2024 NSA SEMINAR SESSIONS

Monday, June 24th

 

Leading for Change: How Jail Supervisors Build and Sustain a Healthy Culture of Safety and Wellness

8:00AM – 9:00AM | Room 1 | Jail Operations

This presentation places a strong emphasis on proven leadership principles and characteristics that promote building and sustaining a healthy workplace culture. Jail supervisors have one of our profession’s most challenging yet rewarding jobs. The traditional role of a supervisor is to manage or hold staff accountable for achieving performance measures and adherence to all organization policies and procedures. However, the role of a supervisor is much broader. An effective supervisor maintains compliance with agency policy and procedures and creates a healthy workplace culture that values building relationships, continuous learning, accountability, trust, fairness, opportunity, and empowerment.

PRESENTERS: Commissioner Monroe B. Hudson, JrInstitute for Intergovernmental Research/ BJA, and Dr. DeWayne Hendrix, SME, Institute for Intergovernmental Research/BJA.

Commissioner Monroe B. Hudson, Jr., was confirmed by the Delaware Senate to serve as the tenth commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction on June 23, 2021. Commissioner Hudson was officially sworn in on July 15, 2021.

Commissioner Hudson previously served as deputy commissioner, overseeing the Bureau of Prisons; Bureau of Community Corrections; Bureau of Administrative Services; and Bureau of Healthcare, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health Services. The department supervises between 4,000 and 4,500 inmates and approximately 9,000 probationers.

Commissioner Hudson began his law enforcement career in 1986 as a correctional officer. In 1988, he was hired as a Delaware state trooper. He served 31 years with the Delaware State Police (DSP), retiring at the rank of lieutenant colonel and serving as deputy superintendent. During his career, Commissioner Hudson served in many roles, including patrol trooper, special investigations detective, governor’s task force detective, deputy director of human resources, director of human resources, administrative major, special operations major, and deputy superintendent. He retired from the DSP in August 2019 to pursue an opportunity to serve as deputy commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction.

Commissioner Hudson also serves as an adjunct instructor in the administration of justice/homeland security graduate program at Wilmington University, Wilmington, Delaware. He currently teaches crisis leadership and criminal justice ethics. As an adjunct instructor, he is experienced in both traditional face-to-face classroom instruction and online instruction.

Commissioner Hudson earned both his master’s degree in administration of justice/homeland security and bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Wilmington University. He is a graduate of the 219th Session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy, the FBI Leadership in Counter Terrorism program, the FBI National Executive Institute, and the Center for Homeland Defense and Security Executive Leaders program.

Dr. DeWayne Hendrix has 26 years of public service, more than 18 of which were in the corrections profession. He recently retired as warden from the Bureau of Prisons in Sheridan, Oregon, where he was responsible for monitoring activities for compliance with prison and state regulations and oversaw 300 correctional facility staff members to ensure safety of the facility as well as the proper treatment of 1,500 incarcerated persons. Dr. Hendrix set prison policies and procedures, including those regarding intake and classification, treatment programs, education or job training, recreation, and discipline. He coordinated the response during crisis situations, such as an emergency, a riot, or a natural disaster. He enforced rules, regulations, policies, and laws regarding incarceration and employee conduct and maintained records of infractions by staff or incarcerated persons. Dr. Hendrix oversaw the processes related to the recruitment and hiring of new staff and promoted the professional development and retention of staff by providing training and encouragement. Over the course of his career in the correctional field, he focused on implementing new programs and initiatives to build employee engagement, productivity, and retention.

Dr. Hendrix is a member of the Board of Directors at Planting Justice, a nonprofit organization based in the Sobrante Park neighborhood in his hometown, Oakland, California. The purpose of the organization is to grow food, grow jobs, and grow community through food sovereignty, economic justice, and community healing.

Dr. Hendrix earned a doctor of philosophy degree in public policy from Walden University, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix, a master of philosophy degree from Walden University, and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration from California State University. He also completed the Executive Excellence Training at the National Institute of Corrections, National Correctional Academy.

Combating the Crisis: Strategies to Recruit and Retain Quality Officers

8:00AM – 9:00AM | Room 2 | Recruitment, Retention, & Training

Amid a surge in resignations and decreased recruitment, maintaining a professional workforce has become one of the most salient challenges facing law enforcement agencies. Officers are rightly concerned about safety, compensation, and public support, reporting lower levels of job satisfaction than ever before. Beyond pay and benefits, innovative approaches to hiring and organizational culture can make law enforcement more attractive in an increasingly competitive labor market. In this presentation, retired NYPD officer and criminal justice policy expert Jillian Snider will explore the forces driving the exodus of officers and provide evidence-based management strategies to address staffing challenges.

PRESENTERS: Jillian Snider, Policy Director, Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties, R Street Institute, and Logan Seacrest, Fellow, R Street Institute.

 

Jillian Snider is the policy director for R Street’s Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties team. She leads the program in producing research and commentary on public policy related to all stages of the justice system: policing, pretrial policy, sentencing, incarceration, juvenile justice and reentry.

Jillian is a retired New York City police officer. Over the course of her career, she served in various enforcement positions including patrol, undercover vice operations, street-level narcotics, field intelligence and anti-crime. Additionally, she served as a precinct liaison for non-enforcement, collaborative, community-based initiatives.

She also teaches as an adjunct lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in the department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration.

Jillian has received several departmental commendations as well as awards from the Bronx Borough president, New York City Council, Public Advocate’s Office, New York State Assembly and Senate, been recognized as “Cop of the Month” by Bronx Community Board 2 and was one of the recipients of the 2015 Police Commissioner’s Roosevelt Award.

She received a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice with dual specializations in police administration and criminology and graduated with distinction from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She also earned a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in ethical leadership from Marist College and a Bachelor of Science in legal studies from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Jillian lives in Monroe, New York, which is part of the NYC metropolitan area, with her husband Andrew, their handsome pup Spencer and many rescue cats.

Logan Seacrest is a resident fellow on the R Street Institute Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties team, where he produces research and analysis on policing and juvenile justice. Prior to joining R Street, Logan was a policy analyst at the Nebraska Legislature and a research analyst for the Nebraska Supreme Court. His innovative research products won four consecutive National Conference of State Legislatures’ research awards from 2018 to 2021. Prior to his government work, Logan was Communications Director at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and a journalist for a weekly newspaper. He received a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Nebraska, Omaha, and a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Logan currently lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife Elizabeth and Yorkshire Terrier Maggie.

Deceased Persons Identification Services and NGI Missing Persons Services

8:00AM – 9:00AM | Room 3 | Future of law enforcement

This presentation will explain how the FBI’s Deceased Persons Identification (DPI) Services and The Next Generation Identification System (NGI) Missing Persons Services can assist law enforcement agencies with there deceased identification requests and missing persons cases.

PRESENTER: Julia Mickey- Lucas, Management and Program Analyst, FBI CJIS Division

In June 1997, Julia Mickey Lucas entered on duty with the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division in Clarksburg, West Virginia.  In the last 27 years, Mrs. Lucas has worked on many new projects including the CJIS Division’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System and the Cyber Division’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.  Mrs. Lucas supported the Interstate Identification Index and missing criminal history record information initiatives, including missing disposition and Cite and Release initiatives, and in support of the CJIS Advisory Policy Board (APB) Disposition Task Force.  Mrs. Lucas also provided criminal history policy guidance and led development and implementation of the III’s Single Cycle Sealing functionality.  Currently, Mrs. Lucas leads the rebranding of the CJIS Division’s Cold Case/Unknown Deceased Services to expand the business model to electronic deceased identification requests and market the service as the Deceased Persons Identification (DPI) Services.  Mrs. Lucas also led the development and deployment of the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) Missing Persons Services to enroll missing persons’ fingerprints in the NGI System when specific criteria are met.

Navigating Employment Issues in the Jail Environment

8:00AM – 9:00AM | Room 4 | Leadership

Employers are not immune from experiencing employment issues, and jails are no exception. Employment issues in jails and detention centers can taken many forms, from employee misconduct to requests for accommodation for disability or religious reasons. This seminar will equip jail leadership with an understanding of emerging employment issues that are particularly relevant to jail operations, provide employers with invaluable guidance for conducting employment-related investigations, and provide proactive steps for avoiding employment issues so that leadership can focus on the safety and security of detainees, inmates, and staff alike.

PRESENTERS: Nick Morisani, Phelps Dunbar LLP, and Candace Gregory, Phelps Dunbar LLC.

 

Nick Morisani regularly represents state prison officials, local detention facility operators, and private prison managers.  He has significant experience defending these clients against claims challenging conditions of confinement and security operations and helping these clients seek termination of longstanding, burdensome consent decrees.  Nick also helps these clients handle and respond to investigations by the Department of Justice and various advocacy groups.  Nick is licensed to practice in both Alabama and Mississippi.

 

 

 

Candace Gregory has tried more than 40 cases to verdict, handled over 100 investigations for a Fortune 500 company, and managed the staffing and oversight of hundreds of government investigations. Candace was most recently the Director of the Public Integrity Division and Statewide Coordinator for officer involved shootings for the Attorney General of Mississippi. Prior to that, she was the first hybrid Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the Southern District of Mississippi, responsible for litigating both civil and criminal civil rights cases. Additionally, Candace was the coordinator for both civil rights and violent crimes throughout the District.

 

 

MAGNUS OVEA Theory for Elevating Sheriff Deputies’ Performance & Wellness

8:00AM – 9:00AM | Room 5 | officer wellness

The seminar introduces the MAGNUS OVEA Theory for Elevating Sheriff Deputies’ Performance and Wellness. The holistic framework of the theory delves into 11 essential dimensions of human performance, wellness, and resilience. Drawing from empirical research and interdisciplinary insights, it offers a roadmap for understanding and optimizing human potential. This theory emphasizes the interconnectedness of various aspects of human existence and provides principles for achieving excellence and mastery across all domains.

PRESENTERS: Dr. Mitch Javidi, CEO & Chancellor, National Command & Staff College, and Brian Ellis, Chief Experience Officer (CXO), National Command & Staff College

 

Dr. Mitch Javidi is a peak performance and human behaviorist with over 30 years of practical and hands-on experience in diverse industries, including Academia, Military, Law Enforcement, Government, Pharma, and Technology. He is the developer of “MAGNUS OVEA,” a general theory of officers’ wellness, resilience, and leadership. In addition, he has founded the MAGNUSWorx Peak Performance and Wellness APP, National Command & Staff College, the Institute for Credible Leadership Development, and the Criminal Justice Commission for Credible Leadership Development.

He has trained at the Joint Special Operations Command “JSOC” and the US Army Special Operations Command “USASOC.” He was awarded the honorary member of the United States Army Special Operations Command in 1999, honorary Sheriff by the National Sheriffs’ Association in 2016, and honorary Police Commander by the Santa Fe ISD Police Department (2019). He also received the “Spirit Award” from the National Tactical Officers’ Association. NTOA presents this prestigious award to an individual whose work saves lives (2019).

