The 2018 NGCRC 21st International Gang Specialist

Training Conference (August 6-8, 2018):

A Look at the Presenters


Last Updated: September 30, 2017


James A. Anderson, M.A.

            James A. Anderson is a Deputy State Fire Marshal in Minnesota and a State Fire Inspector. He is a fire science instructor with the Fire and Emergency Education Department at Saint Cloud Technical College. He has participated as an evaluator in numerous state level fire service certification board examinations throughout the State of Minnesota. James has presented and taught at several Minnesota state fire school conferences. James is a second generation firefighter and has been an active member in the fire service since 1993 as both civilian and military (8 years active duty Air Force Firefighter). Along with years of firefighting experience he has obtained both his M.S. and B.A. in Criminal Justice from Saint Cloud State University and an A.A.S. in Fire Science from the Community College of the Air Force, all of which have an emphasis on forensic fire science and arson investigation. James was awarded the Arnold Sibet Award for Outstanding service to the Crystal Fire Department and was awarded the Air Force’s Outstanding Unit Award with Valor while serving as a firefighter during his first deployment for Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom. Recently James was awarded the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award for the year 2012 for Superior Research.


Sally-Ann Ashton

            Sally-Ann Ashton is a postgraduate researcher in the International Centre for Investigative Psychology at University of Huddersfield and a Lecturer in Psychosocial Analysis of Offending Behavior at Edge Hill University. In 2017 she was a recipient of a Frederic Milton Thrasher Award for superior accomplishments in gang research. Sally-Ann has over 10 years of experience running training workshops in English prisons. The presentation is co-authored with Dr. Maria Ioannou, a Chartered Forensic Psychologist and Reader in Investigative Psychology and Course Director for the Msc in Investigative Psychology at the University of Huddersfield.

Maria has been involved in the assessment of intervention programmes for reducing/preventing a range of different forms of criminality. And Dr. Laura Hammond, Senior Lecturer and Assistant Course Director for the M.S.c. at Huddersfield and who has worked with academic groups, and law enforcement agencies around the world on a range of consultancy and criminal legal cases.


Norman L. Barnett 

            Norman Barnett is an Assistant District Attorney in the Douglas County District Attorney, Georgia, where he prosecutes a variety of felony cases, including violations of Georgia’s Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act and Georgia’s RICO Act. Prior to serving as a felony prosecutor, Mr. Barnett worked as a personal injury and insurance defense attorney in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Barnett earned his Bachelor of Arts (2007) and Juris Doctor (2010) from the University of Georgia. 


Dr. Gregg W. Etter Sr., Ed.D.

            Dr. Gregg W. Etter Sr., Ed.D. is a Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Central Missouri. He served with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office in Wichita, Kansas from 1977 to 2006, retiring as a Lieutenant. Dr. Etter is the author of three (3) books, six (6) chapters in books, thirty (30) refereed articles and eighteen (18) edited articles. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Wichita State University and his Doctorate Degree from Oklahoma State University.


Dr. D. Lee Gilbertson

            D. Lee Gilbertson teaches at Saint Cloud State University as a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice. He has studied gangs since 1995 and has presented research papers at numerous national and international conferences. Lee has participated in every iteration of the NGCRC gang school since it began, often bringing undergraduate and graduate students with him. He is a 2002 and 2005 recipient of the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award and is a reviewing editor of the Journal of Gang Research. Lee has collaborated on a professional level with several criminal justice agencies in Minnesota. His background in spatio-temporal analysis includes 15 years of military service as an infantry officer and as a signals intelligence analyst. Before returning to college, Lee worked briefly as a defense contractor instructing all-source intelligence collection asset management on a computer system that greatly utilized mapping techniques.


Sgt. Jesse Hambrick 

            Jesse Hambrick is presently a Sergeant in the Criminal Investigations Division at the Douglas County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office. He holds a high profile position in charge of the School Resource Officer’s Unit, composed of 15 officers, as well as several community-oriented programs. He has 25 years of law enforcement experience. He authored the book entitled Prisoners of Meth, and coordinates the Douglas County Meth Task Force. Hambrick has excelled as an investigator and has received national and state awards for excellence in the field of investigative work and leadership. Through his position at the Sheriff’s Office, Jesse Hambrick has developed and teaches several courses for law enforcement and the public, including drug and gang awareness.


