The National Institute of Justice’s Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Programs are designed to increase the research capabilities of law enforcement officers and agencies.
Lieutenant Mourtgos is an NIJ LEADS Scholar.
Lt. Scott Mourtgos is a 15-year veteran of the Salt Lake City Police Department (SLCPD). He is currently the Investigations Division Lieutenant overseeing Person Crimes, including homicide, special victims, robbery & violent crimes, domestic violence, intelligence, and victim advocacy services. He is also the designated Intelligence Commander for the SLCPD as a member of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. Lt. Mourtgos has previously served in patrol, narcotics, bikes, community intelligence, and professional standards. Lt. Mourtgos holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Weber State University, an M.A. in Forensic Psychology from the University of North Dakota, and is a Ph.D. student in the Political Science Department at the University of Utah. His research interests include public perceptions of police use-of-force, use-of-force policy, and the efficacy of investigative techniques with child and adult sexual assault investigations. Lt. Mourtgos is a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development interviewing protocol instructor and board member of the Advisory Board of the Salt Lake County Children’s Justice Center. He has published a number of peer-reviewed studies in academic journals, reporting research in the areas of police use-of-force, police attitudes and behaviors, and crime deterrence.
Victor “Tony” Galladora
Lieutenant Victor “Tony” Galladora is a 15 year veteran of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Police and is currently serving as the Executive Officer for the Field Services Bureau Chief. The Field Services Bureau includes the Public Information Division, Special Operations Division, Traffic Division, and Security Services Division. Lt. Galladora is expected to complete a Management Master’s Degree with a Homeland Security Management Specialization from University of Maryland Global Campus in Fall 2020. His research interests include developing operationally significant standardized test methods for sUAS and other technological solutions to solve law enforcement problems. He is looking forward to working with fellow LEADS scholars and academics to research and implement evidence based best practices to improve the quality and efficiency of public safety.
Loren T. Atherley
Loren T. Atherley is an NIJ LEADS Civilian.
Loren T. Atherley serves as Director of Performance Analytics & Research (PA&R) and the Senior Research Scientist for the Seattle Police Department (SPD). The PA&R Section is a continuation of the department’s internal performance, evaluation and advanced research methods capabilities, developed to demonstrate compliance with a federal Consent Decree. Loren leads a regional research consortium, a national data working group on Analytics & Evidence Based Policing (affiliated with the Major Cities Chiefs Association) and an international research network. In addition, Loren consults across the criminal justice and data sciences, including: statistics and research methods, threat assessment / threat management and violent / aggressive / psychopathic behavior, providing strategic advice to the Chief of Police and the City of Seattle, as well as other local, state and federal agencies. Loren is an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at Seattle University.
Loren holds a Master's degree in Criminal Justice from Seattle University, where he completed a thesis on behavioral profiling and serial sexual homicide, the Green River Killer and the offender Gary L. Ridgway.
Jason Schiess is an NIJ LEADS Civilian.
Jason Schiess has worked in the law enforcement profession for 26 years, and currently commands the Analytical Services Division at the Durham (NC) Police Department. He earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida in 2001, and graduated from the Senior Management Institute for Police (PERF) in 2016. Law enforcement experience includes tours of duty at the Port Orange (FL) Police Department, Larimer County (CO) Sheriff’s Officer and Grand County (CO) Sheriff’s Office. Areas of concentration include corrections, uniform patrol, high-liability training, SWAT, crime analysis and intelligence.
Analytical projects include “Operation Bulls Eye,” a multi-year, multi-agency enforcement initiative against violent gun crime in a two square mile area of East Durham, and the “Residential Awareness Program,” which was developed to abate near-repeat residential burglaries. Jason has also served as a data partner with North Carolina Central University as part of the Research Network for Misdemeanor Justice though John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Additional research interests include integrating data across the local criminal justice system, creating a visualization tool to identify evidence-based points of intervention that effectively divert offenders from continuing criminality.
Lt. Eve Stephens is an NIJ LEADS Scholar.
Lt. Eve Stephens is a 21 year veteran with the Austin Police Department and is currently assigned to the Training Academy. She is the 2nd Asian female to be hired by the department and is the first Asian female to promote to Sergeant and also Lieutenant. In her tenure with the department, she has held assignments in patrol, Child Abuse, Internal Affairs, Financial Crimes, Street Narcotics, and Staffing. While working in Staffing, one of Lt Stephens’ responsibilities was keeping track of the demographics of the department. It was there that she first noticed the number of female officers in the department was below the national average for a major metropolitan area. This set into motion her research on female officers at APD and women in policing in general. In 2018, she created the first Women’s Mentorship Program for female cadets at the Academy and paired with an academic to evaluate the program’s effectiveness. Because of her work on the Mentorship Program, the Texas Police Chiefs Association asked her to participate in a committee to create a state level mentorship program for female officers. Her research passion continues to be women in police work and how to get the numbers up!
