The 2020 NGCRC 23rd International Gang Specialist

Training Conference (August 3-5, 2020):

A Look at the Presenters


Last Updated: June 24, 2020

Sara Al-Sorghali, JD

            Sara Al-Sorghali JD is an assistant prosecutor with the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office, in Toledo, OH. She is responsible for preparing for and conducting criminal trials on felony cases including gangs, homicides, assaults and rapes.

James A. Anderson, MS

            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 Lecturer in Psychosocial Analysis of Offending Behavior at Edge Hill University, England. Her Ph.D. investigated the psychological and social risk factors associated with gang membership, group offending and desistance from crime. In 2017 she was a recipient of the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award for Superior Accomplishments in Gang Research. Sally-Ann has over 10 years of experience running training workshops in English prisons. She currently works with the Violence Reduction Unit at Mercyside Police and is responsible for the evaluation of intervention programs for young people at risk of violent offending and gang membership with Salford Foundation and Greater Manchester Combined Authorities.

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.

William A. Campbell 

            William A. Campbell is the Interim Director for the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice. With 26 years of working with at-risk/adjudicated teens in numerous settings ranging from acute care psychiatric, private residential treatment and group home & juvenile justice detentions. Originally, a Chicago native, William attended Western Illinois University where he received his Bachelors in Communications. Served in the US Army and is a Desert Storm Vet as member of the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division, honorably discharged in February 1993. In March of 1993 William began his career working with at-risk/adjudicated adolescents in an acute care psychiatric hospital. William joined the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice’s Training Branch in 2007. He has assisted and trained new direct care employees during academy training. In early 2009, certified as an expert gang specialist. In 2010, he received the DJJ Professional Development Employee of the Year award. In 2010, became a Trainer for Trainers at the National Gang Crime Research Center. William currently resides in Elizabethtown, Kentucky and is also a member of the Juvenile Justice Alternative to Detention Initiative Committee.

Alithea Casimir, LCSW

            Alithea Casimir, LCSW, is a Clinical Responder and Mental Health Clinician at Boston Trauma Response. As a Clinical Responder, Casimir works to support survivors of homicide and non-fatal incidents of community violence. Those survivors include victims, family members, friends, classmates, teammates, neighbors and business owners that have been impacted through witnessing or experiencing the effects of a violent event. Casimir received her Master’s degree from Wheelock College, Boston University in Social Work and her Bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing from Northeastern University. Her work at Boston Trauma Response focuses on creating solutions for trauma-informed care for moving forward after tragedy. Casimir aims to uphold collaboration and intentionality as pillars to connect clients with healing, natural supports and access to equitable mental health services that serve marginalized communities.

Michael Coghlan 

            Michael Coghlan was certified as a gang specialist 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.

Caleb Cooper

            Caleb Cooper is a Military Police Officer with the Missouri National Guard and Sheriff’s Deputy for the Maries County (Missouri) Sheriff’s Office. He is a bachelor of science student at the University of Central Missouri in criminal justice. He is a member of the American Criminal Justice Association. Currently he serves as his agency’s naloxone administrator overseeing their naloxone use and policy. Prior to his current position he spent two years as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst with the Missouri State Counterdrug Task Force.

Aaron Cunningham

            Aaron Cunningham is a 19 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). 

Robert T. David, Sr., MS, LCAS-A

            Robert T. David, Sr., MS, LCAS-A is the youth and gang violence prevention coordinator for the City of Danville, VA. He has 24 years gang experience (CA, NC and VA). 20 years’ probation/parole (adult and juvenile) experience. He is a licensed clinical addiction specialist. A Certified Gang Specialist. M.S. Professional Counseling and Substance Abuse Addiction. Master Certified Life Coach.

Kenneth Davis

            Kenneth Davis retired from the Yonkers Police Department in July of 2017. From 1985-1990 he was assigned to uniformed patrol (task force and public housing) and plainclothes (street-level and undercover narcotics). From 1990-2000 he worked street gangs, graffiti crimes and police academy. From 2000-2009 he was assigned to several middle/high schools as a school resource officer. In 2009 - 2017, as a detective, he continued investigating street gangs, narcotics (search warrants) and graffiti crimes. As the departments liaison, he assisted the YMCA’s Cure Violence/SNUG Program and the Westchester County Department of Corrections Re-entry Program. From 2017-present, he is a NYS private investigator and a graffiti/gang specialist presenting at various regional, national, and international conferences.


Duane Deskins, J.D.

