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Meet the LEADS Scholarship Recipients


The National Institute of Justice’s Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Program is designed to increase the research capabilities of law enforcement officers and agencies. LEADS scholars are selected in three categories: law enforcement officers, academics, and civilians. 


Natalie Todak

Natalie Todak
Assistant Professor; 2019 NIJ LEADS Academic
University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Criminal Justice

Dr. Todak’s research involves collaborating with criminal justice agencies to improve employee safety and wellness, increase effectiveness, and strengthen community perceptions of the criminal justice system. Her main research areas include police use of technology; the effects of diversity in criminal justice and the unique experiences of minority criminal justice employees; mental health and wellness in police and corrections officers; and use of force and de-escalation strategies. She is currently studying women’s experiences with promotion, specialty assignments, and leadership in policing. She has worked with agencies across the country, such as the Spokane (WA) Police Department, the Jefferson County (AL) Sheriff’s Office, and the Tempe (AZ) Police Department.

John W. Koch

John Koch
Commander; 2019 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Colorado Springs Police Department

Commander John Koch joined the Colorado Springs Police Department in 2002, where he served as a patrol officer for the first five years of his career. He then transferred to detective positions in the Crimes Against Children Unit (2007-2010) and Homicide Unit (2010-2013). He was promoted to sergeant in 2013, serving as a patrol supervisor (2013-2014), detective sergeant in the Special Victims Section (2014-2017), and Internal Affairs sergeant (2018). Promoted to lieutenant in 2018, he was a patrol watch commander in the Sand Creek Division (2018-2019) and the Strategic Information Center lieutenant in Metro VNI (2019-2020). Promoted to commander in 2020, he is currently assigned to the Gold Hill Division.

Commander Koch holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from the University of Northern Colorado, and a Master’s of Public Administration degree from the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs.

David Naoroz

David Naoroz
Senior Policy Advisor; 2019 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services

After 26 plus years with the Richmond (VA) Police Department, David Naoroz retired from sworn service with the City of Richmond and has recently been appointed as Senior Policy Advisor to the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. Previously, he has served in numerous leadership roles within the Richmond Police Department, a 15-year member of the SWAT Team, and a use of force instructor for the academy responsible for designing the training currently employed by the department. His research interests include recruitment, training, officer wellness, and police technology. Mr. Naoroz is a graduate of the University of Richmond.

Matt Jones

Christian Peterson
Homicide Detective; 2019 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Tempe Police Department

Detective Matt Jones is presently assigned to the homicide unit within the Tempe Police Department and has worked in law enforcement for the past 19 years. Det Jones has completed assignments in Patrol, Robbery, the Criminal Apprehension and Surveillance Team, and the U.S. Marshal’s Violent Offender Task Force. Det Jones has obtained a B.A. degree in Political Science/Criminal Justice and a M.A. degree in Forensic Psychology. Det Jones’ primary interests and expertise revolve around science-based interviewing techniques for local law enforcement. Since 2015, Det Jones has been collaborating with research psychologists involved with science-based interviewing areas such as rapport building, information elicitation, cognitive interviewing, eyewitness memory, addressing resistance and credibility assessment. Det Jones participates both in the science-based interviewing research and training, and recently developed of a science-based interviewing 5-day curriculum created specifically for local law enforcement to be taught by law enforcement.

Michael W. Weissberg

Michael Weissberg
Administrative Officer / Grant Manager; 2019 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Miccosukee Police Department

Michael Weissberg is a 22 year veteran police officer, crime scene investigator, and instructor. Sergeant Weissberg was honorably retired from the South Miami Police Department where he served as an officer, detective, executive officer, administrative officer, administrative sergeant, patrol sergeant, special projects director, command staff member, and grants manager. Weissberg now serves as an administrative officer, instructor, and Grants Manager for the Miccosukee Tribal Police Department.

Officer Weissberg is a 30 year veteran professor and was the Program Director and Chair of the Associate's Degree Program in Crime Scene and the Bachelor's Program in Forensic Science at Keiser University's Pembroke Pines, FL campus, and co-chair of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, and Homeland Security; he was an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at Florida International University and Miami Dade College. Weissberg has Master’s degrees in education, psychology, and criminal justice, and an Educational Specialist degree in Leadership.