He served as a tenured professor at NC State University for 16 years before taking an early retirement, but he continues serving as an adjunct professor without pay (by choice) at NC State and Illinois State Universities. He is a member of the “Academy of Outstanding Teachers and Scholars” at NC State University and the Distinguished 2004 Alumni of the University of Oklahoma.

He is a published scholar with over 918+ conference presentations worldwide, including indications for Fortune 500 companies as well as top Public Safety organizations, including the US Secret Service, US Joint Special Operations Command, NATO, FBI NAA, Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA), HIDTA, National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA), California Police Chiefs Associations, National Sheriffs Association (NSA), Women Leadership in Law Enforcement (WLLE), California Chief of Police Association (CATO), and many other national and state associations. He has also provided educational programs for NYPD, LAPD, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office, Ogden Police Department, NC State Patrol, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Walnut Creek Police Department, and 200+ other agencies nationwide.

His most recent co-authored article on Including Officers’ Wellness was published in the Police Chief Magazine. In addition, two of his coauthored papers have been published by the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin ~ “Human Factors: Police Leaders Improving Safety While Developing Meaningful Public Trust” and “Unbundling Beliefs and Values.” His select books include “GREAT to MAGNUS,” “The Book of 10 Rings,” “Deliberate Leadership: Achieving Success Through Personal Styles,” “Handbook of Research on Effective Communication, Leadership, and Conflict Resolution,” and “Moral Compass for the Law Enforcement Professionals.”

Dr. Javidi was the recipient of the prestigious “Person of the Year” award by the National Society of Accountants ~ Senator William Victor “Bill” Roth, Jr. “Roth IRA” received the award in the following year.

Brian Ellis is a retired police lieutenant with over 25 years of experience, author, instructor, and crisis management professional. Throughout his police career, he served in numerous tactical incidents and high-stakes missions with several accommodations for meritorious service. Brian led multiple specialty teams, and during his time as the SWAT Commander and specialty team leader, he developed a strong understanding of the dynamics that make people and missions thrive. Upon retiring from the police force, Brian’s passion for empowering others led him to pursue his work at the National Command & Staff College, an international think-tank, and with colleagues launched MAGNUSWorx, an education and data analytics platform dedicated to peak performance and wellbeing. Brian is a speaker, coach, and trainer for government and private organizations, dedicated to promoting leadership and high-performing teams and providing others with actionable information for personal preparedness and resilience. His work has been featured in various media outlets, including articles, book chapters, and podcasts.

Labor Trafficking in the Illicit Cannabis Industry

8:00AM – 9:00AM | Room 5 | Future of Law enforcement

Despite great strides in combatting human trafficking, the criminal justice system has struggled to identify, investigate, and prosecute labor traffickers. Law enforcement often lacks a criminal predicate to proactively investigate labor exploitation in otherwise legal businesses. These roadblocks are abated, however, when forced labor occurs within illegal industries, such as illicit cannabis. Marijuana grow operations are often run by transnational organized crime networks, who recruit vulnerable populations to plant and harvest the crop—often for little to no pay and in dangerous and unsanitary conditions. These illicit cannabis sites also cause widespread environmental harm, including poisoned waterbeds, wildfires, and damage to flora and fauna.

This presentation will explore how law enforcement can proactively identify forced labor within the illicit cannabis industry by applying a human trafficking lens to narcotics investigations and collaborating with other government, regulatory, and community stakeholders. The presenter will discuss strategies for investigating and prosecuting labor trafficking within the illicit cannabis and other illegal industries, including methods for assessing the culpability of workers. The presentation will be grounded in real-life examples by highlighting the ongoing efforts of a coalition of Sheriffs in the Emerald Triangle of rural northern California. Finally, the presenter will demonstrate how criminal justice personnel can utilize a similar model to confront labor trafficking and forced criminality in other illicit businesses.

PRESENTER: Lou Longhitano, Attorney Advisor, AEquitas

 

Lou Longhitano is an Attorney Advisor at AEquitas, providing training and technical assistance to prosecutors and allied professionals across the United States and around the world, and consulting on task force building, administration, and collaboration. He came to AEquitas after serving for 28 years as a county prosecutor, working special victims cases; investigating organized crime, gang crimes, and cold case homicides; and serving the most vulnerable and marginalized victims of crime. Before joining the AEquitas team, Lou was an Assistant District Attorney at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in NYC for seven years, where he prosecuted and supervised domestic violence cases, as well as investigating narcotics and firearms trafficking criminal enterprises. After the DA’s Office, Lou became an Assistant State’s Attorney at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, which covers 134 municipalities (large and small), including Chicago, IL. There he investigated and prosecuted complex homicides, cold cases, organized crime, and gang crimes, including trying a notorious 1993 mass-homicide, which went unsolved for nine years. He created and supervised the first Human Trafficking Unit in the state of Illinois. Lou was a founding member of the core-team of the Cook County Enhanced Human Trafficking Task Force, and was cross-designated as an Assistant US Attorney to coordinate state/federal/multi-jurisdictional investigations.

Lou has trained thousands of prosecutors, law enforcement, and allied professionals across the US on the topics of advanced human trafficking investigations and prosecution for the US Department of Justice, FBI, Homeland Security, the National Association of Attorneys General, and AEquitas. He has also been a speaker at law schools, colleges, and high schools in northern Illinois, and trained medical professionals, educators, inspectors, and community members on identification and response to human trafficking in their fields. Lou has also taught and coached trial advocacy for the National District Attorneys’ Association, National Association of Attorneys General, and John Marshall Law School.

Lou serves as a coordinator and advisor to the Northern California Coalition to Safeguard Communities (NCCSC) which is combatting labor trafficking and exploitation, multinational organized crime, and environmental degradation in illicit businesses.

Science-Based Interviewing is NOT Just For Investigators

8:00AM – 9:00AM | Room 6 | Recruitment, retention, and training

Historically, law enforcement training academies have used anecdotal training techniques to prepare first responders to conduct interviews. In recent years, trainers have adopted science-based interviewing for criminal investigators. Science has documented that the greatest predictor of a case being solved was the amount of time spent conducting interviews. A social construct has also been identified that occurs during investigative interviews that inhibits the amount if information collected during those interviews. FLETC has implemented science-based interviewing in all basic training programs for criminal investigators as well as all first responder programs.

PRESENTER: Scott Depietro, Senior Instructor, Behavioral Science Division, FLETC

 

Scott DePietro serves as a Senior Instructor (SI) of the First Responder Application of Behavioral Science Branch (RAB) at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC). In this role, SI DePietro provides oversight of proven, science-based curriculum to Basic and Advanced trainees, regarding interviewing, conflict management and communication skills at Federal, State, Local and Tribal levels.

SI DePietro developed, coordinates, and leads FLETC’s Critical Communication Skills for Law Enforcement/Citizen Encounters Instructor Training Program (CCSITP). In this role, SI DePietro provides law enforcement Field Training Officer’s (FTO’s) and Academy Instructor’s proven science based and peer reviewed communication techniques to defuse conflict during law enforcement/citizen encounters. Mr. DePietro trains police executives, FTO’s, and academy instructors both in the International and Domestic law enforcement communities.

Prior to joining FLETC, Mr. DePietro distinguished himself with the City of Jamestown NY Police Department. In this capacity, he served as FTO, Street Crime Unit, Patrol Sergeant, Drug Enforcement Sergeant, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force officer, New York State Organized Crime Task Force officer, Criminal Investigative Sergeant, and Police Instructor. During this tenure SI DePietro received several prestigious awards including the City of Jamestown Police Department Medal of Valor.

Mr. DePietro holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the State University of New York (SUNY) in Biology.

SI DePietro is a certified Use of Force, Active Shooter, and Basic Tactics Instructor.

Jails and Justice Support Center

9:15AM – 10:15AM | Room 1 | Jail operations

TBD

PRESENTERS: TBD

Strategic Recruitment, Retention, and Training: Empowering Law Enforcement for the Future

9:15AM – 10:15AM | Room 2 | Recruitment, retention, and Training

To ensure success for law enforcement, it is essential to attract and retain top-tier talent. This workshop offers a pioneering approach, blending the latest in behavioral science with AI-driven recruitment strategies and best practice methods used to recruit top passive candidates. Drawing on decades of expertise in identifying and engaging passive talent for hard-to-fill roles that require a different approach, a new validated method is presented that revolutionizes traditional recruitment pathways, making them more aligned with contemporary needs and expectations. Attendees will explore innovative techniques designed to captivate high-caliber candidates, those often overlooked by conventional methods. Moreover, the workshop will unveil best practice methods for fostering a culture of loyalty and growth, essential for retaining valuable officers in a competitive landscape. Participants will leave equipped with simple, yet powerful, strategies ready to be implemented, promising immediate impacts on their agencies’ operational effectiveness and community relations.

PRESENTER: Christian Schoyen, CEO, Neighborhood Rescue of America

 

Christian Schoyen is an international human behavior expert, world-class recruiter, AI Futurist, and best-selling author in his areas of expertise, specializing in applying best-practice models and AI in all his work in recruitment, retention, and training. Christian, a 2nd generation recruiter, has for three decades recruited top passive talent who need to be individually approached due to a lack of response through traditional channels. In 1997, after working for two world-leading executive search firms in Chicago and Los Angeles, he founded ESR, a successful headhunter firm, where he serves as CEO. Christian’s blueprint for recruitment is outlined in his US bestseller, “Secret of the Executive Search Experts.” His client base has included Fortune 500 companies and government entities, including law enforcement, for which he has recruited over 5000 high-caliber candidates for hard-to-fill roles worldwide. With his expertise in AI, he creates systems and solutions for his clients on effective recruitment, retention, and training.

Christian is also the founder and CEO of the non-profit Neighborhood Rescue of America, which supports police in bridging the gap with urban communities and reducing crime. In this work, based on his Norse background and being a direct descendant of Viking Gudröd Ragnvaldsson with traditions passed on, he applied the Norse Althing methodology for decision-making, best practice community policing, and data-driven tools for creating his blueprint for community transformation. A key part of the model is to recruit the right teams and stakeholders, where he uses his recruitment and assessment expertise. The first implementation of his blueprint for community transformation took place in Las Vegas, where crime in the most dangerous neighborhood was reduced by 75% in 21 field days. The blueprint was next implemented in other states and is now in its 10th year, having achieved over 90% crime reduction in other cities, with no tax money used. The model, called “Vegas Vikings,” is created in a game format (VR release in 2024) for simulated training and can be easily implemented in any city and neighborhood and integrates all parties, including residents. The project was documented in the award-winning feature documentary “Vegas Vikings,” which was theatrically released, as well as presented in the book for law enforcement, “Neighborhood Rescue 101.” For his work in Nevada, he received an honorary award from the Mayor and City Council of Las Vegas.