            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.

Susie Estrada

            Susie Estrada is the Afterschool & Preschool Director with Dual Immersion Academy. She initially began her work with high-risk youth as a teenager when she volunteered with the Fred Jordan Mission in Los Angeles. As a teen who associated with gang members, Susie recognized the need for more programs and began to work in the field as a specialist. Susie has also taught various grades, worked in gang prevention and migrant education, and coordinated gang prevention programs. She has received her Bachelors of Arts in Child & Adolescent Development with a minor in Psychology & Childcare Administration. She also has received her Masters in Education, Culture & Society from the University of Utah.

Dr. Gregg W. Etter, Sr.

            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 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. Dr. Etter is the author of numerous books, book chapters, edited and refereed articles. His latest book is: Gangs and Organized Crime which he authored with Dr. George W. Knox and Dr. Carter F. Smith.

Angela M. Fanjul

            Ms. Fanjul is the Executive Director of Dual Immersion Academy. Prior to that she served as the School Counselor ad worked closely with the community. Ms. Fanjul previously worked as Director of Educational Initiatives and Coordinator of the Centro De La Familia Competency training team. She worked in school based initiatives at Holy Cross Ministries and supported afterschool and in-school interventions throughout the schools working with Holy Cross. These schools ranged from alluent private religious schools to rural public schools with little resources. Ms. Fanjul earned a Bachelors of Arts in Social Work at Weber State University with an emphasis in Latin American studies and languages. She earned a Master’s degree in Social Work and currently holds a clinical social work license.


Detective Matthew Foote

            Detective Matthew Foote has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Indiana University. Det. Foote has been in law enforcement for ten years with the Fort Wayne (Indiana) Police Department. For the past five years, Det. Foote has been assigned to the narcotics division, specifically as a detective with the Gang & Violent Crimes Unit. The Gang & Violent Crimes Unit focuses on gangs, firearm related offences, homicides and other crimes. Det. Foote is a certified instructor with the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. With this certification Det. Foote has provided assistance to many organizations on gang related issues.


Maria Garcia

            Maria Garcia was raised in Germany and Turkey on military bases and returned to Utah to attend college in 2002. In 2008, she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Utah and in 2016, a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from the University of Phoenix. She began her career teaching Spanish and coaching cross country in charter schools. In 2015, Maria joined Granite School District as a Prevention Specialist. She collaborates with the Utah State Board of Education, metro Gang Unit/Salt Lake Area Gang Project, and other local agencies to deliver the Choose Gang Free prevention and intervention program to elementary and secondary students throughout Granite. Her goal is to educate others about the realities of gang involvement and the impact on our communities. She is the recipient of the 2016 Salt Lake Area Gang Project Kevin Crane Commitment to Community Award. She has a passion for helping kids, especially those who come from under-represented communities. Maria was once a promising youth and thanks to those who cared for her, connected her to positive alternatives, and reignited her hope over the years, she believes that the work we do truly does make a difference.

Dr. D. Lee Gilbertson

            D. Lee Gilbertson is a tenured professor at a state university in Minnesota and has been teaching since August 2000. He has studied gangs, militias, and extremist groups since 1995. He actively consults in the US and the UK with attorneys, law enforcement investigators, and medical examiners in the areas of forensic victimology and postmortem assessment, as well as crime analysis and mapping. Lee has presented at numerous national and international conferences and has participated in all of the NGCRC Gang Colleges. He is a recipient of the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award (2002, 2005, 2008) and the Curtis Robinson Leadership Award (2015). Lee is the Executive Editor for the Journal of Gang Research and is a member of the NGCRC Staff. His background includes a Ph.D. in sociology, MS in criminal justice, and 16 years of exemplary military service (infantry and signals intelligence).

Frederick Gray

            Frederick Gray has been an instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center for 11 years. He is a sought after speaker on the topic of gangs. He is currently completing his Masters degree in criminal justice.

Dr. Laura Hammond

            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.

Detective Chris Hawthorne

            Detective Chris Hawthorne has been working with the Gang & Violent Crimes Unit for 3.5 years. Detective Hawthorne also works within our local school alternative systems, where he’s dealing with youth gang members on a daily basis. Prior to becoming an officer, Det. Hawthorne worked with Allen County Community Corrections where he dealt with violent offenders who were on home detention monitoring. Det. Hawthorne is a certified law enforcement instructor through Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA). Det. Hawthorne has a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University - Fort Wayne in Criminal Justice. Det. Hawthorne is also assigned as the social media coordinator within the Gang Unit. Det. Hawthorne teaches at local organizations such as the Department of Child Services with updates on current gang activity. Additionally, Det. Hawthorne served seven years military experience with the United States Army.

