The 2018 NGCRC 21st International Gang Specialist

Training Conference (August 6-8, 2018):

A Look at the Presenters

Last Updated: June 18, 2018

Robert Almonte

            Robert Almonte has conducted research in Mexico and in the United States on various icons used by Mexican Cartels and Gangs. Robert has extensive law enforcement experience including 25 years with the El Paso Police Department (Texas) where he worked as a Narcotics Unit Detective and Narcotics Unit Commander. As Captain and Deputy Chief, Robert oversaw the Major Crimes Bureau, which included the Gang and Narcotics Units. Robert was also the United States Marshal for the Western District of Texas for six years. Robert has received numerous awards, including National recognition as the “Outstanding High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force Commander” by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He is also the creator and producer of the law enforcement training DVD “Patron Saints of the Mexican Drug Underworld”. He has testified in State and Federal Court as a subject matter expert regarding the use of “Patron Saints” by the Mexican Cartels and Gangs. He has conducted training for thousands of law enforcement officers throughout the United States and overseas.

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.


Corporal Jim Bailey

            Corporal Jim Bailey has been with the Battle Creek Police Department for over 13 years, and has been assigned to the Battle Creek Police Department Gang Suppression Unit for over 6 years. Corporal Bailey has been directly involved in many of the same gang investigations as Detective Sutherland, and has assisted as one of the lead investigators with Detective Sutherland, on many of the same violence crime investigations. Corporal Bailey has also been involved in cell phone investigations, writing and executing search warrants, surveillance techniques, undercover drug buys, and managing confidential informants. Corporal Bailey has been recognized in Michigan State District Court and Circuit Court as an expert in drug trafficking and drug investigations, identifying armed subjects, and cell phone site analyses. Corporal Bailey is currently a K-9 handler for the Battle Creek Police Department and is a member of the department’s Emergency Response Team. He is a Defensive Tactics Instructor and a Patrol Training Officer for the Battle Creek Police Department. He has also received Instructor certification for Active Shooter Response for Civilians, through the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at Texas State University.

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 has authored, and edited numerous books, chapters, and articles, on the outlaw motorcycle gangs; law enforcement and technology; and, professional risk working with mental health, social care, and criminal justice, publishing with 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 law enforcement agencies and correctional bodies. This, in turn led to the publication of a number of local and national policing and corrections reports.

Dr. Michelle Baker

            Dr. Michelle Baker, has extensive experience in directing programs geared towards reducing recidivism. Dr. Baker has conducted research to assist public schools reintegrate adolescent African American males post incarceration. She is the Executive Director of VETTS (Veterans Empowering Teens Through Support), Inc. A mentoring organization that matches honorably discharged veterans with identified gang associated youth. The VETTS program provides a supportive one-on-one relationship to the youth within their community 24 hours/7 days a week. She is also an Educational Advisor for Naugatuck Valley Community College, preparing high school students for post-secondary education.


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. 

Kristi Bender

            Kristi Bender is a Specialized Substance Abuse Supervision Probation Officer for the Post Release Supervision clients in Lincoln, NE. She is a trainer in Reflective Dialogue and gangs for the State of Nebraska Probation System. She is a board member of the Nebraska Coalition for Victims of Crime (NCVC), a member of the Midwest Gang Investigators Association and American Probation and Parole Association, a member of the Lancaster County Gang Task Force, a Teammates mentor and an 11 year veteran of the Nebraska Probation System. She has worked closely with multiple community organizations to share and build gang intelligence in her community. She uses evidence based practices in her supervision of her clients to develop case plans targeting those areas of crime-producing risk in an effort to reduce the persons’s risk of recidivism. Officer Bender is the ‘gang specialist in her district’ and aids her agency in identifying current gang members.

Dr. Catherine Burton

            Dr. Catherine Burton holds a sociology and has taught in sociology, criminal justice, and political science departments at the university level. Catherine earned her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, and her dissertation focused on social justice issues related to homicide victimization. She has taught for 24 years in areas of race/ethnicity and crime, organized crime, and gangs. Sh is currently teaching for Anderson University in South Carolina.

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 24 years of experience in working with at-risk juveniles. 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 a Field Artillery Special Weapons crew chief. He also served a tour of duty in Desert Storm and was stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division until he was honorably discharged in February 1993. 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.

Ryan Clancy

            Ryan Clancy is a graduate student at the University of Central Missouri in the Master’s Degree program in Criminal Justice. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Central Missouri. He is a member of the American Criminal Justice Association / Lambda Alpha Epsilon.

