The 2018 NGCRC 21st International Gang Specialist

Training Conference (August 6-8, 2018):

A Look at the Presenters

Last Updated: November 20, 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.

Dr. Andy Bain 

            Andy Bain is Director of Criminal Justice Studies 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 Editor of the 2016 text: Law Enforcement and Technology; co-author of Understanding the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (with Mark Lauchs); co-author of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs: A Theoretical Perspective (with Mark Lauchs & Peter Bell), and 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, edited, and reviewed for, 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.

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. 

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). 

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. 

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.

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.

Trooper Nick Homann

            Trooper Nick Homann is a 11 year veteran with the Illinois State Police. Seven years were spent in a patrol function split between the Illinois Tollways and District 11 in southern Illinois. During the W.A.V.E. initiative, Trp. Homann worked with W.A.V.E. agents on multiple occasions giving him a glimpse into inner city crime and the areas impacted by gang violence. In 2014, Trp. Homann volunteered for a new initiative aimed at combating the violent crime and gangs (mostly hybrid) negatively impacting the greater East St.Louis area. Trp. Homann assisted in the development of the Metro East Police Assistance Team (MEPAT) which would operate in one of the most violent areas of the country. MEPAT officers understand the constantly changing environment of which gangs operate and utilized focused attention to understand, document and counteract gang activities.

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.

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.

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.

Robert Mulvaney, M.A.

           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.

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.

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. 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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

Special Agent Michael Swindle

            Special Agent (S/A) Michael Swindle is a 20 year veteran of the Illinois State Police (ISP). He Spent 12 years in a patrol function where he served in northern and southern Illinois. In 2009, S/A Swindle transferred to investigations where he was assigned to the Gang and Narcotics Gun Squad (G.A.N.G.S.) And began working Operation Working Against Violent Elements (W.A.V.E.), a multi-jurisdictional criminal investigations detail centered on reducing violent crime in the East Saint Louis Community for over two years. In 2012, S/A Swindle transferred to the ISP Homicide Investigations/Violent Crimes Unit (VCU) where he investigated homicides for close to two years. In 2014, S/A Swindle assisted with planning and organizing of the ISP Metro East Police Assistance Team (M.E.P.A.T.). This new initiative focused on proactive policing to combat violent crime, homicides, and open 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. S/A Swindle instructs in a number of areas within the ISP to include Introduction to Street Gangs and police community related topics. Outside of the ISP, S/A/ Swindle is a National Police and Search and Rescue (SAR) K9 Trainer/Evaluator where he trains and certifies working dog teams in a number of K9 disciplines. S/A Swindle has a Bachelors Degree in Biology from Greenville University (Greenville, IL) and an Associate in Applied Science in Radiologic Technology from Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) (Belleville, IL).

Veronica Williams, M.S.

            Hailing from Houston Texas, a mother of two, and grandmother of 5, Veronica Williams worked as a chemical plant process operator from 1977 to 2001. After re-creating herself in the employment arena as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor in 2003, Veronica enrolled in college at age fifty. Earning her Bachelor’s of Science degree with a concentration in Human Services from Springfield College, Houston Campus, in December 2010. Veronica began taking Master’s courses with a concentration in Organizational Management and Leadership of Human Services in January of 2011 and was conferred her Master of Science degree in December 2016. She moved to Huntsville, Texas to take a position as the Supervisor of the Gang Renouncement and Dissociation (G.R.A.D.) Process at the O.B. Ellis Unit on December 6, 2012. Ms. Williams has been awarded twice by Springfield College, first for her Bachelor’s Project entitled “Homeless in Houston: The Work of the Bread of Life Ministry” in 2010 and the newly created subject matter being presented entitled “Creating a Staff Facilitated Peer Support for In-Prison Gang Renouncement Candidates” in 2017. Please welcome her as a true change agent for the betterment of society for all people.