Sgt. Nick Homann

            Sergeant Nick Homann is a 13 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 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.

Helen Joseph

            Helen Joseph is a clinician, educator, and artist with professional interests in identifying and addressing barriers to mental health access in marginalized communities. Joseph received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Expressive Therapies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition to her work as Executive Director of Expressive Arts Place, a community based mental health and expressive therapies practice, and her role as an adjunct faculty in the Expressive Therapies Division of the Graduate School of Social Sciences at Lesley University, Joseph serves as Program Director at Boston Trauma Response. Boston Trauma Response, a program of Justice Resource Institute (JRI), aims to minimize the impact of trauma on individuals affected by community violence and homicide through high quality, equitable, and compassionate clinical services. Boston Trauma Response commits to connecting individuals to resources in the community that support resiliency and recovery.

George W. Knox, Ph.D.

            George Knox earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. He has extensive field experience with gangs, including interviewing gang members, gang leaders, and gang victims. He has taught in the field of criminal justice and sociology. He serves as the Executive Director of the National Gang Crime Research Center. He was the author of the first full textbook on gangs (An Introduction to Gangs) and other books and monographs on gang topics. His research interests include how to deal with gang problems in probation/parole, juvenile corrections, adult corrections, and gang threat analysis — examining the gang as a unit of social organization.

Maggie E. Koch, JD

            Maggie E. Koch JD is an assistant prosecutor with the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office, in Toledo, OH. She is responsible for the prosecution of all levels of felony offenses in the adult criminal division, both as first and second chair.

Kevin Kreuser

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

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.

Jessica Martinez, Ed.D.

            Jessica Martinez, Ed.D. is the Director of Gang Prevention Services at the Gang Alternatives Program (GAP) in Los Angeles. She has worked at GAP for nearly 15 years, where she began as a My Gangfree Lie Advisor providing students with a classroom based gang prevention education. She directs GAP’s My Gangfree Life® program for the 2nd, 4th, and 6th grades in public and private schools, manages the Gangfree Life Advisors® who go out to schools, and oversees core curriculum development. She maintains close working relationships with principals (or designees) and teachers, and is responsible for seeing that advisors are in compliance with all qualifications for classroom admittance. She also monitors GAP’s teen and parent programs. Jessica is an original and current member of the Freedom Writers of Long Beach and assists in the active training of teachers who participate in the Freedom Writers Institute.

Thaddeus J. May

            Thaddeus J. May is an AUSA currently assigned to the Violent Crimes Section (working on gang and drug-related cases) of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah. He previously served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office and a Deputy County Attorney at the Utah County Attorney’s Office. He earned his J.D. from the University of Utah and has extensive homicide and special victims prosecution experience.

Dr. Keiron McConnell

            Keiron holds a Doctorate Degree in Policing, Security and Community Safety from Metropolitan London University, a Masters of Science Degree in Policing and Public Order Studies from the University of Leicester, a Bachelor of General Studies Degree from the Open University of British Columbia, a Diploma in Police Leadership from Dalhousie University and a Certificate in Public Sector Leadership from Royal Roads University. This academic achievement come with 29 years of operational experience with the last 15 years exclusively in gang suppression with a variety of police gang units. 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 a faculty member at Kwantlen Polytechnic University where he teaches Organized Crime. 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”.

S/A Dan Menke

            Dan Menke is a Special Agent with the Illinois State Police.

Luis Alonso Flores Montalvo

            Luis Alonso 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. He is also a recipient of the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award from the NGCRC.

Sgt. Christopher Moore

            Christopher Moore started at Joliet PD in 2003. In 2006 he was assigned to the tactical unit, where the unit’s primary focus was on gangs, guns and drugs. In 2009 he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and Detective Sergeant in 2015 where he is currently assigned to the Criminal Intelligence Section. Sgt. Moore holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration from Western Illinois University, graduated from Northwestern University’s Supervision of Police Personnel class in 2011 and graduated from Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command in 2015. Sgt. Moore is a member of the Midwest Gang Investigator Association and has attended NGCRC conferences since 2015. Sgt. Moore is responsible for identifying and tracking gang members and trends in the Joliet area, testifying as an expert witness as a gang expert, and assisting outside agencies in their investigations by providing reports and intelligence information. Sgt. Moore is a Department trainer on gangs as well as providing public service to outside organizations (schools, libraries, hospitals, community meetings, etc).