Kristopher B.E. Hansgen

            Kristopher B.E.Hansgen is a graduate student at Saint Cloud State University in the Master of Science criminal justice program. He is an NGCRC certified gang specialist (2012) and has previously assisted teaching the Spatio-Temporal Gang Analysis classes at the NGCRC “Gang College”. His background includes a B.A. degree from Saint Cloud State University, where he double-majored in Criminal Justice and Psychology and minored in Forensic Science. Kris wrote two final academic research papers. He is employed in the Public Safety Department at Saint Cloud State University as a Patrol Operations Officer and Dispatch Officer. Kris has studied crime analysis and crime mapping since 2010, and is a member of the International Association of Crime Analysts.


Dr. Mario L. Hesse, Ph.D.

            Mario L. Hesse, Ph.D. is a professor of criminal justice at the St. Cloud State University (MN). Dr. Hesse’s research and teaching interests are in corrections, gangs and media and crime. Mario has extensive experience working in the corrections field (adult community-based programs, juvenile detention centers and juvenile probation). Mario has published articles in ACJS Today, Corrections Today, Great Plains Sociologist, Criminal Justice Review, and the Journal of Gang Research. Currently, Mario is a review-editor for the Journal of Gang Research and an associate editor for Forensics Scholars Today. He is a coauthor of Gangs (2016) and Juvenile Justice: The Essentials (2010) textbooks. Mario is a staff member and frequent presenter at the National Gang Crime Research Center.


Keiron McConnell 

            Keiron holds a Bachelor of General Studies Degree from the Open University of British Columbia, a Masters of Science Degree in Policing and Public Order Studies from the University of Leicester, a Diploma in Police Leadership from Dalhousie University and a Certificate in Public Sector Leadership from Royal Roads University. This academic achievement comes with 22 years of operational experience with a large Criminal Justice Agency. In addition, Keiron has provided consulting services that included the Royal Saudi Arabian Police and the Peoples Republic of China Police. He has instructed at the JIBC-Police Academy for three years in Professional Patrol Tactics and continues as a guest lecturer. In addition, he is an adjunct faculty member at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Royal Roads University, and at Douglas College in the Criminology Program. He is a regular guest instructor for the policing program at Simon Fraser University and is the author of the textbook “Legal and Regulatory Influences for Public Safety Communications”. He is currently a Doctorate Candidate at the London Metropolitan University in London, England.


Dr. Barry S. McCrary

            Dr. McCrary is currently an assistant professor at Western Illinois University (WIU) teaching in the School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration. Prior to WIU he worked for Juvenile Court and in the field of juvenile justice in Pittsburgh, PA, for over twenty years. Dr. McCrary worked as a program supervisor, where he was responsible for counseling, designing, implementing and monitoring a progressive treatment program. Other responsibilities include supervision of the probation officers, probation counselors, and drug and alcohol counselors. His responsibilities also include parent training, life skill training, and research in the area of criminal behavior. He is also the founder of Maleness to Manhood Inc, a non profit, faith based organization. The purpose of this organization is to improve the educational and social developmental needs of inner-city youth by promoting the importance of an education and designing, implementing and developing progressive programming for urban youth, particularly African American males.


Fred Moreno

            Fred is a staff member with the NGCRC; formerly an investigator with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. He is a retired police officer from the Chicago Police Department with extensive historical experience with gangs. He also heads up the NGCRC’s Goodwill Ambassador Program.


Todd D. Negola, Psy.D.

            Todd D. Negola is a clinical/forensic psychologist who has worked with the National Gang Crime Research Center for over 10 years. He also serves as the Vice President of the Pennsylvania Gang Investigator’s Association. He has been studying and researching gangs and criminal mindedness for almost 20 years. He has worked with and studied juvenile and adult criminal populations, in and out of prison, both at the state and federal levels. He conducts training and consults with federal, state and local law enforcement as well as public and private educational institutions, community programs and mental health personnel. He has published research in the Journal of Gang Research, Addiction and Research, The Journal and co-authored a chapter in the book, Treating the Juvenile Offender. He has multiple television appearances, participated in nationally syndicated and local radio programs and has consulted in gang documentaries. Lastly, he is a recipient of the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award for Superior Research and Exemplary Scholarship in the Psychology of Gangs and is a Reviewing Editor for the National Gang Crime Research Center’s Journal of Gang Research.