Michael Coghlan

            Michael Coghlan is a certified gang specialist accredited through the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Springfield Police Department. He served as a trainer for gang crime specialist certification. He is a recipient of the Thrasher Award and has provided training throughout the United States for the National Law Enforcement Institute. He coordinated the investigation and prosecution of 24 gang members in a series of conspiracies, solicitation, and offenses including drive-by shootings and gang-related murder.

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). 

Kenneth Davis

            Kenneth Davis is a retired detective with the Yonkers Police Department. Upon his 32 years of completion, his assignments included basic patrol, tactical patrol force, public housing unit, narcotics (street and undercover operations), community affairs division (gangs, graffiti, and police instructor), school resource officer, gangs and narcotics unit, and detective division. Ken acquired a MS degree in Human Resource Management from Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY (August 1996). In addition, he maintains numerous accredited hours in the fields of law enforcement development, street gangs research/investigations, graffiti research/investigations, online resources/open source intelligence, and police/community issues. Ken has served as the department’s liaison for YMCA Project SNUG (Cure Violence/Violence Interrupter/Cease Fire) and Westchester Department of Corrections’s Recidivism Reduction Team.

Duane Deskins

            I was an instructor at Harvard Law School, Northeastern University School of Criminal Justice, and Case Western Reserve University Law School. From 1982 to 2013, I served as an AUSA in Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, and Cleveland, directed over 1,000 criminal investigations and litigated 80 federal criminal trials and numerous federal appeals. From 2013 to 2016, I served as the First Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, Chief of the Juvenile Division, and Director of Juvenile Crime Prevention; where I launched created a juvenile gang unit, successfully investigating and prosecuting over 300 gang members. In 2017 to present I served as Cleveland’s first Chief of Prevention, Intervention, and Opportunity for Youth and Young Adults leveraging over $1 million to launch a series of initiatives and opportunities for Cleveland.

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.

Luis Flores-Montalvo

            Luis Flores-Montalvo is a 24 year veteran of El Salvador’s Policia National Civil including ten years with the Grupo Maritimo Policial (GMP) where he conducted interagency work with DEA. Luis is an accomplished in-service training instructor with long term roles in specialized training. He is currently involved in an Officer Survival training project with El Salvador’s Policia Nacional Civil (PNC). He is the recipient of numerous agency awards and recognition.

Brother Jim Fogarty

            The chair of the 2018 NGCRC Christian Gang Specialist Reception is Brother Jim Fogerty assisted by George Knox (NGCRC staff). The format this year will be a luncheon format with guest speakers, door prizes, etc. Brother Jim Fogarty is a lay person with the organization called Brothers and Sisters of Love. Jim has a strong background in trying to prevent gang violence. He has a Masters in Divinity from Catholic Theological Union. His “work clothes” are unique to his gang violence prevention ministry. He wears a habit made of patches of blue-jean material donated from the families of persons killed in gang violence.

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.

Derek Gruen

            Derek Gruen is a licensed clinical social worker and the clinical supervisor for the mental health department at Gads Hill Center. He has a master of social work degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Derek spent the past eight years working with children and adolescents in Chicago Public Schools including several years of intensive work with gang members.

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.

Dr. Laura Hammond

            Dr. Laura Hammond, Senior Lecturer and Assistant Course Director for the Msc at the University of Huddesrfield. She has worked with academic groups, and law enforcement agencies around the world on a range of consultancy and criminal legal cases.


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.

Sgt. Brian Hill

            Sgt. Brian Hill is a 19-year veteran of the Tulsa, OK Police Department and is currently assigned as the Organized Gang Unit Sergeant. Previous assignments include SWAT, Internal Affairs, Firearms Training Unit Rangemaster and Field Patrol Supervisor. Hill has been involved in the planning and execution of approximately 1,500 search warrants in the roles of investigator, supervisor and SWAT officer. Hill is a nationally known small-arms instructor and has been teaching professionally for the last 15 years. Hill is a member of IALEFI, ILEETA, NTOA, NLEFIA and is a state/nationally certified instructor with numerous organizations/manufacturers. Hill is also a national certified EMT (NREMT) concurrent with his full-time law enforcement profession. Hill also serves as the Operations Director for the tactical training company, “Shooting-Performance”. Hill is in charge of all government contracting and other business development activities with Shooting-Performance. Hill is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and was a scholarship member of the OU wrestling team.