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 20 years. He also serves as the Acting President of the Pennsylvania Gang Investigator’s Association. He has been studying and researching gangs and criminal mindedness for over 25 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, teaches college courses 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.

Steve 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. He earned his J.D. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Utah and 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 William Noon is a 22 year veteran of the Toledo Police Department. Detective Noon has been assigned to the Toledo Police Gang Unit for 16 years and a Task Force with the BATF for 8 years. Detective Noon has been recognized as an expert in numerous gang trials.

Sara Palmer

            Sara Palmer has been an analyst at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) for more than 8 years. Currently assigned to the Child Sex Trafficking Team (CSTT), she has helped promote several initiatives at the Center focusing on gang affiliation as an endangerment for victimization in missing and exploited child cases. She has led gang specific trainings for various task forces and police departments, and is a member of the International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association (IOMGIA), Mid-Atlantic Regional Gang Investigators Network (MARGIN), and the Virginia Gang Investigators Association (VGIA).

Lt. Vincent Perillo

            I’ve been with the Will County Sheriff’s Office since 2004. I’m the 2nd Shift Watch Commander at the Adult Detention Facility. I started documenting gang information in 2006 when an agency asked if we could identify someone with an alias name. After being promoted to sergeant in 2010, I became the first Intelligence Unit supervisor at the WCADF. During that role I was involved in gang identification, facility incidents, criminal investigations and intelligence gathering. After riding along on a funeral for a member of the Joliet Outlaws in October 2012, I started getting more involved in outlaw motorcycle gangs. I became a member of the Midwest Cycle Intelligence Organization (MCIO) and began gathering intel on MC’s through social media and observation. In 2017 I became a member of the International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association (IOMGIA). Shared information regarding OMG’s with local, federal and international agencies. I’ve taught many gang classes over the years and have taught OMG courses over the last three years. I have presented for the Midwest Gang Investigator’s Association (MGIA) at the College o DuPage in 2018 and 2019, Police Training Institute (Champaign PTI) in 2019, several schools in Will County, and every new group of Will County Patrol Deputies since 2015.

Stacia N. Pottorff

            Stacia N. Pottorff, earned her Bachelors of Science degree with honors in Criminal Justice at the University of Central Missouri. She is currently a graduate student working on her Master’s degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Central Missouri. She is employed as an analyst at the Missouri State Highway Patrol. She was a recipient of several UCM Undergraduate Research Grants.

Jean Prisco

            Jean Prisco is the Deputy Bureau Chief of the Gang, Firearms and Narcotics Bureau in the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, and has extensive experience in prosecuting violent crimes relating to street gangs. She has worked in the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office for over 16 years.

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.                                                       


Gabriel Rodriguez

            Gabriel Rodriguez is the Director of Cultural Engagement for Legendary Legacies Inc., a non-profit in the City of Worcester, MA, dedicated to seeing young men ages 17-24 maximize their potential. Growing up in Worcester, Gabriel has 10+ years of at-risk street credentials. After his last bid, he committed to make the necessary changes in his life to become a productive citizen. Gabriel is a certified residential and youth care professional. He also holds certificates for gang counseling and gangs and mental health through the NGCRC. In addition he holds a certificate from the youth worker training institute at Clark University. He specializes in youth work and has devoted himself to helping youth change their lives and reach their potential. Gabe is currently pursuing a degree in social work at Quinsigamond Community College.

Eddie Savage

            Task Force Officer Eddie Savage is an 12 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 the Vice President of the Iowa Chapter 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, a nonprofit leader with four decades of experience, including 17 years as Executive Director of the Gang Alternatives Program (GAP) in Los Angeles. Semi-retired, he now serves as Executive to the Board and Chief Learning Officer. He provides gang and violence prevention professional development for K-12 school counselors; serves in various advisory capacities; works with various agencies in the areas of violence reduction and community rebuilding, including Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles and the UCLA/Rand Prevention Research Center. He is currently the Director of the Gangfree Life Academy®.

Ezell Smith

            Ezell Smith has 25 years experience working with gangs and currently works at one of the largest juvenile correctional facilities in the entire USA. He has worked in juvenile corrections for over eight years. He has previously attended and completed NGCRC training. He has a Bachelors degree in psychology from Roosevelt University and a masters degree in education. In the context of his presentation he will also share personal insights from his own past experiences with those “risk factors” that lead to gang membership (teen parenting, abuse, broken home, etc). His personal story illustrates a person can rise above disadvantage and hardship and this kind of resilience is a key to understanding ways to improve effectiveness in making outreach to persons in the gang lifestyle.

