The 2017 NGCRC 20th International Gang Specialist

Training Conference (August 7-9, 2017):

A Look at the Presenters

Last Updated: May 12, 2017

Det. Esekia “Skee” Afatasi

            Detective Esekia “Skee” Afatasi is a member of the Salt Lake Area Gang Project’s Metro Gang Task Force, a state task force housed at the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake. He has been in Law Enforcement for 13 years beginning in 2002 as a Correctional Officer in the Salt Lake County Metro Jail for 3 ½ years before becoming a road officer. He worked 3 years as a patrol officer and 2 years as a Detective in the COP (Community Oriented Policing) Unit. While working the COP Unit, he formed a localized gang unit in the Oquirrh Division called the “The OG’s” (Oquirrh Gang/Graffiti Group). This unit was formed to assist the Metro Gang Unit in combating gangs in the area. As a result of his efforts and hard work as a COP Detective, he was awarded “Deputy of the Year” in 2009 and his unit was awarded “Unit of the Year” in 2010. Skee has been a detective with the Metro Gang Unit since 2011.

James A. Anderson, M.S.

            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.


Dr. Sally-Ann Ashton

            Sally-Ann Ashton is a postgraduate researcher in the International Centre for Investigative Psychology at University of Huddersfield. Her research uses the Pathways to Desistance data to investigate the relationship of static and dynamic risk factors to gang membership and to desistance from crime. Sally-Ann has over 10 years of experience running training workshops in English prisons. The presentation is co-authored with two colleagues, first, Dr. Maria Ioannou, a Chartered Forensic Psychologist and Read in Investigative Psychology and Course Director for the M.S.c. 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 the second co-author is 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.

John Douglas “A-Train” Atkisson

            John Douglas “A-Train” Atkisson is a gang specialist with the Vel R. Phillips Juvenile Justice Center, Creator of the Atkisson Combat Tactical System, founder of the Corrections Intelligence Service (Formerly the Security Threat Group and Intelligence Unit), a mentor at Cornerstone Achievement Academy, Honorary Member of the National Latino Peace Officer’s Association who se3rved on the security detail of George Bush, a member of the Midwest Gang Investigators Association, the Great Lakes Gang Investigators Coalition, and the Midwest Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association. Mr. Atkisson is a supporter of the United Negro College Fund, The National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund. A mentor at Cornerstone Achievement, The Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Fund, Red Tail Project which honors The Tuskegee Airmen, The Native American Rights Fund. Mr. Atkisson is currently developing a business to train Law Enforcement, Corrections, and Special interest groups.


Ashley Augustin 

            Ashley Augustin attained her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado - Boulder and graduated from the California Western School of Law. Ms. Augustin has served as a prosecutor with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office for ten years. She is currently assigned to the Felony Trial Division and prosecutes any number of felonies to include violent crimes, sexual offenses, and homicides. For the past three years, Ms. Augustin has been assigned as the County’s Arson Prosecutor.


Jim Bailey

            Officer Tyler Sutherland and Officer Jim Bailey have been assigned to the Battle Creek Police Department Gang Suppression Unit for over 6 years and were road patrol officers prior to this for five years. As members of the Gang Unit, both have been directly involved as the lead investigators in a number of gang and violent crime cases that have resulted in courtroom trials and jury convictions. While participating in all aspects of gang investigations and court room prosecution, Tyler, Jim, and other members of their Battle Creek Gang Unit have been qualified as, and testified as, gang experts in U.S. District Court and the State of Michigan, more than 15 times in the last five years. One of their gang cases was the first criminal gang enhancement jury conviction in the State of Michigan since the state statute was created. Tyler and Jim have also been involved in cell phone investigations, writing and executing search warrants, surveillance techniques, undercover drug buys, and managing confidential informants. Jim is also a K-9 handler for the Battle Creek Police Department.

Dr. Andy Bain

            Andy Bain is Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Mount Union, Ohio, USA. He holds a Ph.D. in Offender Behavior, a Msc. Criminal Justice and a Graduate Diploma in Psychology. Andy is the co-author of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs: A Theoretical Perspective (with Mark Lauchs & Peter Bell), and previously co-authored Professional Risk Taking with People: A Guide to Decision-Making in Health, Social Care & Criminal Justice (with David Carson). In addition Andy has published in a number of leading international academic and professional journals. His professional background includes four years with the National Probation Service (England & Wales) and six years running a successful Criminal Justice Consultancy Group, providing guidance and advice to offender groups, law enforcement agencies and correctional bodies. This, in turn led to the publication of a number of local and national policing and corrections reports.