Christian Peterson

Cory P. Haberman, PhD
Crime Analyst; 2019 NIJ LEADS Civilian
Portland Police Bureau

Christian Peterson has been a Crime Analyst with the City of Portland since 2013. As a member of the Strategic Services Division, he has worked to leverage new survey tools and methodologies, engage with the community to evaluate and recommend effective policing strategies that align with community concerns, and empower the police department to continuously grow and sustain evidence-based practices for effective law enforcement strategies and operations. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Criminology from Portland State University, with additional training in Law Enforcement Planning and Intelligence Analysis. As a member of the LEADS program, he is anticipating being able to fully embrace the LEADS network of professionals to continue to learn, lead, and drive change within the Portland Police Department, as well as influence and advance this, and the next, generation of Law Enforcement Professionals.

Kathryn Greenbeck

Kathryn Greenbeck
Lieutenant; 2019 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Baltimore County Police Department

Kathryn Greenbeck has served with the Baltimore County Police Department since 2001. She is currently a Shift Commander at one of the Department’s largest patrol precincts. In her tenure with the Baltimore County PD, she has been assigned to several patrol precincts, the Hostage Negotiation Team, the mobile technology unit, and the training academy.  Lt. Greenbeck holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland. In addition, her Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Baltimore culminated in her graduate thesis, titled “Pre-Employment and Background Variables as Predictors of Success in the Police Academy.”  She also contributed to a publication on correlates of police academy success.  Lt. Greenbeck’s research interests include integration of evidence-based concepts into police training and education, the use of data to improve patrol operational procedures,  the effects of “procedural justice” on various police interactions, and police/mental health collaborations.

Chase D. Wetherington, Ph.D.

Chase Wetherington
Law Enforcement Detective; 2019 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

Dr. Chase Wetherington has been a sworn law enforcement in Tampa, FL since 2012. He currently holds the rank of Detective with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, where he has served in a variety of positions throughout the agency and is currently assigned to the District II Investigations and Intelligence Unit. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of South Florida, Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University, and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Criminal Justice from Walden University. The focus of much of his research and Ph.D. dissertation focuses on law enforcement officer characteristics, including formal academic education levels, veteran status and age, and their impact on disciplinary issues and performance. He is hoping to work with other LEADS Scholars to illustrate how research and science can improve law enforcement today and in the future.

Eric Dlugolenski

Eric Dlugolenski
Assistant Professor; 2019 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Central Connecticut State University

Eric Dlugolenski began his LEADS Scholarship as a practitioner — serving the West Haven Police Department, CT. During his LEADS tenure, he completed his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice at the University of New Haven, CT. In the fall of 2020, he accepted a position as an Assistant Professor with the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Central Connecticut State University. His role in the program has transitioned accordingly, and he is now a LEADS Academic.

Prior to joining academia, he served as a police sergeant. He spent nine years with the department and held numerous roles and responsibilities. His last assignment was Sergeant of the Professional Standards Division. As an administrator, he drafted and updated policies and procedures for the police department, oversaw internal affairs, maintained state accreditation/compliance standards, supervised crime analysts, served as the grant coordinator for the department, and engaged in research and development. Prior to leaving the West Haven Police Department, he engaged in the national conversation of policing in the 21st century as a National Police Foundation (NPF) Fellow.

His research interests include procedural justice, police operational strategies, officer health and wellness, police culture, and police management. His dissertation research looks at the joint effects of order-maintenance policing and procedural justice delivered via foot patrols. His outcomes of interest include perceived risk of victimization, police legitimacy, disorder, and collective efficacy.