In conjunction with his professional work, Christian has dedicated three decades to studying human behavior, of which over two years were spent traveling to low-income African American communities in the US, where he both lectured and studied behavior to aid his foresight models. The use of AI and building models for forecasting human behavior and societal trends, together with futuring, plays an important role in all his work.

Christian is a member of the World Future Society and is also the author of “AI POLICING 2030 – Blueprinting Tomorrow’s Policing Today.” (June 2024)

Christian earned his bachelor’s in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University and conducted his African American Studies at California State University.

Using Virtual Reality for Skills Training

9:15AM – 10:15AM | Room 3 | FUTURE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT

Hard skill training is key to provide employment opportunities for individuals upon release, yet the cost of these programs and the space required can be prohibitive. The use of virtual reality can provide residents with hands on training resulting in a skill, in this case auto mechanics, leading to a high-paying career-leading job at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, other supports must be provided upon release to increase the chance of successful employment.

This workshop will introduce virtual reality training to the attendees using a training demo and discussion pertaining to the program operating in the Maryland women’s facility by Vehicles for Change, President Martin Schwartz, who developed the virtual training and Geoff Crawford, Vice President of Virtual Training.

Virtual reality can be implemented in any facility nationally for less than $1,000 per person. VR training has been proven to be an effective and efficient means of training individuals for employment in the skill trades including auto mechanics, HVAC and welding and others. Typically, our jails do not have the funding or the space to implement a skills training program in most any field. Virtual Reality can be implemented well within budgets and using less than a 10×10 room, making this form of training perfect for the jail facilities.

PRESENTERS: Martin Schwartz, President, Vehicles for Change, and Geoff Crawford, Vice President of Virtual Reality

 

Martin Schwartz Started Vehicles for Change (VFC) in April 1999. VFC awarded over 7,400 cars, awarding 35 cars/month in MD, VA and MI. Designated Best Practice “National Economic Development and Law Center”. 2005 opened Freedom Wheels, used car business. A fully owned subsidiary of VFC. 2015 Opened the Full Circle Auto Repair and Training Center – Baltimore – training ex-offenders to be automotive mechanics. 2015 opened the VFC – Detroit and Full Circle Auto Repair and Training Center – Detroit (since has been closed due to COVID). 2021 Opened Hyattsville, MD training program.

Co-authored Effective Social Enterprise; Practical Advice and Best Practices from Leaders in the Field.

University of Notre Dame Baltimore – Assoc. Prof. – Social Enterprise

 

Geoff Crawford is a seasoned sales and leadership executive with over 15 years of experience. As Vice President of Virtual Reality at Vehicles for Change, he is responsible for building, growing, and leading the Virtual Reality business.

Geoff’s expertise lies in developing high-performing teams, managing sales performance, and providing financial oversight. With a strong track record in maximizing profits and optimizing processes, he excels in forging strategic partnerships and leveraging innovative technology to drive business growth. Geoff’s decisive and human-centered leadership approach ensures continued organizational success in the ever-evolving field of virtual reality.

 

Mexican Cartels & The Battle For Control Of Our Borders

9:15AM – 10:15AM | Room 4 | public safety

This seminar takes an in-depth and graphic look at the ruthless nature of Transcontinental Criminal Organizations (i.e., Mexican Drug Cartels) and the impact of their criminality on the southern border and across the United States. It delves into the complexity of the TCOs and their role in the illicit drug trade ravaging America and takes an alarming look at the victimization immersed in their business of human trafficking and indentured servitude. See and hear how the sheer violence of TCOs “Mexican Cartels” reach into every state in America as they compete against each other for smuggling routes both on the southern and northern border and better understand how their connection with China and Southeast Asia is expanding their effort to poison Americans with illicit drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine. The presentation includes first-hand accounts showing the unparalleled violence and victimization TCOs use in their ongoing turf wars and battle for dominance. Understanding the barbarity and brutality of these organizations is fundamental for law enforcement officers nationwide as we continue to battle their growing reach into our country. To defeat the enemy, we must first understand the enemy. That is the purpose of this seminar. It provides an unfiltered and extensive look at the complicated and callous nature of TCOs/Mexican Drug Cartels and their ongoing efforts to intrude into every community in America.

PRESENTER: Sheriff Kieran Donahue, Canyon County Sheriff’s Office

 

Sheriff Donahue is serving his third term as Sheriff of Canyon County, Idaho.

He is the 1st Vice President of the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA). He is the Vice Chairman of the NSA Government Affairs Committee and serves on the NSA Border Security Committee.

Sheriff Donahue is a Past President of the Idaho Sheriffs’ Association (ISA) and a current ISA Board of Directors member. He also holds the position of Chairman of the ISA Legislative Committee and serves on the Idaho Association of Counties Legislative Committee and ISA Jail Standards Committee.

In 2022, Idaho Governor Brad Little Appointed Sheriff Donahue to Operation Esto Perpetua to meaningfully reduce the flow of fentanyl and methamphetamine into the State of Idaho.

In January 2021, the Governor Appointed Sheriff Donahue to the Idaho Criminal Justice Commission (ICJC) to represent the Sheriffs of Idaho for a four-year term.

Sheriff Donahue is a past Chairman and current member of the Executive Board for the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), funded by the DOJ Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

Sheriff Donahue is a Keynote Speaker and Subject Matter Expert Lecturer on the nation’s Border(s) and the Mexican Cartels involvement with drugs and human smuggling and holds a top-secret clearance with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

He is an active member of the Western States Sheriff’s Association (WSSA). He is the Founder and Chairman of the Man Up Crusade, a National and International, non-profit, public awareness campaign on the issue of domestic violence.

Police Resiliency and Critical Incident Response

9:15AM – 10:15AM | Room 5 | case study

This class addresses the intense emotions that a first responder will experience before, during, and after responding to a critical incident, and the trauma post-incident that can have a lifelong impact on first responders. Josh responded to the 1 October Massacre and shares his harrowing story and the profound impact it had on him personally and professionally. He discusses science-based research on trauma and crisis response. The class provides coping strategies first responders can employ in the moment for a more consistent and effective response to critical incidents. Josh also teaches how impactful trauma can be, and how to process through this trauma in the years after. Lastly, he discusses best practices for agencies to provide resources to their employees after a critical incident. This training is nationally certified through IADLEST national certification program.

PRESENTER: Joshua Bitsko, Captain (ret.), Bitsko Consulting

 

Joshua Bitsko has been a law enforcement professional for 23 years, and has held a variety of positions to include K9 handler, K9 training sergeant, detective sergeant, internal affairs Lieutenant, policy and procedure lieutenant, commander of the Las Vegas resort corridor, commander over the health, wellness, and safety bureau, and Executive Captain. He has a BA in Public Administration and is an experienced instructor with over 15 years of teaching both law enforcement employees and community members. Josh responded to the largest mass shooting incident in US history, the 1 October Massacre, as a tactical element. Josh was one of three people to breach the suspect’s door and led a team of officers to make entry and clear the suspect’s room.

Josh was also the incident commander over a mass stabbing incident on the Las Vegas Strip. This gives him unique insight on both the stressors of being on the front lines during an active shooter, and the pressures of leading a police response when lives are at stake. He has spoken around the country about the 1 October massacre, to include to the Secret Service at the White House. After action de-briefs and trainings often fail to include the emotional aftermath of our first responder community in the years following critical incidents. Josh can provide personal insight into the struggles of post-traumatic stress, and strategies to assist in processing trauma. Through his first-hand experiences, Josh can not only provide guidance and training for law enforcement professionals facing the most extreme critical incidents, but also describe the mindset necessary for proper critical incident preparedness, response, and processing the aftermath.

Building Healthy Agencies: Strengthening the Response to Violence in Law Enforcement Families

9:15AM – 10:15AM | Room 6 | leadership

Cases of violence in the homes and relationships of agency members are a reality. Incidents of violence in law enforcement families are no different from those in the general population and can escalate to homicide and suicide. Focusing on national promising practices, this workshop will present information on how, through agency policy and comprehensive training, effective leadership, and family and victim support, agencies can address gaps in service, hold offenders accountable, and significantly impact not only the health and wellness of individual officers, but also strengthen agency-wide trust and culture. With the proper response and protocols, agencies and officers will succeed.

PRESENTERS: Chief Deputy John Guard, Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, NC, and Dottie Davis, Consultant

 

John Guard is a subject-matter expert for the Office on Violence Against Women-supported National Violence Against Women Law Enforcement Training and Technical Assistance Consortium (LETTAC), the single connection point for law enforcement and partners to access tailored support to strengthen responses to gender-based violence. He is also a Chief Deputy with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office in Greenville, North Carolina. Chief Guard has over 30 years of law enforcement experience, including line level response, investigative response, first and second level supervision, and agency management. For over two and a half decades, he has specialized in investigating domestic violence cases. He has been instrumental in developing policies and procedures related to domestic violence response in Pitt County and the State of North Carolina. Throughout his career, Chief Guard has trained law enforcement officers and other allied professionals on the dynamics and nuances of domestic violence from both a law enforcement and a social justice perspective; worked with victims as a law enforcement officer and as a victim advocate; and provided information to the community members regarding domestic violence. Chief Guard has developed and implemented several innovative programs designed to increase victim safety and offender accountability. Many of these programs have been replicated by other agencies across the country. Chief Guard has received numerous awards for his efforts related to domestic violence prevention, including awards from the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the North Carolina Victims Assistance Network, the Sunshine Lady Foundation, and most recently the 2021 National Crime Victims’ Service Award for First Responders, U.S. Department of Justice – Office for Victims of Crime.

Dottie Davis is a subject-matter expert for the Office on Violence Against Women-supported National Violence Against Women Law Enforcement Training and Technical Assistance Consortium (LETTAC), the single connection point for law enforcement and partners to access tailored assistance to support effective responses to gender-based violence. Ms.Davis is a nationally recognized speaker who previously served 32 years with the Fort Wayne Police Department where she attained the rank of Deputy Chief and was last assigned as the Director of Training at their police academy. She implemented and wrote policy for the agency for the Crisis Intervention Team and the Lethality Assessment Program and served as a hostage negotiator for seven years. During her career she received two Meritorious Service Citations, named law enforcement officer of the year by the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Rocky Mountain Women in Law Enforcement. Ms. Davis is a contracted trainer for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Fair and Impartial Policing. Ms. Davis is a graduate of the National FBI Academy, Gavin de Becker & Associates Advanced Threat Assessment Academy, and Purdue University, and is the owner of Davis Corporate Training, Inc., a private consulting firm focusing on violence prevention, and also provides expert witness testimony in both civil and criminal cases.