William Forrester, III
Officer Forrester is an NIJ LEADS Scholar.
William Forrester began his law enforcement career with the Memphis Police Department in 2011 when he entered the department’s training academy as a police recruit. He served as a patrol officer at Old Allen Station, Ridgeway Station, and Tillman Station and was a member of the Memphis Police Association’s Contract Negotiating Committee in 2015. In 2017, he was transferred to his current assignment in the department’s Accreditation and Research Office. William is currently serving his second term as a commissioner on the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission; he was initially appointed by Gov. Haslam in 2016 and was reappointed in 2019. He served on both the commission’s Rules Committee and Informal Hearing Committee. In addition, he is a Policing Fellow at the National Police Foundation. William holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University and a M.S. in Criminal Justice from Bethel University. His research interests include, officer retention, training, predictive policing, and internal disciplinary procedures.
Lt. Cory is an NIJ LEADS Scholar.
Lt. Christian Cory has served on the Wichita Police Department for 21 years. He currently leads the DV/Sex Crimes Investigations Section and is the Commander of the Crisis Negotiations Team. Lt. Cory has previously served in the Homicide Section, DV/Sex Crimes Section, Gang/Felony Assault Unit, Crisis Negotiation, and Patrol. Lt. Cory has obtained his B.S. in Criminology at Kansas State University and his M.A. in Forensic Psychology at the University of North Dakota. Lt. Cory’s interests and expertise involve science-based interviewing & interrogation, rapport development, de-escalation, cognitive interviewing, and increasing the effectiveness of law enforcement investigations through communication. Recently Lt. Cory has collaborated with researchers and practitioners to bring a science-based interviewing field validation study and the curriculum to the Wichita Police Department.
Commander Veliz is an NIJ LEADS Scholar.
Gio Veliz has served the citizens of Minneapolis since 1992 with a philosophy to improve community trust and police services. His prior assignments include administrative sergeant to the Chief, investigations, patrol and Director of Police Activities League.
He leads the Special Crimes Investigations Division and works in partnership with multiple stakeholders to develop recommendations to eliminate traffic fatalities, juvenile racial disparity as well as reduce the backlog of sexual assault kits.
He holds a BS from John Jay College, an MA in leadership from Saint Thomas University and is an PhD candidate at Hamline University. His doctoral research focuses on the intersection of police legitimacy and immigrant communities. Additionally, he is an alumni of the Northwestern Police Command School, an alumni of the Senior Executive in Local Government program at the Harvard Kennedy School and a 2016 Bush Fellowship recipient.
He is married and he and his wife enjoy walks with their dogs. He is grateful for his spouse’s reminders that his role as a public servant is not a job but an opportunity to serve the community. He will take this opportunity to lead research projects and implement best practices to enhance police services in Minneapolis.
Shaun L. Ward
Dr. Ward is an NIJ LEADS Scholar.
Shaun L. Ward, D.M. is a service-minded change agent focused on the people side of change. He is seasoned law enforcement professional with nearly 20 years of service. He has proven success in community engagement initiatives, program development and implementation, problem solving, leadership and policy development, strategic development, directing and executing community service activities, operations management, threat management, project coordination, and program analysis. Dr. Ward currently serves as a research community affiliate and advisor to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte High-reliability Systems, Emotions, and Risk within Organizations (H.E.R.O.) Lab, which is dedicated to researching topics that are meaningful to scholars, practitioners, and communities at-large. His research interests are in occupational health and safety, relational process, employee and community well-being.
Lieutenant Dolly is an NIJ LEADS Scholar.
Lieutenant Dolly is a twenty-year veteran of the St. Louis County Police Department and currently responsible for the research, policy, and analysis function of the department. Before his current assignment, he has held positions in patrol, the training academy, and the Chief’s Office. Lieutenant Dolly leads a team that produces all crime analysis products and operating policies for the department. Over the course of several years, his team has produced dozens of policies based on evidence and best practices. His research interests include using institutional theory to explain change in policing practices and hopes to collaborate with other LEADS scholars to study the career outcomes of officers. Lieutenant Dolly has a master’s degree in Public Administration and is currently in the dissertation phase of a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Missouri St. Louis. He looks forward to using the LEADS program as a means to improve policing in the St. Louis region
Constable Wright is an NIJ LEADS Scholar.
Constable Maria Wright has been a sworn member of the London Police Service for twelve years and has experience in both the uniformed and criminal investigations divisions. Maria is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Applied Criminology and Police Management at Cambridge University. Her thesis project is a ten year analysis of tracking the accuracy of assessing high risk offenders for intimate partner violence. In her current role as part of LPS’s modernization team, she is using her knowledge and experience to develop an evidence-based project that will evaluate the effectiveness of different proactive impaired driving interventions. She is also creating a project that focuses on crime prevention for residential break and enters in the city of London, Ontario.