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas
Lieutenant; 2019 NIJ NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Norfolk Police Department

Lieutenant Mike Thomas is a 16-year veteran of the Norfolk Police Department and the current Officer in Charge of the department’s Special Crimes Unit.  Currently, Lt. Thomas sits on several multi-disciplinary teams including the Norfolk Criminal Justice System’s Evidence Based Decision Making Group, Norfolk Police Department Evidence Based Decision Making Group, Norfolk Sexual Assault and Domestic Assault Response Team, and the Norfolk Family Justice Center Workgroup. Lt. Thomas holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University, a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University, and is a Doctoral Candidate at Regent University studying Organizational Leadership and Human Resource Development. Lt. Thomas is an instructor for IACP’s Leadership in Police Organizations course and is a Trilogy Award recipient after attending FBI-LEEDA’s Supervisor Leadership Institute, Command Leadership Institute, and Executive Leadership Institute. He has conducted multiple research projects within the Norfolk Police Department related to servant leadership, emotional intelligence, police leader burnout, and learning organizations. Working with the LEADS program, Lt. Thomas hopes to learn how to use evidence-based research methods to improve organizational climate and leadership.


Stan MacClellan

Portrait of Stan MacClellan
Chief Administrative Officer; 2018 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Durham Regional Police Service

Stan is responsible for the Strategic Planning and Analytics Reporting branch of the Durham Regional Police Service, which includes oversight of the department's in-service training. He has worked for two of Ontario's larger police services and has expertise across a broad range of policing issues. He is working towards his doctorate in Policing and Security at Charles Sturt University and holds a bachelor's from St. Francis Xavier University and an MBA from Queen's University. He is an executive member of the Canadian Society of Evidence-Based Policing (CAN-SEBP).


Jason Bruder

Portrait of Jason Bruder
Chief; 2018 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Charleston Police Department

Chief Jason Bruder has served the City of Charleston since 2002. He recently worked with City Council and the Mayor's Office to complete an external audit of police racial bias. He previously commanded the West Ashley Patrol Team and supervised the Field Intelligence Unit and School Security Response Teams. Lieutenant Bruder also works on numerous process improvements to ensure quality and efficient work by officers. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science, a master's degree in homeland security management from Long Island University, and is a graduate of the 62nd session of the Administrative Officers Management Program at North Carolina State University. Chief Bruder completed the FBI’s National Academy, 279th session.  Working with LEADS, he hopes to improve the use of police data to improve patrol strategies and officer training.


Matthew Barter

Sergeant; 2018 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Manchester Police Department

Sergeant Matthew Barter has been with the Manchester Police Department for 10 years and is currently assigned to the patrol division. He was previously a Task Force Officer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and Crime Analyst with the Crime Analysis Unit. Detective Barter has implemented numerous evidence-based policing practices within the agency, to include a data-driven hotspot policing concept and violent crime reduction initiatives. Recently, Detective Barter worked to integrate National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) technology and gun crime intelligence into strategic planning processes with law enforcement partners. He holds a master's degree and bachelor's degree in criminal justice and is interested in pursuing research regarding police patrol patterns as well as place-based crime. Detective Barter also serves as a SWAT Officer and leads the Tactical Emergency Medical Support Unit.

Tara Calabro

Portrait of Tara Coffey
Deputy Inspector; 2018 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
New York City Police Department

Captain Tara Calabro has proudly served as a police officer with the New York City Police Department for 16 years. She currently serves as the Commanding Officer of the Information Technology Bureau's Project Management Office.  She has previously managed and supported collaborative research projects and data analysis to inform policy recommendations, initiatives and program development under the Chief of Strategic Initiatives.  During her tenure with the NYPD, Captain Calabro has held patrol assignments, supervised a precinct crime analysis unit, and worked as an analyst for the Real Time Crime Center.

Emma O'Flanagan

Portrait of Emma O’Flanagan
Lieutenant; 2018 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Rutgers University Police Department, New Brunswick, NJ

Lieutenant Emma O'Flanagan is a 12-year veteran of the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD), and has served in various positions throughout the police department. Lieutenant O'Flanagan is currently assigned to the Professional Standards Division, responsible for research and planning, training, compliance, accreditation, policy development, internal affairs investigations, and crime analysis. Lieutenant O'Flanagan holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University and is a recent graduate of the NJSACOP Command and Leadership Academy. Lieutenant O'Flanagan has a wide variety of research interests including practical applications of data analysis, officer wellness, hiring and retention of officers, PTSD, and women in law enforcement.