Tribal Implications of McGirt, Jurisdictional Sovereignty, and Open Borders: Analyzing the Crossroads

9:15AM – 10:15AM | Room 7 | leadership

This seminar aims to delve into the profound implications of the Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma and its ripple effects on tribal sovereignty, law enforcement, and community well-being. We will explore interconnected issues such as the opioid crisis, with a focus on Fentanyl, immigration policies, the challenges tribes face in arresting and the limitations of prosecuting non-tribal and non-American suspects by tribal authorities, open border policies’ impact on tribal sovereignty, and the nuanced communication breakdown of tribal and state relations in Oklahoma. The seminar seeks to foster a comprehensive understanding and collaborative solutions.

PRESENTERS: Michael Woestehoff, Director, Native Americans for Sovereignty and Preservation

Consent Decree 101: Navigating the Impact of Consent Decrees on Jail Operations

10:30AM – 11:30AM | Room 1 | jail operations

While having initial appeal in terms of avoiding or resolving potentially costly, lengthy litigation, consent decrees often take on a life of their own leading to equally (if not more) costly and lengthy efforts to achieve compliance. This course examines strategies for navigating all aspects of consent decrees, from the drafting stage, to carrying out jail operations while subject to a consent decree, to steps that can be taken to place your agency in the best position to have an existing consent decree terminated.

PRESENTERS: Nicholas Morisani, Partner, Phelps Dunbar LLP, and Candace Gregory, Partner Phelps Dunbar LLP

Nick Morisani regularly represents state prison officials, local detention facility operators, and private prison managers.  He has significant experience defending these clients against claims challenging conditions of confinement and security operations and helping these clients seek termination of longstanding, burdensome consent decrees.  Nick also helps these clients handle and respond to investigations by the Department of Justice and various advocacy groups.  Nick is licensed to practice in both Alabama and Mississippi.

 

 

 

Candace Gregory has tried more than 40 cases to verdict, handled over 100 investigations for a Fortune 500 company, and managed the staffing and oversight of hundreds of government investigations. Candace was most recently the Director of the Public Integrity Division and Statewide Coordinator for officer involved shootings for the Attorney General of Mississippi. Prior to that, she was the first hybrid Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the Southern District of Mississippi, responsible for litigating both civil and criminal civil rights cases. Additionally, Candace was the coordinator for both civil rights and violent crimes throughout the District.

 

 

Oral Fluids Screening Roadside: A Tool for Law Enforcement

10:30AM – 11:30AM | Room 2 | Future of law enforcement

 

PRESENTERS: Chuck Deweese, President and CEO, Connecting Clients Consulting LLC, and Nick O’Bryant, Oklahoma City Metropolitan Police Officer

Chuck DeWeese is the President of Connecting Clients Consulting, LLC, based in Saratoga, New York. He provides strategic consulting services in traffic safety, including initiatives targeting impaired driving, distracted driving, Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety, younger drivers, speed, pedestrian and bike safety, automated vehicles, traffic enforcement issues and risky driving behaviors.  He has over thirty years of experience in federal and state government, including 17 years as a Special Agent and Field Office Supervisor for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulating the trucking industry. Most recently, Chuck served as the Assistant Commissioner of the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee from 2007-2022. Chuck was the Governor’s State Highway Safety Office director and administrator of the $60 million National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) grant program, administering over 500 grants annually in all 62 counties.  He coordinated traffic safety grant activities of the 14 agencies comprising the committee and created, implemented and evaluated the state’s annual Highway Safety Plan.  He was additionally responsible for the $20 million statewide STOP-DWI program and the $3 million Office of Cannabis Management sub-allocation.  In addition, Chuck served on the executive board of the Governor’s Highway Safety Association and was Chair from 2020-2022.

Nick O’Bryant has been a police officer in the Oklahoma City Metropolitan area since 2010 and employed with The Oklahoma City Police Department since 2015. He was a founding member of the Oklahoma Drug Recognition Expert Advisory Board and appointed as the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) Coordinator for the State of Oklahoma in 2022. In October 2023, the Director of The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office appointed him as the state coordinator for the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Program. After his appointment, Nick began talks with The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office to make the DRE State Coordinator position a full-time duty for the first time in Oklahoma’s program history. In this position within The Oklahoma City Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit, he oversees all impaired driving programs within The State of Oklahoma. Additionally, he is the president of the Oklahoma Association of Drug Recognition Experts (DRE), a not-for-profit dedicated to providing training and oversight to DREs in The State of Oklahoma.

Futurists Panel: Leadership, Wellness, Retention, Recruitment, Resilience & More

10:30AM – 11:30AM | Room 3 | future of law enforcement

In this panel discussion, our seven-member expert panel will explore the critical intersections of leadership, wellness, retention, recruitment, resilience, and more within the context of Sheriff’s Offices. Through a comprehensive dialogue, participants will gain insights into the unique challenges Sheriff’s Offices face and discover strategies for cultivating effective leadership, promoting wellness among personnel, enhancing retention rates, implementing innovative recruitment practices, and fostering organizational resilience.

PRESENTERS: Sheriff Steve Luce, Executive Director, Indiana Sheriffs Association, and Dr. Mitch Javidi, Chief Experience Officer, National Command & Staff College

 

Dr. Mitch Javidi is a peak performance and human behaviorist with over 30 years of practical and hands-on experience in diverse industries, including Academia, Military, Law Enforcement, Government, Pharma, and Technology. He is the developer of “MAGNUS OVEA,” a general theory of officers’ wellness, resilience, and leadership. In addition, he has founded the MAGNUSWorx Peak Performance and Wellness APP, National Command & Staff College, the Institute for Credible Leadership Development, and the Criminal Justice Commission for Credible Leadership Development.

He has trained at the Joint Special Operations Command “JSOC” and the US Army Special Operations Command “USASOC.” He was awarded the honorary member of the United States Army Special Operations Command in 1999, honorary Sheriff by the National Sheriffs’ Association in 2016, and honorary Police Commander by the Santa Fe ISD Police Department (2019). He also received the “Spirit Award” from the National Tactical Officers’ Association. NTOA presents this prestigious award to an individual whose work saves lives (2019).

He served as a tenured professor at NC State University for 16 years before taking an early retirement, but he continues serving as an adjunct professor without pay (by choice) at NC State and Illinois State Universities. He is a member of the “Academy of Outstanding Teachers and Scholars” at NC State University and the Distinguished 2004 Alumni of the University of Oklahoma.

He is a published scholar with over 918+ conference presentations worldwide, including indications for Fortune 500 companies as well as top Public Safety organizations, including the US Secret Service, US Joint Special Operations Command, NATO, FBI NAA, Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA), HIDTA, National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA), California Police Chiefs Associations, National Sheriffs Association (NSA), Women Leadership in Law Enforcement (WLLE), California Chief of Police Association (CATO), and many other national and state associations. He has also provided educational programs for NYPD, LAPD, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office, Ogden Police Department, NC State Patrol, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Walnut Creek Police Department, and 200+ other agencies nationwide.

His most recent co-authored article on Including Officers’ Wellness was published in the Police Chief Magazine. In addition, two of his coauthored papers have been published by the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin ~ “Human Factors: Police Leaders Improving Safety While Developing Meaningful Public Trust” and “Unbundling Beliefs and Values.” His select books include “GREAT to MAGNUS,” “The Book of 10 Rings,” “Deliberate Leadership: Achieving Success Through Personal Styles,” “Handbook of Research on Effective Communication, Leadership, and Conflict Resolution,” and “Moral Compass for the Law Enforcement Professionals.”

Dr. Javidi was the recipient of the prestigious “Person of the Year” award by the National Society of Accountants ~ Senator William Victor “Bill” Roth, Jr. “Roth IRA” received the award in the following year.

Recommendations from the Critical Incident Review of the Mass Casualty Incident at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas

10:30AM – 11:30AM | Room 4 | leadership

On May 24, 2022, an active shooter took the lives of 19 children and 2 staff members, and physically and mentally injured the survivors, the families, staff and teachers, and the community in Uvalde, Texas. At the request of Uvalde leadership, the U.S. Department of Justice established the Critical Incident Review (CIR) to conduct an independent, objective assessment of what happened that day and assess the systems in place in the weeks leading up to May 24. The goal of the CIR is to provide information to those most affected by the tragedy and to build knowledge regarding how to best respond to incidents of mass violence. This panel will present observations and recommendations from the CIR report in the areas of tactics, leadership, incident command, coordination, school safety, emergency management, public communications, pre-incident and post-incident processes, and trauma and support services.

PRESENTERS: Robert Chapman, Deputy Director, US DOJ COPS Office, Sheriff John Mina, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Rick Braziel, Chief of Police (ret.), Sacramento (California) Police Department

 

Rob Chapman is a Deputy Director at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), where he oversees the COPS Office training and technical assistance, demonstration project, convening, and resources and publications portfolios.  He has twice received the Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Partnerships for Public Safety, which recognizes DOJ employees for outstanding achievement in the development and support of community partnerships designed to address public safety within a community.  Prior to Joining the COPS Office in 1996, Mr. Chapman assisted in a variety of public safety research projects and managed the legislative affairs for the Police Executive Research Forum.  Mr. Chapman received his Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia University, and his Master Degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Government.

 

Sheriff John W. Mina has dedicated his life to public safety. He spent nearly 28 years with the Orlando Police Department, where he rose through the ranks and was appointed Chief of Police in 2014. John Mina was the Orlando Police Chief on June 12, 2016, when a gunman entered the Pulse nightclub, killing 49 people. In November 2018, Orange County voters chose Mina as the 29th elected Sheriff. He has lived in Orange County for nearly 30 years and cares deeply about this community. Sheriff Mina is a member of the Major County Sheriff’s Association, Florida Sheriff’s Association, Central Florida Criminal Justice Association, the Florida SWAT Association, the FBI National Academy Associates, and the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force. Sheriff Mina also serves on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Central Florida Crimeline, The Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida, YMCA Central Florida, Heart of Florida United Way, Operation American Dream, and the Camaraderie Foundation. Prior to entering law enforcement, Sheriff Mina proudly served his country as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army as a Military Police Officer.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia College. Sheriff Mina has completed the Southern Police Institute Command Officers Development Course and is a graduate of the 254th Session of the FBI National Academy. Sheriff Mina is also a member of the IACP Mass Violence Advisory Initiative.

