Drugs, Death, Destruction and the US Border

Monday, February 6  |  8:00am to 9:00am

This presentation is not for the faint of heart. It focuses on Mexican Drug Cartels and the major role they play in the US illegal drug trade and the alarming increase in human trafficking and victimization and the impact it has on both sides of the border. See and hear first-hand accounts of the cartels’ ruthless nature and how their idolatry of the Patron Saints of the Mexican Drug Underworld (Santa Muerte, Jesus Malverde, San Ramon, etc.) helps shape and influence their organizations and those around them. Understanding the depth and breadth of these cartels and their extreme violence and victimization will help explain why it is paramount for law enforcement to understand their role so we can better equip ourselves to deal with the devastating effects it is having on our communities. Please note this presentation includes extremely graphic material.

PRESENTER: Sheriff Kieran Donahue, Canyon County (ID) Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Donahue is serving his third term as Sheriff of Canyon County, Idaho. He is serving as the 2nd Vice President of the NSA.

He has served for many years, on numerous committees for the National Sheriffs’Association (NSA) including Government Affairs, Border Security, Domestic Violence and Crime Victim Services, as well as Youth Programs and Juvenile Justice.

In March 2022, Governor Little Appointed Sheriff Donahue to Operation Esto Perpetua, to meaningfully reduce the flow of fentanyl and methamphetamine into the State of Idaho.

Sheriff Donahue serves as a Governor appointed position on the Idaho Criminal Justice Commission (ICJC).

Sheriff Donahue is a Past President of the Idaho Sheriffs’ Association (ISA) and is a current member of the ISA Board of Directors. He also currently holds the seat of Chairman of the ISA Legislative Committee and serves on the Idaho Association of Counties Legislative Committee and ISA Jail Standards Committee.

He is a member of the Western States Sheriff’s Association (WSSA) and serves on the Western States Policy Committee.

Sheriff Donahue is the Founder and Chairman of the Man Up Crusade, a National and International, non-profit, public awareness campaign on the issue of domestic violence.

Sheriff Donahue is a past Chairman and current member of the Executive Board for the Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), funded by the DOJ Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

Sheriff Donahue holds a Top Secret Clearance with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

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Department of Justice (DOJ) Jails and Justice Support Center

Monday, February 6  |  8:00am to 9:00am

To respond to challenges being faced by the nation’s jails, DOJ is creating an on ramp to federal supports including technical assistance, assessments, and other resources. CNA, along with National Sheriffs’ Association, American Jail Association, Major County Sheriffs’ Association, and National Association of Counties, will coordinate the Center. This workshop will provide an overview of the project plans and seek feedback from participants on how the Center can best meet the field’s needs. 


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How to Build a Resilient Law Enforcement Organization

Monday, February 6  |  9:15am to 10:15am

This presentation will guide attendees to understand the neurobiological effects of trauma and how law enforcement cultures can unwittingly discourage employees from seeking help. This presentation is based on the COPS Office 11 Case Studies report which highlights the best practices of police agencies who have developed admirable mental health programs. Finally numerous effective resources will be reviewed, most of which the typical attendee is likely unfamiliar with.


PRESENTER: J. Mitchell Cunningham, Chief Law Enforcement Advisor, National Sheriffs’ Association

Deputy Chief Mitch Cunningham (ret.) has been a police officer for 36 years, most recently as Deputy Chief for the Wilmington North Carolina Police Department. Prior to that he was a police officer for the Montgomery County Department of Police, in Maryland. In Montgomery County Maryland he started a number of crime fighting initiatives including the first Career Criminal Unit, the first Auto Theft Team and the award winning pawn data sharing system called RPDSS (now RAPID) that is used across the country. He also started the regional data sharing system called NCR LInX in the National Capitol Region which connects hundreds of police agencies, leading to countless arrests and also supporting anti-terrorism efforts in the awake of 9-11.

As Deputy Chief for Support Services at WPD, he started a number of efforts to address and drive down gang violence plaguing the city. He also started the agency’s first Peer Support team, a police college scholarship fundraiser Send a Cop to College to assist with the professionalization of its future leaders and worked to outfit WPD officers with naloxone, the only second jurisdiction in North Carolina to do so. He also began the LEAD program, a pre-arrest diversion program which was also the second site in North Carolina.