Michael Bickis

            Michael Bickis, a graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law, has been an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney with the Stark County Prosecutor’s Office in Canton, Ohio since 2003. Attorney Bickis, who has previously attended the NGCRC conference, serves as the office’s gang crime specialist. In addition to dealing with street gangs, he has prosecuted cases against institutional gangs, such as the Heartless Felons, inside the Indian River Juvenile Correctional Facility located in Stark County. Prior to Attorney Bickis, the office had never had a gang prosecution program. Consequently, he has had to build the gang prosecution from the ground up. Stark County has developed a successful gang prosecution program despite the lack of a full-time gang unit.

Renae Brantley

            Renae Brantley is the Managing Director of Aubergine Communications, a fund development and marketing consultancy. She works with boards on governance and strategic planning to ensure organizational readiness for growth. She began her career in the U.S. Congress, where she worked with governmental organizations, obtaining millions of dollars in federal funding for a wide range of projects. She has worked in the Fund-raising arena for 30 years. She has providing fundraising and grant writing consultant services to many organizations and law enforcement agencies. Renae’s career in fundraising spans 30 years. She is a widely sought after grantwriting consultant.

Robert M. Brzenchek

            Robert M. Brzenchek is currently the Chief Executive Officer of All Source International Security LLC based in the Philadelphia metropolitan area and travels worldwide to present/train on gangs. He augments this position with research conducted as a PhD student at Capella University with a proposed dissertation focus on predictive gang prevention programs. Robert has teamed up with current Florida law enforcement gang investigators Ben Peiper and Garrick Ploncynski to co-author The Gang Life: Laugh Now Cry Later - Suppression to Prevention. The book is published by CRC Press/Taylor Francis and will be released Fall 2016. Robert also brings his expertise into the higher education classrooms as the Criminal Justice Program Manager/Assistant Criminal Justice Professor at Peirce College in Philadelphia, PA. In the public sector, Mr. Brzenchek worked with dozens of national agencies, governments, and international organizations as a Navy Intelligence Specialist and law enforcement official. The previous experience provides him the subject matter expertise to contribute to NBC 10 as their on-air Security Expert. Mr. Brzenchek has performed suppression and intervention techniques with various gangs ranging from MS-13, Bloods, Crips, and Latin Kings in his capacity as a law enforcement official. In the private sector, Mr. Brzenchek has worked with organizations as diverse as DHS, DOD, major corporations, ports, and public utilities on security matters, risk management, policy, and technologies.

William A. Campbell

            William A. Campbell, Training Academy Coordinator/Lead training Instructor for the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice - Training Branch. Professional Certified Gang Specialist. Originally a native of Chicago, attended Christian Fenger Academy, graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. He has 21 years of experience in working with at-risk juveniles with 12 years in Juvenile Justice. He conducts training modules on a variety of topics (e.g., advanced gang identification, security threat groups, gang counseling techniques, special needs offenders, crisis prevention, and therapeutic helping relationships). He has served 8 years in the United States Army as an Artillery Cannon Crew Chief. He is also a Gulf War vet. He is a member of the National Gangs Management Task Force, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Omicron Nu Lambda Chapter at Ft. Knox, KY which mentors to young men within the community through community service projects. He has done gang presentations for Kentucky Council on Crime & Delinquency, American Corrections Association, and National Gang Crime Research Center. He is a recipient of the KY Dept of Juvenile Justice Professional Development Employee of the Year Award 2010.

Dominick Cicala

            Dominick Cicala is the Souther regional community outreach coordinator. Mr. Cicala is a 20 year veteran of the unit and is primarily responsible for all southern region community outreach. Mr. Cicala has presented gang awareness/Phoenix curriculum trainings throughout the New Jersey area. Mr. Cicala has worked closely with Cumberland County over the past five years with the implementation of the Phoenix curriculum in the Cumberland County elementary and middle schools.

Aaron Cunningham

            Aaron Cunningham is a 17 year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, currently assigned to the CPIC Fusion Center. Aaron is a highly decorated officer with extensive gang experience and past assignments to PSN Task Force, Area Gun Team, Intelligence Officer, and Tactical Team member. Aaron is also an internationalist having dedicated himself to organizing large National level Counterterrorism and C4ISR training events in North Asia. He is currently involved in training projects for the El Salvador Policia National Civil (PNC). 