Rick Braziel was a member of the Sacramento Police Department for over 33 years including five years as Chief. He is the former Inspector General for Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. He conducts organization assessments, critical incident reviews, and instructs in team building, communication skills, community policing, and leadership. Rick is Vice Chair of the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, and a guest speaker regarding critical incidents throughout the USA and Canada. He has been the lead investigator on various critical incident reviews and a team member of several others. He conducts organizational assessments and leadership development for public safety agencies across the country. Rick is co-author of the book, COP TALK: Essential Communication Skills for Community Policing. He holds a Master’s Degree in Communication from CSU Sacramento and a Master’s Degree in Security Studies from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

“Not If, But When” – Strategies for Communicating the Unexpected

10:30AM – 11:30AM | Room 5 | case study

No one had really heard of Aurora, CO, Ferguson, MO, or Uvalde, TX until the unthinkable happened. Then, in a blink of an eye, all three cities were thrust into the international spotlight. It’s not really ‘if’ anymore but, ‘when’. Award-winning instructor Steve Gregory will walk you through the press conferences of some high-profile events. He’ll detail what worked and what didn’t in real-time. Steve’s experience as an investigative journalist in Los Angeles will offer attendees a view into how reporters respond to these types of stories, regardless of an agency’s size or location. Steve has covered some of the nation’s biggest stories including riots in Ferguson, MO and Los Angeles, CA, Wildfires on Maui, the San Bernardino Terrorist Shooting, and conflicts along the US/Mexico Border.

PRESENTERS: Steve Gregory, Adjunct instructor, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department/ National Public Safety Innovation Academy 

 

Steve Gregory is California’s first working journalist to become a POST- certified instructor. He teaches media relations and crisis communications to both the public and private sectors. Steve is also an internationally certified instructor with IADLEST and ILEETA. Since 1993,Steve has been with iHeartMEDIA (formerly Clear Channel Radio), the world’s largest radio/digital audio company. Since 2005, Steve has been a national investigative correspondent based at KFI-AM in Los Angeles where he also hosts the popular weekly true crime show/podcast, Unsolved with Steve Gregory.

Steve is an adjunct instructor with the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the University of Southern California’s Safe Communities Institute. In October of 2022, Steve became an instructor for the inaugural National Public Safety Innovation Academy in Winter Haven, FL. His 36-hour master class is among the most popular of the 8-week executive leadership course. He co-developed a media relations model for the LAPD and a conflict resolution protocol in use between the LA Press Corps and law enforcement. Steve is also a board member of the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California where he chairs the media access committee.

In 2016, the California State Legislature presented Steve with a bi-partisan resolution honoring his contributions to journalism and community. Steve’s presentations are candid, frank, and well received because of his unique perspective from the ‘other side’ of the yellow tape. In 2020, the California Commission on POST presented Steve its Individual Achievement Award for Excellence in Training. It’s the first time a journalist has received the honor. Steve uses case studies and group activities to illustrate his point of view, most of which, are based on stories he’s covered.

Steve was on scene moments after that fatal mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA; was all over the hunt for a cop killer in Southern California; was in the courtroom during the OJ Simpson armed robbery trial, sentencing and parole hearing in Nevada; lived roadside for days in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina; was in the middle of the riots in Ferguson, MO where he was attacked and dodged gunfire – while on the air; was in the middle of numerous Immigration Protests and Civil Unrest, and traveled to Tijuana to cover the trial of a jailed Marine in Mexico – he was also the first foreign radio journalist allowed to shadow the Tijuana PD’s SWAT Team. In August of 2023 Steve was on the island of Maui covering that state’s deadlist wildfire in decades. Steve has been around cops, deputies and first responders for most of his 40+ year career.

Steve is also the first working journalist granted membership in the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

Steve has presented at many training conferences including the National Information Officer’s Association; the Arizona PIO Association; the Utah PIO Association; California POST CopsWest; Utah Governor’s Safety Summit; California Public Information Officers Association; International Association of Business Communicators; Women Working in Corrections and Juvenile Justice; Association of Air Medical Services, and the Association of Paroling Authorities International. He’s worked closely with agencies like the Los Angeles Police Department; Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Los Angeles City/County Fire Departments; Arizona Department of Public Safety; City of San Francisco; Arizona State University. Some of the courses he’s developed include, CopSpeak: “Learn To Speak Like A Human”; How to Handle the Hit Piece: “Avoiding the Ambush Reporter”; Crisis Communications for First Responders; The ‘Perfect’ Press Conference; Media Relations 3.0.

Steve’s authoring the book, The ‘Perfect’ Press Conference for Information Officers, Marketing, and PR professionals. Steve’s goal is to strengthen the professional relationship between the media and first responders by offering a perspective from a world rarely seen by outsiders.

Officer Wellness Built Into Your Budget

10:30AM – 11:30AM | Room 6 | officer wellness

I have only been Sheriff for 3 years, but I brought in with me a strong desire to build and maintain an officer wellness program. That has been hashed out over and over, but what I have done different is I have invested budget money into this program and now I have contracted clinicians that my staff can go to whenever they need to. And those same clinicians are contractually required to respond to me immediately and see my employee in crisis within hours. This has been a life-saving program and for the money I spend, it has paid for itself hundreds of times over with saving employees instead of losing them. I also have a full-time wellness and peer support coordinator and again, her value well exceeds her cost. I want to show other Sheriffs and agencies that they too can do this.

PRESENTERS: Sheriff Jay Armbrister, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (KS), Rebecca Elliot, Clinician LCPC, Elliot Clinical Services, Erin O’Donnell, Captain (ret.), Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, and Morgan Shockley-Haney, DGSO Wellness Coordinator 

Drone as a first responder (DFR) – an innovative use of drones for public safety

10:30AM – 11:30AM | Room 7 | future of law enforcement

National tragedies continue to grip the nation as communities look to their police agencies for solutions. Law enforcement must reimagine police response to increase safety and obtain real-time information for better-informed decisions. The idea of deploying small drones to respond to emergencies is gaining momentum. The Drone as First Responder (DFR) operation is an innovative use of drones for public safety. DFR is a program whereby public safety drones are pre-positioned in each service area, ready to be launched immediately in response to an emergency call for service, and live-stream the video to officers and communications centers. DFR has proven to be an efficient and effective way of providing critical public safety information increasing situational awareness and providing de-escalation strategies to keep both first responders and the community safe. Learn how DFR can transform police response and how your agency can start a DFR program.

PRESENTERS: Don Redmond, VP Public Safety, BRINC, Police Captain (ret.), Mark Lang, SWAT Team, Dallas Police Department (ret.), Drone Trainer, DRINC Drones

 

Retired Chula Vista Police Captain Don Redmond has over 25 years of law enforcement experience and now works for BRINC Drones as the Vice President of Advanced Public Safety Projects. In this role, Don is focused on building future capabilities to help Public Safety save lives and effectively integrate UAS technologies into communities around the world.

Don’s law enforcement career comprised of various assignments including SWAT, SWAT Team Leader, Patrol Watch Commander, Community Policing, Professional Standards, Jail Commander, Dispatch Manager, and UAS Manager. As a Police Captain, Don oversaw Support Operations consisting of the Emergency Police Communications Center, Technology, the City Jail, and UAS Operations. He managed the Chula Vista Police Department’s groundbreaking UAS program including the Drone as First Responder (DFR) and is active in the UAS community.

Don holds a Master of Arts Degree in Administrative Leadership from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from San Diego State University. He is a graduate of California P.O.S.T. Command College (Class 64) and the FBI National Academy (Class 263). He is a published author in Police1 Magazine, FBINAA Magazine and was a contributing writer for the California P.O.S.T. De-Escalation Strategies and Techniques publication.

Mark Lang retired from the Dallas Police Department in 2022 after serving 30 years with 23 as a member of their full time SWAT team. Upon retirement Mark took a position with BRINC Drones as a drone trainer and was later promoted to Territory Account Executive. Mark advocates on a national level for increased drone utilization by law enforcement when conducting interior searches before manned entry.

 

Sheriff’s Guide to a new Jail (and how to build support)

11:45AM – 12:45PM | Room 1 | jail operations

As an experienced justice design firm serving 40+ years as county sheriffs, we have consistently seen the issues that plague our county jail systems and the deficiencies in past designs. It is our intention with this presentation to inform Sheriff’s departments on the proper steps and guidance for the jail design process and how to build support from county officials and the community.

PRESENTERS: Tony Vie, Justice Design Leader, Elevatus Architecture, and Chris Sailors, Sheriff (ret.), Project Executive of Justice, Elevatus Architecture

 

From an early age, Tony Vie was interested in understanding how objects of all shapes and sizes fit together. That interest grew into a love for working with his hands and building, and ultimately, planning and design. The life path of an architect or design engineer was unmistakable.

Tony graduated from Ball State University’s College of Architecture and Planning in 2001, and he quickly found his opportunity to be part of projects of all shapes and sizes. Tony began mastering his skills in medical design including master planning new hospital campuses, cancer treatment centers, and full-service medical centers.

In 2014, Tony joined what would become Elevatus (then Schenkelshultz) to learn the craft of justice design. Since, Tony has been part of every justice project Elevatus has produced, earning the role of Justice Team Leader.  Today, Tony is involved in many different correctional project roles, leading everything from Design Concepts and Master Planning to Program Management and Quality Control. Tony also spends much of his time working with young architects on the skills of justice design. 

Tony values his role along the leading edge of today’s justice design trends and important topics. Equally important is understanding how to carefully balance owner’s needs and modern design trends with project budgets. 

“Working with county, state and federal clients is a great privilege, and one that needs to be carefully planned out for best use of everyone’s tax dollars” Vie says. 

While justice facilities are a fascinating building type to understand and design, it’s the relationships Tony has built with clients that he values the most.

“I once attended a grand opening for a new jail that we designed,” Tony recalls. “The news media was there, and many government figures were giving great speeches about how important the jail was in the community and how great the design was. The President of the Board of Commissioners for that county stated in the middle of his speech ‘… the county started the project with an architect and finished it with a friend…’ I have never been paid a greater compliment in all my professional career. I will always hold that comment close.”

Although Tony gives his profession 110%, his true priorities are his relationship with God and his wife and three daughters.  When he’s not in the office, Tony loves to spend his time with his family. Every once in a while, he even finds time to get back to his early boyhood love of designing and building custom furniture.

Sheriff Sailors was born and raised on a farm in Fulton County, Indiana.  He graduated from Western Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture / business and finance.  After college he worked as an agricultural and commercial banker for 15 years leaving the banking industry to enter law enforcement.  Sheriff Sailors is a graduate of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, worked as a deputy sheriff and crime scene investigator for many years before being elected to two terms as Fulton County Sheriff.  In addition to being Sheriff, he also served 12 years a County Councilman.  He recently oversaw a $23.1 million / 50,000 sq. ft. building project that consist of a 230-bed jail, Sheriff’s Office, 911 dispatch center, Coroner’s Office / morgue that was completed in September of 2021.

Sheriff Sailors is certified Indiana Jail Officer, holds memberships in the American Jail Association, American Correctional Association and is past treasurer and board of director for the Indiana Sheriff’s Association.