Stephen L. Nelson

            Steve Nelson is an Assistant United States Attorney and currently serves as the Anti-Gang Coordinator for the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah. Steve has been prosecuting (at both the federal and state levels) adult and juvenile gang members in Utah for over 13 years. In 2008, Steve was named the Utah Gang Investigators Association Gang Prosecutor of the year; in 2012, Steve was awarded the 2012 Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Award for Superior Performance as a Litigative Team for his work on a gang-related federal RICO trial. Steve earned his J.D. (2002) and Ph.D. (2010) from the University of Utah. He also serves as an Associate Instructor of Political Science at the University of Utah, and has taught over 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students in his teaching career.


Michael G. Nerheim

            Lake County State’s Attorney Michael G. Nerheim has extensive experience working in all criminal divisions of the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. As a former assistant state’s attorney and now as the Lake County State’s Attorney, his experience includes areas of complex litigation, criminal defense and municipal law. Michael G. Nerheim demonstrates strong leadership and business experience, and is heavily involved in the Lake County community.


Stacia Pottorff

            Detention Deputy Stacia Pottorff is a detention officer with the Osage County Sheriff’s Office in Linn, Missouri. She earned her Bachelor’s degree with honors in Criminal Justice at the University of Central Missouri. She is currently a graduate student in the Criminal Justice Master’s Degree Program at the University of Central Missouri. She is a member of the American Criminal Justice Association/Lambda Alpha Epsilon. She was a recipient of the 2015 UCM Undergraduate Research Grant.


Sgt. Stephen Roche

            I am a 26 year veteran of the Worcester Police Department with a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Curry College. I have presented at the following: 2006 U.S. Attorney’s Project Safe Neighborhood Seminar, Boston; 2006 Panelist U.S. Dept. Of Justice Gang Survey; 2011 Massachusetts Education Opportunity Association; 2013 U.S. Attorney’s Conference on Gang Violence, Marlboro, MA.                   


Dr. John Jacob Rodriguez

            Dr. Rodriguez is an associate professor at the University of Texas at Arlington in the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice. He has been studying, researching, and writing on gang activity for over 16 years. He has published and presented much of his work in the U.S. and abroad. He has also consulted and testified as an expert witness in multiple cases including but not limited deportation of gang members, organized crime, and various homicide cases.


Dr. Carter F. Smith, JD, Ph.D.

            Dr. Carter F. Smith, JD, Ph.D. Is a Lecturer in the Criminal Justice Administration Department at Middle Tennessee State University. He was a U.S. Army special agent with the Criminal Investigative Division for over twenty-two years. Dr. Smith is the author of five (5) books, twelve (12) refereed articles and two (2) edited articles. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay State University, his Juris Doctorate from Southern Illinois University, and his Doctorate degree from Northcentral University.


Dr. Philip J. Swift

            Dr. Philip J. Swift is a recognized gang expert and national lecturer. Dr. Swift is currently the Director of Security and the Commander of the Gang/Intelligence Unit and the K-9 Unit for the Denver Sheriff’s Department in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Swift also serves as an adjunct instructor at the Denver Sheriff’s Department Training Academy where he teaches Contraband Interdiction and Active Shooter Response as well as a wide variety of other courses as needed. Dr. Swift is a published author and holds a Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology. Dr. Swift is regularly sought out by law enforcement agencies, gang intervention/prevention groups, and community organizations to lecture about gang culture, police culture, gang intervention, jail culture, and jail based criminal activity/investigations.


Terrance L. Stone

            Terrance graduated from California State University, Los Angeles, with a credential as a State Certified Gang Intervention Specialist. He serves on several committees which include the Sand Bernadino County Sheriff’s Citizen Advisory, the San Bernardino City Chief of Police African American Advisory Committee, Executive Board Member and Chair of the San Bernardino Countywide Gangs and Drugs Task Force, past board member of the African American Chamber of Commerce, and the San Bernardino NAACP chapter. He was selected by former Mayor of San Bernardino, Pat Morris, to join his office on the California Cities Gang Prevention Network. He is committed to steering young people away from gangs. While his main program office is in San Bernardino, his program has developed offices in Atlanta, Georgia, and Phoenix, Arizona, along with Houston, Texas and Denver, Colorado.