Chris Vallejo

Commander Chris Vallejo
Commander; 2018 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Austin Police Department

Commander Chris Vallejo is a strategic and innovative Senior Law Enforcement Official and 28-year veteran of the Austin Police Department and the current Commander of APD Training.

Commander Vallejo holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science with specializations in constitutional law and political science. He is a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institution for Police Leadership School and has completed advanced coursework and training in evidenced-based policing and executive leadership.

He was awarded a prestigious NIJ LEADS Scholar fellowship, dedicated to supporting police leaders in their use of research and science to inform policy and practice, and has extensive experience delivering operational, investigative, and administrative leadership at the line, supervisory and command levels. A recognized community leader, Chris has fostered long-lasting trust and accountability through countless partnerships with local community organizations and national educational institutions dedicated to reform, racial equality, and justice.

Commander Vallejo is a National Policing Institute Executive Policing Fellow, delivering counsel and direction to the NPF on contemporary issues in policing. He is a nationally recognized advocate for police reform through 21st-century policing principles, evidence-based community policing strategies, and collaboration, serving as a volunteer board member for the Texas Justice Institute.

In partnership with Texas State University and the National Police Foundation, Commander Vallejo has conducted occupational stress research to support the APD’s wellness initiatives and ensure performance management and optimal health of his officers and command. He has received notable commendations and awards for his police service and leadership including the Meritorious Unit Citation, and Superior Service Citation, and is a two-time recipient of the Patrol Unit of the Year Award,

Evidence-based policing with a focus on 21st-century policing principles, integrity, and community partnership is Commander Vallejo’s leadership philosophy and focus to support the City of Austin, and the diverse communities that it serves.

Paige Valenta

Portrait of Paige Valenta
Captain; 2018 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
City of Madison Police Department

Captain Paige Valenta has served with the City of Madison Police Department in Madison, Wisconsin since 1997. The City of Madison Police Department has more than 460 sworn officers and 170 civilian staff. Captain Valenta is currently assigned to oversee the City's South Police District, one of six police districts in Madison. The South District includes the most diverse zip code in the State of Wisconsin. Captain Valenta also has experience as a detective lieutenant, a patrol sergeant, a detective, a SWAT operator, and a patrol officer. She has a bachelor's degree from Columbia University.


Corey Falls

Portrait of Corey Falls
Superintendent of Public Safety; 2018 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
City of Gresham

Superintendent of Public Safety, City of Gresham, Gresham, Oregon Superintendent Falls has served in law enforcement since 1998 and is responsible for the oversight of all public safety for the City of Gresham. His duties include implementing evidence-based, data-driven strategies to improve service delivery for police and fire. As a former sheriff and deputy police chief, he has extensive public safety leadership experience. Corey has a post master's degree in Business, a M.A. in Organizational Management, and a B.S. in Health. Corey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and PERF's Senior Management Institute for Police.


Paul Ladouceur

Portrait of Paul Ladouceur
Chief of Police; 2018 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Estevan Police Service, Canada

Paul Ladouceur is the Chief of Police with the Estevan Police Service, which was the first Saskatchewan-based department to join the Canadian Society of Evidence-Based Policing (CAN-SEBP). Paul is a recent master's graduate and was a keynote speaker at a recent CAN-SEBP event in Saskatoon to discuss his work and views on evidence-based policing and why his own service has adopted this approach.


Rich Johnston

Portrait of Rich Johnston
Staff Sergeant; 2018 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Barrie Police Service, Canada

Rich Johnston recently began a partnership with BetaGov to conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) in the Barrie Police Service, making it one of the first agencies in Canada to run its own RCT. Rich's efforts were integral in expanding the LEADS program internationally. He holds a master's in leadership studies from the University of Guelph.