Sheriff’s Guide to a new Jail (and how to build support)

11:45AM – 12:45PM | Room 2 | public safety

Every day, 10,000 Americans turn age 65. With the growth in the older population comes the abuse, caregiver neglect, financial fraud, and/or financial exploitation of over 5 million older Americans each year, with devastating consequences for their lives. Sheriffs are often on the front lines, witnessing these abusive situations first-hand in their communities. In this session, a representative from the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office will describe a number of programs used in their prevention, detection, and responding efforts, in particular multidisciplinary teams and Triad programs. Multiple components with the US Department of Justice have developed elder justice tools and resources for state and local law enforcement. A representative from the Department will describe elder abuse from a national perspective, introduce the audience to the pool of potential elder justice partners that can facilitate criminal investigations, and connect audience members with a range of no-cost elder justice tools and resources designed specifically for law enforcement, with applicability regardless of the size of the agency. Audience members will be invited to participate in the discussion throughout the session.

PRESENTERS: Shelly Jackson, Elder Justice Science Advisor, Elder Justice Initiative, US Department of Justice, and Deputy Tara Hardin, TRIAD Coordinator, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office

 

Shelly L. Jackson, Ph.D., is the Elder Justice Science Advisor with the Elder Justice Initiative at the US Department of Justice. She has been with the Department in some capacity since 2012. Prior to her work with the Department, Dr. Jackson was Assistant Professor with the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. Her teaching and research have generally focused on victims of elder abuse, intimate partner violence, child abuse, and incarcerated individuals. She has worked directly with law enforcement through child abuse multidisciplinary teams, elder abuse multidisciplinary teams, Prison Rape Elimination Act research, and through several national law enforcement organizations. Dr. Jackson managed the planning of the first National Elder Justice Law Enforcement Summit held in Washington, DC, February 7 and 8, 2024 (https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/summit). She received her doctoral training in developmental psychology from the University of Vermont and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in psychology and law at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

 

Deputy Tara Hardin began her career with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office in 2011 and became the TRIAD Coordinator in July 2021.  Since that time, she has focused the program on crime prevention and specifically the increasing scams & frauds targeting seniors.  She presents a new in-person lesson at 20 locations around Oklahoma County each month along with guest speaking/teaching by request, and participating in events for seniors.  You can view her weekly “Senior Moments” crime prevention tips each Friday on the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Facebook page or full 1 hour webinars each month by going to  www.MetroTech.edu/events and choosing the Crime Prevention Series.

 

 

The VINELink.com Experience: Delivering Resources to All Victims!

11:45AM – 12:45PM | Room 3 | public safety

Approximately one-third of women and one-fifth of men will become victims of crime. Crime knows no boundaries. There is no age, race, gender, creed, or socioeconomic status that has escaped victimization. Nationwide, fewer than 1 in 10 victims of crime receive resources needed for recovery. As crime survivors seek justice, they deserve access to support, planning, community resources, and technologies that are inclusive of who they are, and what they need. VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) is a broad platform of web-based products that empowers all victims of crime with access to life-saving resources.
VINE uses innovative, human-centered technology to provide access to centrally located resources, making offender custody, court case, and protective order status information accessible to victims in this digital age, giving crime victims complete control and a choice, along with their families, to identify and work collaboratively with allied professionals. By incorporating self-service functionality and providing the ability to select preferred pathways of communication, VINE is facilitating a greater degree of information sharing between victims, advocates and service providers, law enforcement and criminal justice personnel.

PRESENTERS: Karen Adams, Manager, Marketing & Training Programs, Equifax Workforce Solutions/Victim Services

 

For 25+ years, Karen Adams has facilitated the learning process, both as a training manager and public speaker. Her combined experience and education complement her dedication to teaching others. Karen has a Human Resources and Victim Services background, focused on facilitating training for employees, advocates, and law enforcement on compliance issues, employee benefits, and victim resources. Nationwide, she has managed training initiatives for government agencies who provide certification for criminal justice personnel, law enforcement and victim advocates.

As Manager of Marketing & Training Programs for Equifax Workforce Solutions/Victim Services, Karen Adams manages the VINE marketing and training programs. Since 2007, Karen has designed collateral content, and engaged with victims, and those who advocate safety for victims, survivors, and communities on how to access automated victim services resources, through VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday).

Karen is passionate about providing training on VINE technology solutions to victims, service providers, advocates, law enforcement, and criminal justice professionals. Her insightful dedication and extensive guidance on VINE resources is prevalent through attendee and customer feedback.

In 2022, Karen was recognized by the Pragmatic Marketing Institute, receiving several badges for product marketing education. In 2019, Karen demonstrated the mastery of training and facilitation by achieving the Association for Talent Development (ATD) Master Trainer Certification. This Certification is an advanced-level program that covers the entire process of training delivery, including assessment, preparation, creating a positive learning environment, and facilitating and evaluating learning. In 2012, Karen was awarded the Certified Law Enforcement Instructor certificate from the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement.

Karen holds a Master’s in Management and Leadership from Webster University, and a Bachelor’s in Management and Associate in Applied Science from the University of Louisville. As a proud Louisvillian, Karen resides in Kentucky, the Bluegrass state, and has a heartfelt connection to family and friends.

The Art of Sheriffing

11:45AM – 12:45PM | Room 4 | leadership

Being elected to and serving in The Office of Sheriff is unparalleled. There is no other position in our society that fully prepares a person for the responsibilities and obligations of a Sheriff. Being a successful sheriff is not simply balancing the role of leader and manager- it is so much more. This class explores the mindset and strategies that a Sheriff can employ to assure that they serve as the best sheriff to their community and staff that they can possibly be.

PRESENTERS: Sheriff Justin Smith (ret.), Cameron Peak Solutions

 

Justin Smith is a recently retired three term sheriff from Larimer County, Colorado. Sheriff Smith has 35 years of law enforcement / public safety experience. Sheriff Smith earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in criminal justice and has served as an adjunct professor in criminal justice at Colorado State University. He is a graduate of the 223rd session of FBI National Academy, 70th session of FBI LEEDS and the 102nd session of National Sheriff’s Institute. He is a past president of the FBINAA Rocky Mountain Chapter, the County Sheriffs of Colorado and the Colorado Jail Association. He is former member of the Executive Board of the NSA and served on the Colorado POST Board, the FEMA Region 8 RISC and was selected to represent local law enforcement on HIDTA’s National Marijuana Initiative board. Sheriff Smith has extensive experience managing several record-setting, federally declared, natural disaster incidents incidents across his county that occurred through his time in office. After retiring from active-duty law enforcement, Justin founded Cameron Peak Solutions LLC, to provide public safety related consulting services.

UNLV Active Shooter Debrief

11:45AM – 12:45PM | Room 5 | case study

This session is a debrief on the active shooter at UNLV. More details to come.

PRESENTER: Joshua Bitsko, Captain (ret.), Bitsko Consulting

 

Joshua Bitsko has been a law enforcement professional for 23 years, and has held a variety of positions to include K9 handler, K9 training sergeant, detective sergeant, internal affairs Lieutenant, policy and procedure lieutenant, commander of the Las Vegas resort corridor, commander over the health, wellness, and safety bureau, and Executive Captain. He has a BA in Public Administration and is an experienced instructor with over 15 years of teaching both law enforcement employees and community members. Josh responded to the largest mass shooting incident in US history, the 1 October Massacre, as a tactical element. Josh was one of three people to breach the suspect’s door and led a team of officers to make entry and clear the suspect’s room.

Josh was also the incident commander over a mass stabbing incident on the Las Vegas Strip. This gives him unique insight on both the stressors of being on the front lines during an active shooter, and the pressures of leading a police response when lives are at stake. He has spoken around the country about the 1 October massacre, to include to the Secret Service at the White House. After action de-briefs and trainings often fail to include the emotional aftermath of our first responder community in the years following critical incidents. Josh can provide personal insight into the struggles of post-traumatic stress, and strategies to assist in processing trauma. Through his first-hand experiences, Josh can not only provide guidance and training for law enforcement professionals facing the most extreme critical incidents, but also describe the mindset necessary for proper critical incident preparedness, response, and processing the aftermath.

Utilizing Sheriff-led Deflection Initiatives to Address Community Needs and Improve Community Health

11:45AM – 12:45PM | Room 6 | future of law enforcement

Sheriff-led deflection initiatives save lives and reduce crime. Sheriffs play an essential role in the creation, implementation, and management of effective deflection initiatives at the city and county level. The scale of their position offers unique insight into the specific circumstances and challenges faced by their communities, as well as an understanding of how these circumstances can exacerbate the ongoing substance use and mental health crises, contribute to increased rates of justice system involvement, and negatively impact health and wellness at both the individual and community levels. Sheriffs are able to incorporate this knowledge into the design and implementation of diverse programming specialized to meet the unique needs and challenges of the communities they serve. In this panel, representatives from the Lucas County, OH, Sheriff’s Office and the Ulster County, NY, Sheriff’s Office will discuss their role in the design and operation of the deflection initiatives operating within their communities, as well as the challenges they have faced throughout the process. They will also describe how these interventions and programs can benefit individual citizens, law enforcement agencies, and communities as a whole.

PRESENTER: Sheriff Juan Figueroa, Ulster County, NY Sheriff’s Office, Lieutenant Stephen Rogers, Lucas County Sheriff’s Office Drug Abuse Response Team, and Mica Williams, Senior Program Manager, TASC Center for Health and Justice

 

Sheriff Juan Figueroa became a trooper with the New York State Police in 1988, patrolling roads in Ulster County. During his 25-year career with the State Police, he assumed key leadership roles initially as a Police Academy Instructor and Field Training Officer, then as an Investigator with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation for 19 years. Juan worked on several long term investigations involving Money Laundering, narcotics and drug cartels. Investigations during his term resulted in the seizure of over $60 million in cash, 400+ kilos of drugs, and the arrest of key figures in the drug trade. Juan also was part of investigations relating to organized crime, economic crime, corruption, racketeering, extortion, identity and vehicle theft. With a distinguished career as a veteran and five years in the corporate arena, Juan brings a broad perspective to law enforcement. He believes in upholding the law while working with the community and applying proactive, innovative, and sensible approaches to the county’s most pressing issues, such as the opioid epidemic. Juan represents a brand of leadership that values fairness, compassion, respect, and the highest standards of professionalism at all levels. After many years of public service, he remains bound by an unwavering sense of duty and deep commitment to the community.

Lt. Stephen Rogers started his career with the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office in July of 2006 working as a dispatcher / 911 call taker in the Communications Section. In 2013, Lt. Rogers took the Field Operations test for Road Patrol Deputy where he placed 3rd overall and eventually transferred to Field Operations. Working as a road patrol deputy, Lt. Rogers saw first-hand the impact the opioid crisis had on Lucas County by responding to numerous overdose calls for service. Seeing the impact that addiction has on the individual and the immediate family / friends made a lasting impression on Lt. Rogers. In 2016, Lt. Rogers was promoted to the rank of sergeant and was assigned to 2nd shift jail sergeant. Lt. Rogers was assigned to the Lucas County Corrections Center from June of 2016 until January of 2018 where he was reassigned to the Drug Abuse Response Team ( D.A.R.T. ). Lt. Rogers oversees the day to day operations of the multi-jurisdictional unit. Being assigned to D.A.R.T., Lt. Rogers got to see individuals in our community overcome addiction, and the relationships that D.A.R.T. officers develop with their clients. The Drug Abuse Response Team truly is community policing at its finest. Lt. Rogers was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in November of 2020.