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

            Mr. Swift, Ph.D. is a husband, father, and a 22-year law enforcement veteran. Since April of 2018, Mr. Swift has served as the Fort Worth City Marshal. Prior to becoming the City Marshal, Mr. Swift rose to the rank of Captain in the Denver Sheriff Department. During his law enforcement career he served as a City Marshal, Director of Security, Watch Commander, FTO Commander, Gang/Intelligence Unit Commander, K-9 Unit Commander, Internal Affairs Bureau Investigator, Conduct Review Office Sergeant, Emergency Response Unit member and Sergeant, Court Services Sergeant, and as Adjunct Training Academy Instructor. Mr. Swift holds a MS and Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology from Walden University and has also received dual MBA’s and a BS in Criminal Justice from American International University. Mr. Swift is a published author (Gangs, Outlaw Bikers, Organized Crime & Extremists; Looseleaf Law Publishing), a contributor to Inside Police Psychology:, and is frequently asked to speak locally and nationally on topics related to gang, criminal, inmate, and law enforcement culture, forensic psychology, and jail gang investigations.

Juan C. Torres, MPA

            Juan C. Torres, MPA, is the Executive Director of the Gang Alternatives Program (GAP. Juan has been working in the non-profit sector for 20 years, 17 of those with GAP. Previously, Juan held multiple positions while at GAP: Classroom advisor, Case Manager, Associate Director of Community Clean Up, Director of Administration, and Deputy Director. He works in collaboration with the City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Unified School District, local non-profits, law enforcement, and corporations to address gang violence and prevention throughout Los Angeles County.

Jaret Usher, J.D.

            Jaret Usher is a Cobb County, Georgia native and graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. Jaret earned her Juris Doctorate in 2004 from Regent University School of Law. Since becoming an attorney, Jaret has served as a prosecuting attorney in both the Cobb Solicitor General’s Office and the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office where she was a Senior Assistant District Attorney specializing in the prosecution of criminal street gangs. In April 2019, Jaret moved to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as part of Governor Kemp and Director Reynold’s Anti-Gang Initiative.

Ronald Bernard Waddell Jr.

            Ronald Bernard Waddell Jr. Is the co-founder of Legendary Legacies Inc. A non-profit organization with a mission to equip young men, ages 17-24 with the tools to maximize their potential. LL has focus to work with individuals that local police have identified as “proven risk” or “impact players”. These individuals are substantially gang involved. Ronald is a certified transformational life coach through the Association for Christian Character Development, a certified Gang Specialist through The National Gang Crime Research Center and a Certified Youth Mental Health Specialist. He is a Certified Recovery Coach and holds a certificate in Non-Profit Management and Leadership from Boston University. He presents at a number of community and state events and speaks passionately and eloquently about issues affecting marginalized communities. In his down time he enjoys reading, hiking, yoga, and poetry. He lives in Worcester, MA with his two sons, Joshua, age 7, and Isaiah, age 5.

Dr. Wendell C. Wallace

            Dr. Wendell C. Wallace is a Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. He is a Certified Mediator with the Mediation Board of Trinidad and Tobago and a Barrister who has been called to bar in both England and Wales and Trinidad and Tobago. He is rated as a gang expert by the National Gang Crime Research Center and has written extensively and presented lectures on gangs and policing in the Caribbean. Dr. Wallace is the author of three books and numerous book chapters, as well as edited and refereed articles. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award for his research on gangs and has successfully completed several gang specialist training programs at the National Gang Crime Research Center.


Veronica Williams

            As the Supervisor of the Gang Renouncement and Dissociation (G.R.A.D.) process at the O.B. Ellis Unit and Estelle Unit in Huntsville, Texas before retirement, Ms. Williams created this group process for her Master’s degree project for which she was honored wih an award by Springfield College in Springfield, Mass, not only for the content of the project but also for being the first person in Springfield College history (1885) to survey inmates. This process was later implemented by TDCJ as a follow-up procedure for tracking the success of the participants who graduated their gang renouncement programs and were put into general population. Ms. Williams was also instrumental in working with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ); in the start up of the Administrative Segregation Diversion Program for confirmed gang members of the prison environment wishing to renounce upon returning to prison.

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.