Detective Ismail is an NIJ LEADS Scholar.
Detective Feras Ismail is a 19-year member of the Peel Regional Police and has worked in various areas including Uniform Patrol, the Street Crime and Gang Units, the Intelligence Security Section, and is currently working in the Equity & Inclusion Bureau (EIB). Det. Ismail is a nationally recognized counter-terrorism and hate crimes expert and has served in an investigative, interview and consultative capacity on a wide-array of terrorism and extremism-related investigations at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.
Detective Ismail’s operational experience, coupled with his community engagement and crime prevention work, have enabled him to play a pivotal role in the development of various organizational policies and training programs designed to build internal capacity to prevent and respond to hate motivated crime and violent extremism. Detective Ismail has presented on these and related issues at a range of domestic and international practitioner and academic symposia, and has briefed high level government and police officials on hate motivated crime and counter-terrorism/countering violent extremism training, policy and practice.
Detective Ismail is currently the co-Chair of a practitioner-academic research working group working to develop a suite of non-enforcement competencies and performance metrics that could be used to capture and assess community-engagement and crime prevention police work. His current duties involve the collection, collation and analyses of data on hate-motivated incidents and crime, and as the Detective in charge of EIB he regularly drafts reports on these data and delivers related presentations for both police and non-police audiences.
Det. Ismail holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from McMaster University and a Master’s Degree in Leadership from the University of Guelph.
Dr. Zauhar is an NIJ LEADS Scholar.
Dr. Sean Zauhar is a 19-year law enforcement veteran with the St. Paul Police Department (SPPD) and is currently assigned to their training unit. He leads curriculum design, course implementation, and program evaluation for both in-service and academy training. Dr. Zauhar has helped guide the development of several significant initiatives to align SPPD practices with the 21st century policing recommendations; which include the development of a new use of force program, updated use of force policy, the creation of a crisis intervention team (CIT) program, and the restructuring of over 640-hours of academy curricula. He recently completed his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Walden University in August of 2019. His dissertation titled "Effects of Police-Mental Health Collaborative Services on Calls, Arrests, and Emergency Hospitalization" focused on police-mental health teams' ability to reduce repeated calls for service with persons affected by mental illness. Through his research, SPPD was able to validate the need to expand its collaborative mental health initiatives to reach additional underserved populations. Dr. Zauhar's present research focuses on bridging the gap between police educational programs and law enforcement practices and finding ways to minimize the use of force to enhance public safety while improving community relations.
Officer Cherry is an NIJ LEADS Scholar.
Officer Cherry has been with the Charleston Police Department for 8 ½ years and currently serves as the agency’s recruiter. Officer Cherry developed a five year strategic plan in compliance with the department’s racial bias audit and developed quantitative measures to track the plan’s success. Officer Cherry has applied evidence-based policing to drive changes in recruitment processes, policies, and marketing efforts. Her research interests include the improvement and expansion of data collection around recruitment and the effects of diversity on the law enforcement profession. She is excited to have the opportunity to partner with leading academic and police scholars to implement evidence-based policing, support local research, learn from other officers engaged in advancing evidence-based policing, and share successful outcomes with peers, agencies and other national law enforcement organizations. Officer Cherry holds a bachelor’s from UCLA and a Master’s of Business Administration in global business with an emphasis on international finance and economics from Pepperdine University.
Special Constable John Ng is a divisional crime analyst with the Saskatoon Police Service and has been a law enforcement analyst for nearly 10 years. He’s a certified law enforcement analyst with the International Association of Crime Analysts and has been an active member having volunteered with their former Methods Subcommittee co-authoring a handful of technical papers on analytical methods including hotspot analysis, prioritizing offenders, and social network analysis and currently volunteers with their Publications Committee. He’s presented at crime analysis conferences and recently at the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing (EBP) Conference on the role of crime analysts in EBP. He also served as the Analyst Series Coordinator (lead) for the Canadian Society of Evidence-Based Policing’s (CAN-SEBP) Community Engagement Team and continues to volunteer as a Community Liaison for CAN-SEBP promoting the value of law enforcement analysts in EBP. He’s successfully completed a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Toronto. His research interests include police culture, police leadership, organizational change, police tactics & strategies, hotspots policing, offender management (and risk assessments), and crime analysis.
