive Defensive Shooting. He currently holds concealed carry permits in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Utah. Derek also belongs to the Wallum Lake Rod and Gun Club in Harrisville, RI, where he teaches defensive handgun classes.

You will often find him at the RI State House with other firearms advocates fighting for our Second Amendment rights and against gun control legislation.

William Lopatka

William Lopatka

In February 2000, Billy joined the US Army as an Infantryman and went to basic training at Ft. Benning, GA. In 2001, he was deployed to Kosovo as part of a NATO peacekeeping mission and in 2003, he was deployed to Iraq as part of Task Force Viking in Operation Iraqi Freedom. While assigned to 2-14th Infantry, he served as an assistant gunner for the M240 machine gun team, a M240 gunner and a fire team leader.

In 2004, he left active duty and joined the MA National Guard and was assigned to the 772nd Military Police Co. as a MP team leader.  In 2008, he deployed for a second time to Iraq and in 2010, he was assigned to the 51st Troop Command (TC) as the Physical Security Non Commissioned Officer where he was responsible for maintaining the Physical Security Program for a Brigade. In 2016, he was assigned to the 101st Regional Training Institute (RTI) as the Army Basic Instructor Course (ABIC) and Non Commissioned Officer Education System (NCOES) Instructor.

Billy has completed the Combat Life Savers (CLS) course, Warrior Leader Course (WLC), Army Physical Security Inspector Course, Army Basic Instructor Course and Small Group Instructor Course. During his 18 years in the military, he has executed and assisted in running hundreds of firing ranges as well as live fire exercises.

In 2007, he began his career in law enforcement and during that time, has attended Verbal Judo training, Field Training Officer (FTO) Certification School and Patrol Rifle School.

Robert Shields

Robert Shields

Bob has been involved with the fire service since 1985, teaching EMT courses since 1988, a Nationally Registered Paramedic since 1989, and has been a Water Team Rescue Coordinator since 2000. Bob has over 30 years’ experience providing medical aid, responding to emergency situations, and providing life-saving measures to countless individuals.

He is also an author, lecturer, and contributor for a variety of EMS, water rescue, and advanced rescue techniques. Finally, Bob, an Eagle Scout, volunteers his time with the Boy Scouts of America and is a Boy Scout Troop Assistant Scoutmaster and Merit Badge Councilor.

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We pride ourselves in teaching firearm safety and shooting skills to both beginners and professionals. Come learn in a comfortable environment with experienced instructors who are patient, dedicated and knowledgeable in all aspects of firearms instruction.


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