 

Senior Program Manager Mica L. Williams has spent her career advancing the needs of underrepresented communities and promoting healthy community-police relations. Formerly the Director of Adult Diversion at Foundation of HOPE, she worked closely with the Allegheny County Department of Health in establishing Pittsburgh’s inaugural adult diversion program. In this capacity, she established a groundbreaking harm reduction partnership with Pennsylvania Probation and Parole Board, and served on the Steering Committee for the Allegheny Task Force on Overdose Prevention for Justice Involved Populations. Prior, as a FUSE Corps Executive Fellow, she served Pittsburgh’s Bureau of Police and community by evaluating the City’s flagship community-policing unit. Her year-end report continues to serve as a blueprint for program expansion and has supported the establishment of the Hear Foundation, an organization dedicated to funding community-police initiatives.

At New Voices and Women’s Law Project, Mica lobbied in Washington D.C. and advised Pennsylvania and Ohio state legislators on equitable policy reforms for LGBTQ+ groups and communities of color. Her legislative research helped reveal incongruities in Pennsylvania’s perinatal shackling law and its corrections policies, culminating in “Right to Know” pamphlets for pregnant, justice-involved individuals. In consulting roles, Mica has championed youth initiatives aimed at ending the school-to-prison pipeline, such as the ACLU’s Allegheny County School Policing Project and SQUIRES of San Quentin. 

Mica holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and rhetoric, magna cum laude, from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Juris Doctor in Social Justice from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. A proud alum of City College of San Francisco, she earned double Associate’s Degrees with Highest Honors in English and Humanities, securing a full scholarship to U.C. Berkeley. She is a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and a Big Sister of America.

Trauma-Informed Leadership and Organizational Wellness: 7 Powerful Strategies

11:45AM – 12:45PM | Room 7 | officer wellness

Learn 7 powerful leadership strategies for strengthening organizational wellness and trauma-informed leadership during this dynamic presentation. Attendees will be provided with practical tips on trauma-informed leadership and strengthening mental health, physical health, resilience, and overall wellness. Condensing extensive scientific research into clear, evidence-based recommendations, this action-focused workshop is designed to help law enforcement leaders, and those who support law enforcement, walk away with contemporary and emerging insights for strengthening wellness at the organizational level. Attendees will take away tips on family support, leadership, mental and physical health, peer support, resilience, sleep, suicide prevention, and more.

PRESENTER: David Black, Chief Psychologist, Founder, President, Lexipol/Cordico

Inspired by the heroic sacrifices of first responders in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. David Black began serving law enforcement and other public safety professionals in 2002. He founded Cordico to serve law enforcement nationwide, and the award-winning Cordico wellness app is now utilized by approximately half of the top metros across the United States. In addition to serving as the Chief Psychologist for the California Police Chiefs Association, he is the President of Wellness Solutions for Lexipol, which serves more than 10,000 agencies nationally.

Dr. Black was a co-founding member of the National Sheriffs’ Association Psychological Services Group, served as an Advisory Board Member for the National Policing Institute’s Center for Targeted Violence Prevention, served on the IACP Police Psychological Services Ethics Committee, and served on the National Fraternal Order of Police Officer Wellness Committee. He also served on IACP committees helping to establish OIS-related policies and guidelines, FFD guidelines, and was one of two psychologists selected for the IACP’s Model Policy Working Group for Investigating OISs and Other Serious Incidents. He has served as a keynote speaker for the FBINAA, the National Fraternal Order of Police, the California Sheriff’s Association, and many other law enforcement associations over the years.

OJJDP

1:00PM – 2:00PM | Room 1 | jail operations

TBD

PRESENTERS: Dave Mahoney, Sheriff (ret.), NSA Past President, DJM Public Safety Consulting

Dave Mahoney is an internationally recognized expert in law enforcement, public safety, and corrections.   While licensed as a police officer for more than four decades, including more than twenty years’ experience as a detective, Dave served four terms as the 52nd Sheriff of Dane County, Wisconsin (2007-2021).  Sheriff Mahoney (ret.) has led national, state, and local law enforcement organizations, and is well-known as an innovator and champion for the public safety mission; he is a published author and frequent media guest.   Dave is a Senior Consultant with Public Safety Strategies Group, LLC (PSSG) a national consulting firm providing subject matter expertise and services for public agencies and private firms across the United States.  Dave Mahoney has shaped and inspired learning and innovation among public safety organizations at the local, state and national level, as President of the National Sheriffs Association (NSA) and on the Executive Board for the Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA). Dave is a graduate of Mount Senario College in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.  He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy for Executive Management (2008) and the FBI National Executive Institute (NEI) for Executive Leadership (2013).  He has been married to Kathy Mahoney since 1983, and they have 2 adult children.

Effective First Responder Interactions with Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)

1:00PM – 3:00PM | Room 2 | leadership

With more responsibilities and fewer personnel in a technologically changing transportation industry, first responder quick and effective interaction with autonomous vehicles (AVs) can reduce interaction and clearance times.  Join the discussion on how law enforcement can interact with AVs, both on our city streets and with the trucking industry on our public roadways.  This panel discussion will cover an overview of technology and how it works, how AVs are built to responsibly and safely interact with first responders, and to educate law enforcement on how interactions with AVs can support Traffic Incident Management.

PRESENTER: Sheriff (ret.) John Whetsel, Chair, NSA Traffic Safety Committee, Ed Hutchinson, Public Safety Partnerships Manager, Cruise

 

Capping off a 50-year law enforcement career, John Whetsel retired on March 1, 2017, in his 21st year and sixth term as Oklahoma County Sheriff. John is a nationally recognized law enforcement consultant, traffic safety advocate, trainer, and speaker.

John and wife Mitzi live in Choctaw Oklahoma and attend the St. John’s Catholic Church in Edmond where he serves on the Safety and Security Committee.

Whetsel began his law enforcement career in 1967 as a night records clerk with the Midwest City OK Police Dept. During his career he served as Jones OK Chief of Police before joining Choctaw OK Police in 1973 where he served as Police Chief for 21 years before being elected Sheriff. Sheriff Whetsel has earned an associate and bachelor’s degrees and has master’s studies.

Sheriff Whetsel continues his work in traffic safety and chairs the National Sheriffs’ Assn Traffic Safety Committee, serves on the NSA Government Affairs Committee and the Lyft National Safety Advisory Committee. John is Co-Chair of the MADD National Law Enforcement Advisory Board and serves on the Federal Highways Administration Traffic Incident Management Executive Leadership Group. He has served on working groups for the National Sheriffs’ Association, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Governors’ Highway Safety Association, and International Association of Chiefs of Police.

John is a past president of the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association, the Oklahoma Chiefs of Police Association, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Sheriff Whetsel is the recipient of many honors including the Governor’s Highway Safety Assn Trail Blazer Award, the Michael J Garner Oklahoma Traffic Advocate Award, and the J. Stannard Baker Excellence in Traffic Safety Award presented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Sheriffs’ Assn.

In 2006, Sheriff Whetsel was named the Oklahoma Sheriff of the Year and in 2011 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Hall of Fame. In 2018, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Board of Chemical Tests for Alcohol & Drug Influence Hall of Fame.

Edward Hutchison serves as the Public Safety Partnerships Manager for Cruise – an autonomous vehicle ridehail company.  He has been the Policy Partnerships Manager for Roadway Safety for Lyft for about 5 years and served as a Law Enforcement Liaison for the company.  Prior, Ed spent 20 years with the National Sheriffs’ Association as the Traffic and Officer Safety Director, working on traffic safety issues and law enforcement safety and community grants. He volunteered as the Director for the National Association of Triads, Inc, (NATI), an older adult safety community outreach program, which includes older driver issues.
 
Ed also served as a member of the NSA Traffic Safety Committee, Domestic Violence/Crime Victim Services Committee and the International Association of Chiefs of Police Highway Safety Committee and was staff liaison to the Traffic Safety, DVCVS, and Drug Enforcement Committee for 20 years.  Ed served as a National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Board Member; Committee Member to the NLEOMF Names Committee; Memorial and Officer Safety Leadership Council; Fundraising Advisory Committee; and Museum Board Committee.

Pre-Flight Checklist to a UAS Program: It is not about the drones

1:00PM – 2:00PM | Room 3 | future of law enforcement

While drones might be the latest buzz-worthy technology in law enforcement, understanding not only what drones are, but their limitations, capabilities and – perhaps most importantly – what they can do for your agency and community is critical in building a successful program. Furthermore, privacy advocates are sounding the alarm about Fourth Amendment concerns when first responders utilize drones. Special focus must occur on addressing concerns about public trust, civil liberties, and the public’s right to privacy during UAS operations so that your drone program is not grounded before ever taking flight. This session will guide law enforcement leaders from real-world examples about these considerations when implementing or expanding their UAS program.

PRESENTERS: Don Redmond, VP Public Safety, BRINC, Police Captain (ret.), Mark Lang, SWAT Team, Dallas Police Department (ret.), Drone Trainer, DRINC Drones

 

Retired Chula Vista Police Captain Don Redmond has over 25 years of law enforcement experience and now works for BRINC Drones as the Vice President of Advanced Public Safety Projects. In this role, Don is focused on building future capabilities to help Public Safety save lives and effectively integrate UAS technologies into communities around the world.

Don’s law enforcement career comprised of various assignments including SWAT, SWAT Team Leader, Patrol Watch Commander, Community Policing, Professional Standards, Jail Commander, Dispatch Manager, and UAS Manager. As a Police Captain, Don oversaw Support Operations consisting of the Emergency Police Communications Center, Technology, the City Jail, and UAS Operations. He managed the Chula Vista Police Department’s groundbreaking UAS program including the Drone as First Responder (DFR) and is active in the UAS community.

Don holds a Master of Arts Degree in Administrative Leadership from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from San Diego State University. He is a graduate of California P.O.S.T. Command College (Class 64) and the FBI National Academy (Class 263). He is a published author in Police1 Magazine, FBINAA Magazine and was a contributing writer for the California P.O.S.T. De-Escalation Strategies and Techniques publication.

Mark Lang retired from the Dallas Police Department in 2022 after serving 30 years with 23 as a member of their full time SWAT team. Upon retirement Mark took a position with BRINC Drones as a drone trainer and was later promoted to Territory Account Executive. Mark advocates on a national level for increased drone utilization by law enforcement when conducting interior searches before manned entry.