Brian R. Holmes

            Brian R. Holmes is the Supervisor of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Gang and Complex Homicide Unit. He is a 27 year veteran of that office and has spent the last 19 years in the office’s elite Gang Crimes Unit. In June of 2017, he was tapped by State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to head the newly formed Gang and Complex Homicide Unit. He currently supervises that unit which consists of 26 attorneys and 4 support staff dedicated to the prosecution of Gang and Complex Homicides in Cook County, Illinois. He is responsible for investigations into “cold” homicides, multiple offender and victim homicides, complex homicides, RICO and organized street gang operations and activities. His unit is tasked with the vertical prosecution of the City of Chicago and suburban Cook County’s most difficult and complex homicide, gang and weapon offenses. Yearly, this unit achieves over an 80% jury trial conviction rate. Mr. Holmes was appointed a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois by the Department of Justice to assist with the prosecution and investigations of joint federal and state weapons and gang offenses. In 2005, he received the United States Department of Justice Award for Public Safety. In 2006 he was named State’s Attorney of the year by the Illinois Crime Commission and has received the Cook County Crime Stoppers Law Enforcement Award of Excellence in 2012 and 2016. In 2017, he received the Chicago Crime Commission Award for Law Enforcement Excellence. Mr. Holmes earned his Bachelor of Science in Commerce from DePaul University and received his Juris Doctorate Degree in 1991 from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

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.

Dr. Maria Ioannou

            Dr. Maria Ioannou, a Chartered Forensic Psychologist and Read 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.

Jewel N. Jones, MPA

            Jewel N. Jones, M.P.A. is a Human Services Program Administrator / Gang Intervention Administrator with the Ohio Department of Youth Services (ODYS) and the Security Threat Group Coordinator for Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility in Highland Hills, Ohio. In this capacity, she serves as the contract 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 official representative for ODYS at the PSN STANCE Law Enforcement Executive Meetings held monthly with FBI. Her responsibilities including networking, discussion, and collaboration with all Law Enforcement Executives in development of initiatives to keep our communities safe. Her 18 years of expertise is in law enforcement; social service; and philanthropy (specific to her commitment and dedication in working with youth returning to the community). Jewel served in Law Enforcement as a Patrol Officer with Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Department and is a certified expert in Investigations, Management, Case Supervision, training, and Statistical Analysis. Jewel earned a Master of Public Administration; B.A. in Urban Services Administrtion; and Non-Profit Management certification all from Cleveland State University. She is the 2016 Frederic Milton Thrasher Award recipient for “Superior Service to STG Coordination and Parole” honored by the National Gang Crime Research Center in Chicago, Illinois.

Janice Joseph, Ph.D.

            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; 17 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.

Lucas Liddle

            Lucas Liddle has been a police officer with the Cedar Rapids Police Department since 2006. He is currently assigned to the Special Operations Division with a position in the Police Community Action Team as well as a ballistic shield operator with the Special Response Team. He has been active with the Police Community Action Team since its creation in 2016. He has studied gangs and intelligence analysis since 2009. Officer Liddle has earned 2 Gang Specialist certifications from the National Gang Crime Research Center.

Superintendent Bonnie Ludvigsen 

            Bonnie Ludvigsen has worked as a police officer in Denmark for nearly 40 years. Bonnie worked in Forensic Institute in Copenhagen for more than 18 years where she investigated crime scenes and was head of the Firearms and Tool mark sections. For the last 6 years, Bonnie has worked with crime prevention and a main focus is the Danish National Exit Program where we try to help gang members leave the environment and choose a better life. The program is a collaboration between probation service, municipalities and the police.

MSc. Stine Lukowski

            Stine Lukowski holds a master of science in social work and is working in the municipality of Koege. Stine is working with crime prevention targeting gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs. The goal is to prevent recruiting, motivate existing members to leave the gang and structuring exit programs for those who choose to do so. Stine is working together with law enforcement officers and the prison and probation service to help individuals leave the criminal environment.

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

            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.

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.

Det. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Chris Przemieniecki, Ph.D.

            Chris Przemieniecki is currently an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at West Chester University, outside of Philadelphia, PA. He recently co-authored and published a book, titled ‘Gangs’. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Gang Investigators Association and has spoken at many youth and gang conferences around the country. Przemieniecki received the Frederic M. Thrasher Award from the NGCRC for “Superior Research” in 2006 and the NGCRC “Outstanding Service Award” in 2014. He is a reviewing editor for the Journal of Gang Research, has published articles about gangs and the mass media, and has spoken at various gang conferences throughout the country. Przemieniecki has also been a youth, collegiate and professional soccer coach for more than 25 years.

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.