Det. Kenneth Davis

            Kenneth Davis is presently a detective with the Yonkers Police Department’s Gang/Narcotics Unit. Since the early 1990s, Ken has been involved with investigating and researching active gang members and prolific graffiti writers; as well as being one of the department’s community/human relations instructor. In 2013, Ken was assigned as the department’s liaison for YMCA Project SNUG (Cure Violence/Violence Interrupters/Cease Fire) and one of the members of the Re-Entry Team (Reducing Recidivism). In addition to acquiring numerous credit hours in gang and graffiti studies, he has a MS degree in Human Resource Management from Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, New York.

Ben de Vos

            Ben de Vos is a former Correctional Services Sergeant who worked in a Medium Juvenile Correctional Center for seven years. He also worked for seven years as a Metropolitan Police Sergeant as a Central and Special Operations Sergeant in mainly gang-infested neighborhoods in and around the city of Cape Town. He was also reassigned with the Cape Town Metropolitan Police Department to its Internal Process and Business Development Section and Information Management Section where he headed and helped establish its Research and Development Section. He holds a BA and Master Degree in Public Administration from the University of the Western Cape. He was also a doctoral candidate in Criminology from the University of Cape Town. He recently held the position of head lecturer in Criminal Justice at Better Best FET College.

James Duffy

            James Duffy’s Law enforcement career began in 1975 working for the Bensenville Police Department. There he served until 2001, retiring as a patrol Sergeant. He is currently employed by the Du Page County States Attorneys Office as an Investigator. He has been involved with gathering intelligence on motorcycle gangs since 1996. James is also an instructor for North East Multi-Regional Training, NEMRT where he teaches patrolmen and gang specialists how to recognize and survive encounters with motorcycle gangs. He has been an instructor for the International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association Conference, Des Moines, Iowa; Midwest Cycle Intelligence Organization; and the Illinois State Police in preparation for the Hells Angel USA Run 2013. Testified as Motorcycle Gang Expert, 2015 McHenry County, IL.

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 retired as a Lieutenant with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office in Wichita, Kansas after serving from 1977 to 2006. He is rated as a gang expert by the National Gang Crime Research Center. He has written extensively and presented classes on gangs, white supremacist groups and police management topics in the United States and Canada. Dr. Etter earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Wichita State University and his Doctorate degree from Oklahoma State University.

Br. Jim Fogarty

            Brother Jim Fogarty holds a M.Div. Degree and operates the program known as Brothers and Sisters of Love in Chicago, Illinois. It is affiliated with Catholic Charities. It is a faith-based peace making program specializing in outreach to gang members on the streets of Chicago.

Robert “Bob” Fuller

            Senior Investigator Robert “Bob” Fuller is a thirty-eight year veteran of law enforcement. Bob retired from the Adams County Sheriff’s Department as a Sergeant assigned to the Metro Gang Task Force after twenty-six years. Bob has been with the Denver District Attorney’s Office for the past twelve years, assigned to the Witness Protection Unit/Metro Gang Task Force. Bob has been assigned to the Metro Gang Task Force for a total of twenty three years. Bob has participated in numerous wiretap/conspiracy / R.I.C.O. Federal and Colorado Organized Crime Control Act State investigations over the course of his assignment at Metro Gang Task Force. In 2011, he received the Colorado Attorney Generals Excellence in Law Enforcement Award for Gang Investigations.

D. Lee Gilbertson, Ph.D.

            D. Lee Gilbertson has been teaching research methods since August 2000 at Saint Cloud State University. He has consulted with law enforcement in the areas of forensic victimology, crime analysis, and racial profiling. He has studied gangs, militias, and extremist groups since 1995, and has presented at numerous national and international conferences. Lee is a published author and has participated in 14 of the NGCRC Gang Colleges, is a two-time recipient of the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award, is a reviewing editor of the Journal of Gang Research, and is a member of the NGCRC staff. His background includes a doctorate in sociology, masters in criminal justice, and 16 years of exemplary military service (infantry and signals intelligence).

Tarra Grammenos, M.S.