Keeping Your Officers and Your Communities Safe: Optimizing Communication with Non-English Speakers

1:00PM – 2:00PM | Room 4 | legal affairs

An officer is indicted and prosecuted for excessive use of force as a result of contact with a grandfather who does not speak English and could not understand officer commands and suffered a paralyzing injury. Incidents such as these are tragic and costly. Many law enforcement agencies regularly interact with communities where English is not the first language. Understanding how to respond during these encounters promotes safety for everyone involved. This panel will equip agencies with key information to prevent costly mistakes in communication and better ensure integrity of investigations, deputy safety, public safety, and civil rights compliance. This interactive panel, from the Department of Justice Law Enforcement Language Access Initiative (LELAI), will include speakers from the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and law enforcement leaders, such as the Sheriff of Brown County, WI, to share best practices in an effort to prevent unfortunate and sometimes tragic outcomes.

PRESENTERS: Bharathi Venkatraman, Attorney and USAO Coordinator, Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and Sheriff Todd Delain, Brown County Government

 

Bharathi Venkatraman is an attorney with the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section (FCS) of the Civil Rights Division.  She has been with the Department of Justice for 27 years, primarily in the Civil Rights Division.  Her first assignment in the Civil Rights Division was as a federal prosecutor with the Criminal Section, where she rose to become Special Counsel for Trafficking in Persons.   Her achievements included functioning as one of the two lead prosecutors in United States v. Lakireddy, a high-profile human trafficking prosecution of the largest and wealthiest landowner in Berkeley, CA, for his role in trafficking numerous individuals, including juvenile sex victims, into the United States.  For her work on this case, Bharathi was named a finalist for the Federal Employee of the Year in 2001.  Bharathi has served as a faculty member on multiple occasions at the National Advocacy Center, the official training center of the U.S Department of Justice, teaching courses on human trafficking, criminal immigration statutes, use of interpreters in criminal investigations, language barriers in law enforcement, Title VI police investigations, and other topics. She has trained a variety of audiences, including judges; state and local law enforcement officers; federal agents; Assistant United States Attorneys; legal aid organizations; and others.  She has also traveled abroad on the Department’s behalf to train foreign government officials, including police and prosecutors in foreign countries.  Ms. Venkatraman is the author of various articles and other works on law enforcement interactions with limited English proficient populations, human trafficking laws, investigative techniques, and human rights.  Her writing has been featured in the DOJ Journal, United States Attorneys’ Bulletin, Police Chief Magazine, and the American University Law Review.  She also co-wrote a chapter for a medical textbook on child exploitation and human trafficking, published by G.W. Publishing.  In addition to serving as Special Counsel for Trafficking in Persons at the Criminal Section, Ms. Venkatraman has served as an Acting Deputy Chief of the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section, as well as the United States Attorney’s Office Coordinator for FCS.  Early in her career with DOJ, Ms. Venkatraman prosecuted domestic violence and sex offense cases as a Special Assistant United States Attorney at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, where she tried 18 cases and obtained 13 convictions.   She was selected for service at the Department of Justice in 1996 under the Attorney General’s Honor Program.

Anisa Rahim is an Attorney in the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section at the Civil Rights Division at the US Department of Justice where she focuses on Title VI enforcement and language access.  Prior to joining the Department of Justice, she spent 13 years at Legal Services of New Jersey where she began her career representing victims of domestic violence in final restraining order hearings.  She was most recently the Supervising Attorney of the Protect anti-trafficking initiative at LSNJ where oversaw a team that provided comprehensive civil legal assistance to victims of human trafficking, both sex and labor, throughout the state of New Jersey where she worked closely with state and federal law enforcement and victim service providers such as Covenant House-NJ.  She has trained on language access to judges, attorneys, and domestic violence agencies.  She has presented several times at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association over the years.   Before joining FCS, she was an active member of the Language Access Advocates Network (N-LAAN), a national organization that supports and engages in effective advocacy to eradicate language discrimination and promote language rights.   

Increasing Officer Safety: Understanding Domestic Violence Offenders and Strangulation

1:00PM – 2:00PM | Room 5 | officer wellness

2022 was one of the deadliest years for officers and deputies responding to incidents of domestic violence. Officer safety is a concern for all law enforcement leaders. According to the Alliance for Hope International, men who assault and strangle women are the most dangerous men, and those with a history of strangling women are one of the deadliest threats to U.S. law enforcement officers. Almost every state has acknowledged the threat that strangulation in abusive relationships imposes on victims by breaking out the crime from assault as its own felony. However, law enforcement is often unaware of the threat that men who strangle pose to them. This workshop will discuss research on and cases of officers killed in the line of duty by the hands of men who use violence in their families and strangle and highlight training, policy, and procedural strategies that departments can implement to increase officer safety.

PRESENTERS: Chief Deputy John Guard, Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, NC, and Seargeant Denise Jones, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, OH

 

John Guard is a subject-matter expert for the Office on Violence Against Women-supported National Violence Against Women Law Enforcement Training and Technical Assistance Consortium (LETTAC), the single connection point for law enforcement and partners to access tailored support to strengthen responses to gender-based violence. He is also a Chief Deputy with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office in Greenville, North Carolina. Chief Guard has over 30 years of law enforcement experience, including line level response, investigative response, first and second level supervision, and agency management. For over two and a half decades, he has specialized in investigating domestic violence cases. He has been instrumental in developing policies and procedures related to domestic violence response in Pitt County and the State of North Carolina. Throughout his career, Chief Guard has trained law enforcement officers and other allied professionals on the dynamics and nuances of domestic violence from both a law enforcement and a social justice perspective; worked with victims as a law enforcement officer and as a victim advocate; and provided information to the community members regarding domestic violence. Chief Guard has developed and implemented several innovative programs designed to increase victim safety and offender accountability. Many of these programs have been replicated by other agencies across the country. Chief Guard has received numerous awards for his efforts related to domestic violence prevention, including awards from the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the North Carolina Victims Assistance Network, the Sunshine Lady Foundation, and most recently the 2021 National Crime Victims’ Service Award for First Responders, U.S. Department of Justice – Office for Victims of Crime.

Sergeant Denise Jones is a subject-matter expert for the Office on Violence Against Women-supported National Violence Against Women Law Enforcement Training and Technical Assistance Consortium (LETTAC), the single connection point for law enforcement and partners to access tailored assistance to support effective responses to gender-based violence. Sergeant Jones has worked in law enforcement for more than 20 years and has held various assignments. She currently serves with the Clark County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Office, where she manages the intimate partner crime unit and investigates and follows up on every incident of domestic violence, strangulation, stalking, protection order violations, and sexual assault between intimate partners. Sergeant Jones trains on LGBTQ+ issues and works with community partners, service providers, advocates, and members of marginalized populations to reduce gender bias and discrimination in her community.

 

Protecting our Law Enforcement Officers (FBI Officer Safety & Wellness Tools)

1:00PM – 2:00PM | Room 6 | officer wellness

Due to the unceasing violence against our police officers and the overwhelming stress of serving in law enforcement, officer safety & wellness remains a top priority of many law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. The FBI maintains several resources, including the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Violent Person File (VPF) and the Officer Safety Awareness Training (OSAT), designed to enhance the protection of our officers especially during tactical situations. It also manages data collections, such as the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Data and the Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection (LESDC) which provide vital information toward the wellness of law enforcement officers. This panel will provide vital information to enhance the overall safety and wellness of our law enforcement officers.

PRESENTERS: Buffy Bonafield, Management & Program Analyst, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Kevin Harris, Law Enforcement Consultant, FBI, Lora Klingensmith, Management & Program Analyst, FBI, Erin Mullins, Program Analyst, FBI, and Scott Schubert, Section Chief, FBI.

Buffy Bonafield is a Management and Program Analyst with the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Throughout her 28-year career with the FBI, Buffy has primarily focused on enhancing the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) to improve officer safety. She serves as the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) for the Officer Safety Task Force, an effort to identify methods to enhance officer safety. Buffy was the project manager for the creation of the NCIC Violent Person File, which alerts officers of individuals with a propensity for violence against law enforcement.

Buffy was also the team lead for the Blue Alert Policy Group, which created an NCIC flagging mechanism to alert officers of immediate danger.  Additionally, she served as the DFO for the NCIC Third Generation (N3G) Task Force, an effort to modernize the NCIC System.  She was also the lead analyst for the creation of the NCIC Identity Theft File, NCIC Mobility and License Plate Reader Project. 

Buffy holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Fairmont State College (now known as Fairmont State University) and a master’s degree in public administration from West Virginia University. 

Next Generation Leadership: Are we preparing future leaders in law enforcement?

1:00PM – 2:00PM | Room 7 | leadership

This seminar seeks to bring mentors and new emerging leaders together to forge a discussion of law enforcement leadership in the face of an ever-changing culture. Topics include leadership principles, team dynamics, ethics, decision-making, empowerment, emotional intelligence, crisis management, conflict resolution, self-care, problem-solving, evaluation, coaching, and diversity. Self-evaluation and education can assist leaders in navigating this new culture of employees and potential employees.

PRESENTERS: Sheriff (ret.) Rodney Miller, Executive Director, West Virginia Sheriffs’ Association/University of Charleston (WV)

 

Rodney Miller, a distinguished law enforcement officer, served the community of Boone County, West Virginia, with unwavering dedication for decades. Beginning his career in law enforcement as a deputy sheriff, Miller swiftly rose through the ranks, displaying exemplary leadership, integrity, and a profound commitment to public safety.

Miller’s tenure as Sheriff of Boone County was marked by a steadfast resolve to uphold justice and protect the rights of every citizen. With a deep understanding of the unique challenges facing his community, he implemented innovative strategies to combat crime, promote community engagement, and foster trust between law enforcement and residents.

Throughout his tenure, Miller demonstrated a remarkable ability to navigate complex issues with tact and diplomacy, earning him widespread respect both within the law enforcement community and among the citizens he served.

Following his retirement from active duty, Rodney Miller assumed the role of Executive Director of the West Virginia Sheriffs’ Association. In this capacity, he continued to champion the interests of law enforcement officers across the state, advocating for policies and initiatives aimed at enhancing public safety, supporting sheriff offices, and addressing the evolving needs of communities.

As Executive Director, Miller utilized his extensive experience and expertise to forge partnerships with government agencies, community organizations, and stakeholders, driving collaborative efforts to address pressing issues such as drug abuse, mental health crises, and criminal justice reform. He served two terms in the West Virginia House of Delegates, where he became the trusted resource for fellow legislators when law enforcement issues and criminal law were considered.

Rodney Miller’s 40+ year legacy is defined by his unwavering commitment to service, his tireless advocacy for the betterment of law enforcement, and his profound impact on the safety and well-being of the people of Boone County and beyond. His dedication and leadership continue to inspire those who follow him, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of law enforcement in West Virginia.