He currently works as a law enforcement training coordinator for Cape Fear Community College as well as teaching for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Louisiana State University. Additionally he is a consultant with the National Sheriffs Association and International Association of Chiefs of Police.

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Snapchat: Law Enforcement Operations 101

Monday, February 6  |  9:15am to 10:15am

Snapchat is one of the most popular communication tools for young people. During this session, Rahul Gupta, our Head of Law Enforcement Outreach will explain the fundamentals of the Snapchat application, explain how law enforcement can most effectively request data and communicate with Snap Law Enforcement Operations and will also demonstrate how to use LESS, our exclusive law enforcement portal.

PRESENTERS: Rahul Gupta, Head of Law Enforcement Outreach, Snap, Inc.

Rahul Gupta is the Head of Law Enforcement Outreach at Snap, Inc. (“Snap”), the maker of the Snapchat app. He joined Snap after 18 years at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, during which time he prosecuted serious and violent offenders, major fraud cases and was the founder of that office’s Cybercrime Program. Rahul has taught prosecutors, judges and law enforcement officers across the United States on the intersection of law and technology, including subjects ranging from admitting digital evidence, CalECPA, the dark web and cryptocurrency. He was also a TFO at the Orange County RCFL, the Co-Chair of the High Tech Committee for California District Attorney’s Association and former president of the Orange County Attorney’s Association. He holds degrees from UCLA and Notre Dame Law School.

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Veterans Justice Programs – Services for Veterans Involved in the Criminal Justice System

Monday, February 6  |  10:30am to 11:30am

This seminar focuses on future collaborations in law enforcement by describing how the work of Veterans Justice Outreach specialists, from the Department of Veterans Affairs, can support prevention, early intervention and service linkage through partnership with law enforcement agencies at the front end of the criminal justice system. VA services for justice-involved Veterans are provided through two dedicated national programs, Health Care for Reentry Veterans and Veterans Justice Outreach.

PRESENTER: Katharine (Katie) Stewart, Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) National Coordinator, Veterans Health Administration Homeless Programs

As the National Coordinator, Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO), U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, Katie Stewart contributes to the development of national policy, provides guidance to the field on operational matters, and represents the VJO program with internal and external audiences. 

Prior to her role as VJO National Coordinator, Katie served as a Health System Specialist in the Office of the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Clinical Operations where she worked closely with senior VHA leaders on healthcare administration.

Prior to Katie’s work in VA Central Office, she spent nine years in the field serving as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, NC.  She began her VA career in 2009 as a local Suicide Prevention Case Manager, then Suicide Prevention Coordinator.  In 2011, she joined the Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) program where she served as the Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist, building, and growing the local program until 2018.  Throughout Katie’s tenure serving as a Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist, she was instrumental in the development of Buncombe County’s (Asheville) Veterans Treatment Court. 

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9-8-8 and Mental Health Crisis Response: Opportunities and Challenges

Monday, February 6  |  1:00pm to 2:00pm

988 is the national emergency hotline for community-based mental health crisis response, including mobile crisis teams, that targets particular groups at risk of mental health crisis (notably young people, rural residents, and LGBTQ+ individuals). Assembling this 9-1-1 system for mental health crisis, particularly in rural areas, offers opportunities and challenges for sheriffs and other law enforcement. This presentation reviews what 988 means for law enforcement and what the first 6-8 months of the program may reveal about how effectively and expeditiously its goals may be met.

PRESENTER: Jon Ross, PhD, Director of Research & Evaluation, TASC’s Center for Health & Justice

As director of research and evaluation for TASC and its Center for Health and Justice (CHJ), Jon Ross leads internal and external projects that collectively advance knowledge regarding evidence-based practice.

This work spans internal evaluation efforts to support TASC’s direct services planning, implementation, determination of effectiveness, and performance improvement, as well as external collaborations with research institutions and a wide variety of partners to conduct and disseminate research at the intersection of health and justice through CHJ.

Since joining TASC in June 2020, Jon worked in the CHJ COSSAP Law Enforcement Deflection and First Responder Diversion National Training and Technical Assistance Center as its technical writer. In his new role, he leads CHJ’s research and evaluation portfolio including its federal work with NIDA/JCOIN and NIJ/RAND.