            Tarra Grammenos, M.S., SC:L, NIC Advanced is an American Sign Language Interpreter in Minnesota. She holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice, Graduate Certificate in Legal Interpreting, Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology of Deviance, and an Associate’s Degree in ASL Interpreting. She also holds legal and national certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, and has worked in the Deaf Community for almost 15 years.

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.

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, Criminal Justice Review, and the Journal of Gang Research. Currently, Mario is a reviewing 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 frequent presenter at the National Gang Crime Research Center’s annual training conference.

Jewel N. Jones, MPA

            Jewel N. Jones, MPA. Jewel has worked in juvenile justice for over 16 years. She is currently a Juvenile Parole Officer and the STG/Gang Coordinator with the State of Ohio. As a Certified Gang Specialist, she serves as the contact for intelligence regarding local gang and organized crime activity within Cleveland and surrounding areas as well as providing supervision for adjudicated youth that have been committed to ODYS. She is the juvenile liaison at PSN STANCE Law Enforcement Executive Meetings with FBI. Her responsibilities are networking, discussion, and collaboration with all law enforcement in development of initiatives to keep our communities safe. Prior to ODYS, Jewel was a Program Manager for the Gang Prevention program within Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction; a Patrol Officer for Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Department; and an Investigative Case Worker for Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services.

Dr. Janice Joseph

            Janice Joseph, Ph.D. is a professor of the Criminal Justice Program at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She is the Editor for Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice. She earned her Ph.D. degree from York University in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of the book: Black Youths, Delinquency, and Juvenile Justice; and she co-edited the book With Justice for All: Minorities and Women in Criminal Justice; and she has published numerous articles on delinquency, gangs, violence against women, and minorities and crime. She has earned a Frederic Thrasher Award for her research on gangs and has successfully completed several gang specialist training programs at the National Gang Crime Research Center.

Kevin Kreuser

            Kevin Kreuser, B.S., Psychology, Loyola University of Chicago; 18 years as a Probation Officer — Cook County, ILL. Juvenile Court.

Edwin Lee

            Edwin Lee is the director of New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission Juvenile Parole and Transitional Services. Edwin Lee, Jr. Was appointed as Director of Juvenile Parole & Transitional Services in April 2013. In this position, he oversees the JJC’s juvenile parole efforts and community reentry services throughout the state. Director Lee has been an integral part in the development of aftercare planning for the gang involved residents of the JJC. Mr. Lee is a graduate of the College of New Jersey, majoring in Law and Justice with a minor in sociology.

Det. James Louis

            James Louis is presently a Detective in the Community Response Division(Juvenile Unit) at the West Palm Beach Police Department. Louis has eight years Law Enforcement experience. Detective Lois has served as the Department’s Juvenile Arrest and Monitor (JAM) officer for the past 5 years. In 2014 Detective Louis and his team were named the Gang Unit of the Year by the Florida Gang Investigators Association for their diligent work in the community. Louis is very passionate about reducing crime involving youth violence in the community.


Stine Lukowski

            Stine Lukowski is working in the municipality of Koege and the Danish National Police Force. In Koege Stine is working with crime prevention targeting gang and OMǴs. The goal is to prevent recruiting, motivate existing members to leave the gang and structuring exit programs for those who choose to do so. In the Danish National Police force, Stine is working together with law enforcement officers and the prison and probation service. Together they are supporting, teaching, developing and evaluating exit strategies nationwide.

Sarah Lund

            Sarah Lund has been employed as a Crime Lab Technician with the Omaha, NE Police Department Crime Lab since 2010. Past experience includes working as a Correctional Officer with the State of Minnesota Department of Corrections, and part-time adjunct faculty at St. Cloud State University, in St. Cloud, MN, as the instructor of the Forensic Photography course. She is a graduate of the Criminal Justice Master of Science program at SCSU, where she also earned her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. As part of her undergraduate thesis research, Sarah interned with the Forensic Imaging Bureau of the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner Department, photographing autopsies, death scenes, and evidence, and authored a photography manual for law enforcement. This year marks her twelfth year of attendance at the NGCRC training conference, the ninth year presenting with the NGCRC, and the ninth year serving as the official NGCRC conference photographer.