Rosa Julia Garcia Rivera

            Rosa Julia Garcia Rivera is a licensed clinical professional therapist and the director of mental health at Gads Hill Center. Rosa earned her master’s degree from Northeastern University in counseling education, with a concentration in community counseling and child and adolescent therapy. With over 20 years of experience in the mental health field, her work includes gang task force consulting at the Illinois State’s Attorney’s office, crisis work with youth, directing clinical teams for residential homes in Chicago for homeless youth heavily involved in gangs, and 13 years as a clinical therapist in an outpatient behavioral health clinic with a focus on children and adolescent psychotherapy.

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. Jeffrey P. Rush

            This is Dr. Jeffrey P. Rush. I am in my 23d 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.

Christopher Ryan

            As the top gun and gang prosecutor in New York City from 2010 to 2018, Chris supervised an elite unit of experienced prosecutors, investigative analysts and police detectives responsible for the dismantling of sophisticated criminal enterprises, including gun traffickers, major narcotics organizations, and criminal street gangs. In 2010, he developed a new methodology designed to reduce over-incarceration and improve the safety and quality of life in and around public housing in NYC. Now adopted by the NYPD, the DA’s offices of NYC, and numerous police departments and prosecutor’s offices across the country, this program was designed to reduce gun violence by identifying, targeting and prosecuting the most significant criminal offenders, leading to dramatic reductions in homicides and non-fatal shootings. This methodology resulted in carefully targeted, large-scale, long-term, multi-defendant prosecutions under New York State’s conspiracy statutes against violence neighborhood-based street crews, which became the NYPD’s “Operation Crew Cut”. The program has been recognized by the last three New York City Police Commissioners as the key to the historic reduction in homicides and violent crime.

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

            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 Semark, Ph.D.

            Doug Semark, Ph.D. has been a nonprofit leader for more than three decades, including 16 years as Executive Director of the Gang Alternatives Program in Los Angeles County. He provides professional development 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.


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.

Grant 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.

Dr. Catherine Burton

            Dr. Catherine Burton holds a sociology and has taught in sociology, criminal justice, and political science departments at the university level. Catherine earned her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, and her dissertation focused on social justice issues related to homicide victimization.

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.

Detective Tyler Sutherland

            Detective Tyler Sutherland has been a police officer for the Battle Creek Police Department for over 13 years. He is currently assigned to the Battle Creek Police Detective Bureau, and was previously assigned to the Gang Suppression Unit for over 6 years. As a member of the Gang Unit, Detective Sutherland was directly involved as the lead investigator in a number of gang, and violent crime, cases that resulted in courtroom trials and jury convictions. While participating in all aspects of gang investigations and court room prosecution, Detective Sutherland has been qualified as, and testified as, a gang expert in the U.S. District court and Michigan State Circuit and District Court, more than 15 times in the last five years. One of these gang cases, was the first criminal gang enhancement jury conviction in the State of Michigan since the state statute was created. He is also recognized in circuit and district court as an expert in Drug Trafficking and Drug Investigations. A Defensive Tactics Instructor, and Patrol Training Officer, he has also received Instructor certification for Active Shooter Response for Civilians, through the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at Texas State University.

Dr. Philip J. Swift

            Dr. Philip J. Swift is a recognized gang expert and national lecturer. Dr. Swift recently served as 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. Dr. Swift is currently the City Marshall in Fort Worth, TX.

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).

Dr. Wendell C. Wallace

            Dr. Wendell C. Wallace is an Attorney-at-Law, Mediator and Full-time Lecturer in the Criminology and Criminal Justice Programme at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. He holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from The University of the West Indies, University of London and Northumbria University, Newcastle, England. He is the author of the book: Better to be alone than in bad company: A handbook about gangs for Caribbean parents and children; and has published numerous articles on juvenile delinquency, gangs, Carribean security and crime. He has earned a Frederic Milton Thrasher Award for his research on gangs and has successfully completed several gang specialist training programmes at the National Gang Crime Research Center. Presently he is conducting research with two of his students on a research project entitled “A Diagnosis of the impacts of residing in Gang-penetrated Communities on resident’s Quality of Life: The case of the Beetham Gardens and Laventille, Trinidad and Tobago”.

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.

Stewart M. Young

            Stewart M. Young is an Assistant United States Attorney and currently serves as Senior Litigation Counsel for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah. He previously served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California. He earned his J.D. from Stanford University, clerked for judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Federal District Court for the District of Utah, and was a full-time faculty member at the University of Wyoming College of Law.

Detective Chris Zamora

            Detective Zamora has spent the past 16 years working gangs for the Long Beach Police Department to include the following experience: certified court gang expert testimony in over 100 cases; gang expert on 3 gang injunctions; assisted in creating the Tattoo Removal Program; expert in Sureno and Crip gangs.