Daniel Wagner

Portrait of Daniel Wagner
Deputy Superintendent; 2018 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
City of Cambridge Police Department

C. Daniel Wagner has served the City of Cambridge, MA as a police officer since 1998. He currently holds the rank of Deputy Superintendent and is the Commanding Officer of the Procedural Justice Section, where he leads the Crime Analysis Unit and the Office of Rights and Liberties--a new unit to ensure the Department adheres to the principles of procedural justice and legitimacy as well as fair and impartial policing. Deputy Superintendent Wagner works with passion to reduce crime and social harm, improve police-community relations, and advance policing. He has applied his keen interest in research, data-analytics, and community policing to develop successful crime prevention strategies. He is the founding vice president of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing, serves on the Bureau of Justice Assistance Criminal Justice Technology Forecasting Group, and is a Policing Fellow at the Police Foundation in Washington DC. He holds a Master's in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Luke Bonkiewicz

Portrait of Luke Bonkiewicz
Police Officer; 2018 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Lincoln Police Department

Officer Bonkiewicz is a police officer with 10 years of experience in patrol, recruitment, pre-employment interviewing, and background investigations, as well as quantitative research methods and data analysis. He has analyzed data on racial disparities in traffic stops, driver's license suspension programs, gang intervention initiatives, assault on officer incidents, and use of control incidents. He has also published peer-reviewed research on patrol officer productivity, police response to mental health calls for service, violence in drug markets, and the role of police in disasters and evacuations. Currently assigned to LPD's Management Services Unit, Officer Bonkiewicz writes LPD's grants, assists with CALEA accreditation, identifies and develops evidence-based policies and practices, and coordinates research projects involving LPD's academic partners.


David Dalton

Portrait of David Dalton
Major; 2018 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Clearwater Police Department

Major David Dalton has nearly 25 years of law enforcement experience with both the Auburndale (Florida) Police Department and the Clearwater Police Department. He began his career with the Clearwater Police Department in 1996 and is currently assigned as the Support Services Division Commander, with oversight of numerous functions including: personnel, training, budget/fiscal management, property/evidence, and communications. Major Dalton possesses extensive experience in investigations, training, recruitment, policy development, accreditation, community/neighborhood policing, and technology implementation. Major Dalton has been recognized for his commitment to research driven principles, civic engagement, and community partnerships. He maintains strong relationships with research institutions, including the University of South Florida, Department of Criminology. Major Dalton holds both a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and a master's degree in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of South Florida.


Aimee A. Haley

Portrait of Aimee A. Haley
Lieutenant; 2017 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Columbus Division of Police

Lieutenant Aimee Haley was sworn in with the Columbus Division of Police in 1997 and has served as the division's accreditation manager since 2011. In this role she has been responsible for overseeing nearly every policy and publication of the largest municipal police department in the state of Ohio. Comparing those policies with others around the nation and the world has equipped her to identify progressing trends and best practices in law enforcement. She is responsible for quickly evaluating and assessing processes and systems to efficiently ensure continuous improvement of her agency. As the current president of the State of Ohio Accreditation Resource Coalition (SOAR), and assessor for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement (CALEA), Lieutenant Haley knows the value of a professional peer network and anticipates growing that network both in depth and breadth through her participation in the LEADS program.


Chad DePew

Portrait of Chad DePew
Chief of Police for the Kettering Health Network; 2017 NIJ LEADS Law Enforcement Officer
Police and Security Department

The KHN Police and Security Department has over 100 sworn police officers and 45 security/civilian employees and provides police and security services to 13 hospitals and medical facilities in a six-county region in southwest Ohio. Chief DePew is a graduate of the 264th class of the FBI National Academy, the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) Certified Law Enforcement Executive program, the OACP's Police Executive Leadership College, and the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. Chief DePew holds a bachelor's in criminal justice from Ohio University, a master's in criminal justice administration from Miami University, and is currently working on his MBA from Louisiana State University. Chief DePew is also an adjunct professor at Sinclair Community College. He has previously conducted research on drug overdose data collection methods and is currently part of a team researching cardiovascular disease risk factors in police officers. As a LEADS scholar, Chief DePew is honored to have the opportunity to work with other scholars and contribute to research to aid the advancement of the criminal justice field.


Date Created: April 3, 2020