Kate Mahoney, MSW, LCSW

            Kate Mahoney has devoted the past 25 years to leading an organization that is recognized for its cutting edge approaches to preventing and treating substance abuse problems. She has presented at national conferences in Atlanta, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Dallas and New Orleans. Her expertise in the addiction treatment field has won her the prestigious Dole/Nyswander Award from the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence, the Judy Miller Award from the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association as well as the George Schwab Distinguished Service Award also from the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association.

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. 

Felix Mickens

            Felix Mickens is the Deputy Executive Director of Operations for the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission. Mr. Mickens is directly responsible for the daily operations within the secure care facilities within the JJC. He is also responsible for management of the JJC gang management unit. Mr. Mickens is a graduate of Rutgers University, majoring in Administration of Justice and minoring in sociology.

Allen Mitchell

            Allen Mitchell is the coordinator for the NJ JJC Gang Management Unit. He is responsible for the day to day coordination of the GMU. Mr. Michell is a 20 year veteran of the JJC. He holds a Administration of Justice from Rutgers with a minor in sociology. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity from New Brunswick Theological Seminary.


FTO Steven Mooney

            Steven Mooney is presently a Field Training Officer in the Patrol Division at the West Palm Beach Police Department. Mooney has thirteen years Law Enforcement experience. Mooney is also one of the creators of Operation Youth Violence which has been presented at numerous events to include: The Florida Gang Investigators Association Annual Conference, the Annual Gang Prevention and Intervention Summit, and the National Conference for Preventing Crime in the Black Community. Mooney also serves on the Department’s SWAT team.

Fred Moreno 

            Fred Moreno is a veteran of the Chicago Police Department, retiring with the rank of Gang Specialist. For the past 8 years, he has been served as an investigator with the Cook County State’s Attorney Office — Gang Investigation Section. Fred is also the co-chair of the NGCRC’s Vet Reception, being held this year and in previous years. Fred is also host of the NGCRC Opening Ceremony.

Robert Mulvaney

           Robert Mulvaney has an extensive background in the Criminal Justice field including positions as a correctional officer, prison counselor, parole officer and STG specialist. In addition he has taught numerous Criminal Justice courses as an adjunct faculty member. He has been a member/coordinator of various research and prevention organizations and has conducted Gang/STG related training at various levels of local, state and federal government. He has also written articles for professional correctional organizations as well as the Journal of Gang Research.

Detective William Kimball Murdock

            William Kimball Murdock is an Atlanta Police Department Detective with 22 years of experience. He currently serves in the department’s Gang Unit and is assigned as a Task Force Officer with the FBI Atlanta Gang Task Force. Detective Murdock has been a primary case agent on both large and small scale federal and state investigations leading to the indictment and arrest of more than 100 gang members. Detective Murdock has testified as a gang expert several times in Georgia and regularly instructs Georgia law enforcement on topics ranging from Gangs to Search and Seizure law. Detective Murdock is a member of the Georgia Gang Investigators Association and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice (Summa Cum Laude) from Herzing University.

Kris Murphy

            Kris Murphy, CLF, SSW, Salt Lake Area Gang Project, Gang Programs Director. Kris has worked with at risk youth for 18 years, the last 8 specifically with gang involved youth. In 2008 she developed and directed the Ogden CROSS Gang Intervention Program in Ogden, Utah. The CROSS program was labelled highly effective by an independent evaluation conducted by the University of Utah. Kris joined the Salt Lake City Area Gang Project in 2014 to develop and implement intervention and prevention services throughout Salt Lake County. During her time working with gang issues, she has provided intense intervention services for over 200 high risk, gang involved youth, ages 12-20. Kris also provides prevention and intervention training and education for school administrators, educators, program managers, juvenile courts and juvenile justice services.

Sgt. William Nealy

            William Nealy is a Sergeant in the Community Response Division (Juvenile Unit) at the West Palm Beach Police Department. Nealy has twelve years Law Enforcement experience. Nealy is one of the creators of Operation Youth Violence which has been presented at numerous events to include: The Florida Gang Investigators Association Annual Conference, the Annual Gang Prevention and Intervention Summit, and the National Conference for Preventing Crime in the Black Community. Nealy was also recognized by Congresswoman Lois Frankel for the outstanding work being done in the local community.

Dr. Todd D. Negola

            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.

Detective William Noon

            Detective Noon is a 20 year veteran of the Toledo Police Department. Detective Noon has been assigned to the Toledo Police Gang Unit for 14 years and a Task Force with the BATF for 7 years. Detective Noon has been recognized as an expert in numerous gang trials.