Jon has a long career in communications and public policy/public affairs, with a wide range of positions and assignments across healthcare, government, nonprofits, advocacy organizations, and professional service organizations. He has served on many boards, including a chapter of Mental Health America, focusing on advocacy and branding. He teaches in the Master of Public Policy and Administration program at Adler University (Chicago, IL), handling courses in ethics, political economy, health policy, public health, and related areas. He also has taught in the Master of Public Health program at The Chicago School and the Master of Health Care Leadership program at Union Institute & University in Cincinnati.

Jon earned his BA in political science from the University of Florida, his MA in legislative affairs from George Washington University, and his PhD in public policy from Union Institute & University.

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Hiring Law Enforcement in a Post-COVID, Post-Floyd Reality

Monday, February 6  |  1:00pm to 2:00pm

In the past 3 years, the pandemic and the response to the killing of George Floyd have had a pronounced effect on hiring law enforcement officers. Since 2020, law enforcement has been subject to unprecedented vilification and been met with calls to defund their departments. Many departments froze hiring due to political pressure, pandemic lockdown requirements, and/or budgetary constraints. At the same time, retirements of incumbent officers accelerated. Hiring across the public and private sectors has faced the challenge of labor shortages caused by the direct and indirect effects of the COVID pandemic. In this climate, law enforcement hiring authorities are challenged with intense hiring needs to rebuild their ranks and address steep increases in rates of violent crime.

Differences in the law enforcement applicant pool will be compared pre- and post-pandemic. Data from background history, IQ measures, and psychological test data will be presented. Case studies will be presented to illustrate hiring challenges. Specific challenges related to hiring from a lower quality applicant pool and potential procedural changes to alleviate these problems will be discussed.

PRESENTER: Cerise Vablais, MBA, PhD, ABPP, Psychologist, Public Safety Psychological Services; and Ryan Roberts, JD, PhD, Psychologist, JRA, Inc.

Dr. Cerise Vablais is the Managing Member of Public Safety Psychological Services, the largest provider of public safety assessments in the Pacific Northwest.  In addition to her doctorate, Cerise has an MBA and worked as a software industry executive prior to becoming a clinical psychologist. She has extensive experience in forensic assessment and worked for several years in both correctional facilities and inpatient psychiatric hospitals. In addition to her work at PSPS, she is also a member of the North South Metro SWAT CNT team. Dr. Vablais has developed a nationally recognized expertise on the topic of legalized marijuana and its impact on the public safety hiring process. Dr. Vablais is the current Vice Chair of the Executive Board of the International Association of Chiefs of Police – Police Psychological Services Section, and is Board Certified in Police and Public Safety Psychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Dr. Ryan Roberts is a licensed attorney and psychologist that specializes in the area of police and public safety psychology. He has conducted thousands of evaluations of public safety applicants and dozens of trainings for other psychologists in the area of public safety psychology. Dr. Roberts is the co-author of the police and public safety reports for the California Psychological Inventory and the Personality Assessment Inventory. He has co-authored several articles related to the field of public safety psychology. Dr. Roberts is a member of the Board of the Council of Organizations in Police Psychology (COPP), an organization tasked with promoting and protecting the interests of the PPSP specialty.

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The Impact of Body-Worn Cameras in the Loudoun County Sherriff’s Office Adult Detention Center

Monday, February 6  |  2:15pm to 3:15pm

Over the past ten years, interest in the use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) in law enforcement agencies has grown substantially. Although research on the effects of BWCs on police agencies has increased, little research has been conducted on the effects of BWCs in correctional settings, especially within jail facilities. This presentation will focus on the implementation of a randomized experiment to test the effectiveness of BWCs in the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center (VA). We highlight deputy perspectives over time, both before, during and after BWC deployment. We focus specifically on the effects of BWC technology on deputy behavior and safety, prevalence of serious incidents, and inmate violence and misconduct. We also review the difference in footage quality between the stationary cameras and the BWCs. The presentation will also feature the following speakers: Carrie Hill, Dr. James “Chip” Coldren, Jr., and command staff from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

PRESENTERS: Dr. Brittany C. Cunningham, Assistant Director, Center for Justice Research and Innovation, CNA; and Carrie Hill, Executive Director, Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association, Chief Jail Advisor, National Sheriffs’ Association

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