Deepa Patel, CSOTP, LCSW

            Ms. Patel (CSOTP, LCSW) is currently the Executive Director of Trauma and Hope, LLC, in Springfield, Virginia. Her practice specifically focuses towards victims of violence, sexual exploitation, gang prevention and intervention, and sex offender evaluations and treatment. She previously was the Coordinator of the Sex Offender Program and Director of the Gang Intervention and Sexual Exploitation Programs at an Outpatient Clinic in Springfield, Virginia. Ms. Patel is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Certified Sex Offender Treatment Provider, and is a Gang Specialist through the National Gang Crime Research Center. She is a dynamic clinician who has developed an expertise in non-voluntary clients, specifically juvenile and adult gang members and sex offenders. For the past eleven years, she has developed a proficient style of work with adolescents who are gang involved. Through her understanding and clinical devotion to her clients, she has widened her competency to develop an outpatient and inpatient treatment program for female gang controlled sexual exploitation victims. The inpatient treatment program specifically serves victims of sexual exploitation and has been implemented in six residential facilities. Ms. Patel has a unique ability to relate to her clients that has resulted in her having significant success treating her clients. Ms. Patel is often sought out throughout the USA and abroad to provide training and education regarding gang involved youth, sexual exploitation and sex offenders. Her passion and competency in her outpatient therapeutic program with gangs and gang controlled sexual exploitation victims led her to become a recipient of the 2012 Frederic Milton Thrasher Award for Superior Service in Gang Prevention. In addition, she was selected in 2013 for the CACIE (Central American Community Impact Exchange) an initiative formed by the FBI and the White House and the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence against Children in Holland to share her success in treatment for gang involved youth, victims of sex trafficking and sex offenders. In addition, she is the Victim Services Chair for the Just Ask Prevention Project which is a statewide prevention human trafficking project and a member of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force.

Stacia Pottoroff

            Ms. Stacia Pottoroff, B.S. is a graduate student in Criminal Justice 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 Undergradaute Research Grant and the UCM 2016 Graduate School Travel Grant.

Roger L. Rice

            Proudly served in the United States Navy, currently a Training Administrator for the State of Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. Worked at the Cheltenham Youth Facility as a Youth Supervisor up a Unit Manager of a living cottage for 13 years. Supervised the Prince George’s County Evening Reporting Center which utilizes the “Cook County” model which is a detention alternative for 7 years. Certified Instructor with the Maryland and Police Training Commission since 1996. Certified as an Instructor in Crisis Prevention and Management, Suicide Prevention and Education, Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse Neglect, Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking, Verbal De-Escalation, First Aid/CPR/AED, Prison Rape Elimination Act, Gang (Youth) Awareness, Youth Mental Health First Aid, Safety & Security, Report Writing, Driver Improvement. Received Instructor of the Year for 2011.


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. Jeffrey P. Rush

            This is Dr. Jeffrey P. Rush. I am in my 24nd year of college teaching and I am an assistant professor at Troy University. My areas of expertise include terrorism/homeland security, gangs, law enforcement, leadership and juvenile justice. A published author in all these areas, I am a graduate of SWOTT and I’m certified as an Instructor with State and Local Terrorism Training (SLATT). I was an active duty street cop for approximately ten years and have been a reserve deputy sheriff since 1988 working in courtroom security for approximately ten years and currently assigned as a patrol deputy sergeant. I served as a juvenile probation officer for five years and for the past 20 years have worked in private security (including retail, concerts, special events and executive protection). A past president of the Southern Criminal Justice Association, I am an author and trainer and (soon to be) former co-editor of The Police Forum. My doctorate is in Public Administration from the 2009 college football national champions the University of Alabama (Rooooolllll Tide), my Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice all were received from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Eddie Savage

            Task Force Officer Eddie Savage is an 11 year member of the Waterloo Police Department. He graduated from the Cook County Police Academy in September 1992 and the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy in 2007. He spent 3.5 years on the Violent Crimes Apprehension Team. He is currently assigned to the FBI Waterloo Safe Streets Task Force. He teaches at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy at Hawkeye Community College. He conducts gang talks to various community organizations throughout the city of Waterloo. He has earned two gang specialist certificates from the NGCRC and is a member of the Midwest Gang Investigators Association.

Gregory E. Scarbro

            Mr. Scarbro has been with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for thirty-five years, serving in a program management capacity for a majority of that time. He currently serves as the Unit Chief for the FBI, Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS), Biometric Services Section (BSS), Customer Support Unit. He is responsible for all customer service outreach associated with the various FBI BSS person-centric services. He formally served as the Unit Chief for the FBI, Uniform Crime Reporting Program and as Program Manager for the development of the FBI CJIS Division advisory policy process.

Tom Schneider, M.S.

            Tom Schneider retired from the Cook County Illinois Juvenile Probation Department in January of 2013 after forty years on the street as a juvenile probation officer. He holds a BA degree from the University of Illinois Chicago in the Administration of Criminal Justice and a M.S. degree from Chicago State University in Correction and Criminal Justice. He is currently conducting Anger Management/Violence Prevention groups for juvenile probationers and is the Director of Project Lifeline, the Cook County Juvenile Court scholarship program.

Douglas L. Semark, Ph.D.

                        Douglas L. Semark, Ph.D. has been a nonprofit leader for more than three decades, including 12 years as Executive Director of the Gang Alternatives Program in Los Angeles County. He provides professional develoment in the area of gang prevention to the LAUSD K-12 school counselors; serves in various advisory capacities with local law enforcement, including LAPD and LASD; works on various city and county agencies in the areas of violence reduction and community rebuilding; and works actively with nationally-known academic institutions and corporations to improve the quality of life, health, and equity for kids and families in gang-controlled and violent communities. He is currently the Director of the Gangfree Life Academy®.

Carter F. Smith, J.D., Ph.D.

            Carter was a special agent in Army CID for over twenty-two years. He served fifteen of those years at Fort Campbell, KY, where he identified the growing gang problem in the early 1990s and later started the Army’s first Gang & Extremist investigations team. He investigates and researches topics like spontaneous gang formation, military-trained gang members, gangs and their use of technology, and gang members in colleges and universities. He has been interviewed about gangs by several news sources, and has appeared twice in the History Channel’s Gangland series. He was a founding (and still serving) board member of the Tennessee Gang Investigators Association, and is a recipient of the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award of the National Gang Crime Research Center.

Earl Smith

            A teacher and administrator of at-risk youth for over 20 years in the Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Supervise staff that service over 40,000 foster youth and homeless students in San Bernardino county. I am the current Executive Director of the San Bernardino Countywide Gangs and Drugs Task Force.

Grant E. Smith

            Mr. Grant Smith is a member of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) National Crime Information Center (NCIC) external training staff. Mr. Smith is a retired police officer with twenty-two years of law enforcement experience. For twelve of the twenty-two years, he was assigned to a multi-jurisdiction and multi-agency narcotics and violence crime task force as a task force agent and supervisor. Other law enforcement experience includes time in the Patrol Division, Investigations Division, and as a Special Response Team as a team leader. He also served as an investigator on the county’s Child Sexual Abuse Task Force. Additionally, he was a member of the department’s Counter Drug Reaction Team, and the department’s Police Honor Guard. Immediately upon retirement from the police department, Mr. Smith served as a member of a forensic team with the Combined Explosive Exploitation Cell (CEXC) in Baghdad, Iraq.

            As an FBI training instructor, Mr. Smith conducts training for municipal, county, state and federal agencies. He is also part of the FBI’s New Agent Training Team in Quantico, VA and participates in CJIS internal training. In 2015, Mr. Smith was the recipient of the Frederic Thrasher Award for Superior Service in Law Enforcement Training. Mr. Smith is a United States Navy Veteran.

Eric Dean Spruth

            Eric Dean Spruth is a trained artist, graduating from the school of the Art Institute of Chicago with an undergraduate degree in fine art with a minor in psychology and philosophy, and a Master’s degree in art therapy. He has served as a professor at the Adler School of Professional Psychology Art Therapy program. An expressive art therapist with the Cook County Bureau of Health & Mental Health Services/Cermak Health at the Cook County Jail. A victim advocate at the Cook County’s Victim Witness Program. Spruth has a private practice in Chicago as well as the founder of Sacred Transformations. His efforts have been featured and recognized by many forms of media.

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.

Sgt. Tom Strausborger

            Sergeant Tom Strausborger is assigned to the Fort Wayne Police Department’s Gang and Violent Crimes Unit and has been an officer for twenty years. Prior to his current assignment he has worked in Vice and Narcotics, the Investigative Support Division as well as patrol. He is also currently the Assistant Team Commander for the Emergency Services Team (SWAT) and the Sniper Team Leader. Sergeant Strausborger also works as an Adjunct Professor for Indiana Tech University and works as a Security Consultant for low-income/section 8 housing complexes.

Tyler Sutherland

            Officer Tyler Sutherland and Officer Jim Bailey have been assigned to the Battle Creek Police Department Gang Suppression Unit for over 6 years and were road patrol officers prior to this for five years. As members of the Gang Unit, both have been directly involved as the lead investigators in a number of gang and violent crime cases that have resulted in courtroom trials and jury convictions. While participating in all aspects of gang investigations and court room prosecution, Tyler, Jim, and other members of their Battle Creek Gang Unit have been qualified as, and testified as, gang experts in U.S. District Court and the State of Michigan, more than 15 times in the last five years. One of their gang cases was the first criminal gang enhancement jury conviction in the State of Michigan since the state statute was created. Tyler and Jim have also been involved in cell phone investigations, writing and executing search warrants, surveillance techniques, undercover drug buys, and managing confidential informants. Jim is also a K-9 handler for the Battle Creek Police Department.

Lt. Timothy T. Tyler

            Lieutenant Timothy T. Tyler assumed the position of MEPAT Detail Commander on July 1, 2014. In this capacity, he oversees ISP Troopers and Special Agents serving in the Metro East area of Illinois. The sustaining goal of MEPAT is to improve the safety and qualify of life for citizens in these communities by reducing gang activity. This new initiative focuses on pro-active policy to combat violent crime, homicides, and pen air drug sales in and around the Metro East area through consensual encounters, traffic stops, and reports from concerned citizens through the use of overt and covert police units. MEPAT’s primary responsibilities include gathering intelligence, carrying out investigations, applying suppression/enforcement, and offering education (for prevention and intervention purposes). 

Det. Ricky Valdez

            Ricky Valdez has been in law enforcement for nearly 20 years and the majority of his law enforcement career has focused on working some particular aspects of gangs. He is currently assigned as a Detective with the Metro Gang Task Force (MGTF) in Denver, and his parent agency is the Lakewood Police Department. He has been recognized as a gang expert for the purpose of court room testimony surrounding gang culture, mannerisms, and dynamics. He has worked gang cases involving racketeering at both the State and Federal level. He has operated in an undercover capacity posing as a gang member for the sole purpose of a murder-for-hire, the purchasing of firearms, and controlled substances. He was awarded the first-ever Detective of the Year Award through the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office and also the 2015 Detective of the Year Award from the Lakewood Police Department.

Dr. Wendell C. Wallace

            Dr. Wendell C. Wallace is a Barrister and a renowned Criminologist in Trinidad and Tobago. He has over fifteen years of progressive policing experience and has dealt with gang members and gang investigation at differing levels and has researched and published on female gang activity in Trinidad. He is a lecturer in criminology and criminal justice at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. He teaches courses in delinquency and juvenile justice, criminal justice systems, sentencing, corrections, and prison reform. He is a member of the Association of Carribean Criminal Justice Practitioners (ACCJP).


ADA Kristi Wilson

            Kristi Wilson is presently an Assistant District Attorney with the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office. Currently, she holds the position as lead prosecutor in the Juvenile Court of Douglas County. Ms. Wilson also prosecutes cases in the Superior Court of Douglas County. For the last three years, Ms. Wilson’s focus has been on prosecuting criminal street gang activity and often involves the transfer of juveniles to adult court. As a former chair of the Young Lawyer’s Division of the Georgia Bar’s Community Service Committee, Ms. Wilson has dedicated hundreds of hours volunteering in neighborhoods impacted by criminal street gangs. Ms. Wilson also works with elementary schools to educate students on criminal street gangs and the risks they pose.

Doris D. Yates, Ph.D.

            Twenty nine years with CSU East Bay, Hayward, CA in the department of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism. Have attended 13 of the 16 NGCRC conferences and have presented at 12. Former recipient of the Thrasher Award, member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Gang Research, and the 2011 recipient of the NGCRC “Spirit Award”. During the 2011 and 2012 conferences offered presentations that garnered participants continuing education units. During the 2011 conference completed requisite hours for the Mental Health First Aid first responder certificate.