Sergeant Nick Bell is in his 16th year of service with the West Vancouver Police Department in British Columbia, Canada. He is currently in-charge of the Community Service Team, working with community stakeholders, schools, and government agencies to address a variety of community policing issues. Prior to this position, Sgt Bell has worked as a frontline patrol supervisor, police academy instructor, and surveillance officer. Sgt Bell holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Victoria, a master’s degree in emergency management from Royal Roads University, and a master’s of law degree specializing in International Justice from the University of London. Sgt Bell has taken part in a number of research projects at the local, national, and international level. Most recently, Sgt Bell has partnered with New York University in several randomized control trials related to crime prevention and police response. Sgt Bell is currently researching neighborhood watch, specifically examining how the expansion of neighborhood watch impacts crime and sense of safety. Sgt Bell aims to use this NIJ LEADS program to gain further knowledge in evidence based policing and to partner on research projects throughout North America. Sgt Bell’s research interests are in the area of evidence based decision making, crime prevention, and community engagement with police. Away from policing, Sgt Bell is kept busy by a very active little son, an amazing wife and a chubby French Bulldog.
Ashley Covarrubias is a native Tucsonan who has proudly served with the Tucson Police Department since 2016. She holds a BS in Criminal Justice Administration and an MPA from the University of Arizona. In 2014, Officer Covarrubias began a doctoral program in Public Policy and Management where her research primarily focused on dark networks in terrorism and ethics in policing. Since she began at TPD, she has served in Operations Division West as a patrol officer. During her tenure, she founded a community engagement program, You Can, Too. (YCT), with the goal to replace fear with facts and provide community members in underserved areas opportunities to have non-enforcement contact with police officers. She piloted the program at the Fred G Acosta Job Corps Center, F.O. Holaway Elementary School, and E.C. Nash Elementary School, where she collected data both pre- and post-intervention. Preliminarily findings show significant increases in community trust in police and in willingness to report crime. The program is currently expanding citywide in Tucson and the Yankton (SD) Police Department has also begun the program in their jurisdiction. Officer Covarrubias also received a grant from the Arizona State University School of Social Work to conduct a comprehensive study of the effectiveness of YCT. YCT was also recently chosen as a primary intervention strategy for a local Department of Justice Community Based Crime Reduction grant.
Jacob Cramer, Ph.D.
Dr. Cramer is the Analysis Administrator for the Tucson Police Department (TPD), and has more than 9 years of experience in social science research and data analysis. At TPD, Dr. Cramer leads the Analysis Division and is responsible for advancing the Department's strategy of effective policing through policy informed by research, advanced applications of data and analysis, and strong community relations. Before joining TPD, he served as project manager for the NIJ Evaluation of the OVC Vision 21: Linking Systems of Care for Children and Youth State Demonstration Project at ICF. Previously, Dr. Cramer consulted for the International Organization for Migration as Social Network Consultant On Violent Extremism, where he evaluated a countering violent extremism (CVE) network in Niger. He has also consulted for USAID-OTI as international expert on social network analysis, where he designed and implemented a social network study of violent extremism in northern Mali. Dr. Cramer has extensive experience conducting data analysis related to violence, crime, and extremism, and has particular interests in social network analyses and quantitative methods. He received his Ph.D., and M.A., from the University of Arizona, and received his B.A., from Syracuse University.
Kyle McLean is an Assistant Professor in the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of South Carolina, writing a dissertation on how individuals evaluate outcome fairness in police-citizen interactions. His policing research focuses on police-community relations, police training, and evaluations of policing programs. In graduate school he worked on an NIJ-funded evaluation of a social interaction training program for police officers in the Tucson, AZ and Fayetteville, NC police departments. The study was the first of its kind to use random assignment to evaluate the effects of a low-intensity, high-repetition social interaction training program in police departments. In addition to this project, he also worked on an evaluation of the Greenville, SC police department’s body-worn camera project. As an assistant professor, he has begun to develop new projects including a study of officer perceptions of body-worn camera footage of use of force incidents that includes a component evaluating a use of force training program.
LEADS Scholars are mid-career, sworn law enforcement officers dedicated to advancing the police profession through science.
Inspector Cecilia Ashe has served with the Wilmington Police Department for 14 years and is currently assigned as the Inspector of Operations. She has over 24 years of law enforcement experience, including time as a police officer in Arlington County, Virginia. Inspector Ashe holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Wilmington University and is a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Policing, Session 70. She was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Wilmington Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center, which was the first in the State of Delaware. Additionally, she developed a Crime Gun Intelligence Center in partnership with ATF, that focuses on NIBIN lead investigations, and has resulted in hundreds of leads in firearms investigations. Inspector Ashe is working on a study of gunshot recognition technology software to be intergraded with the city’s video monitoring system. This will provide live video feeds to officers responding to ‘shots fired’ calls for service.
The NIJ LEADS program will facilitate Inspector Ashe in advancing her knowledge of evidence-based research in law enforcement, which she will take back to her department to further its commitment to integrating research and science into policies and practices.
Cory P. Haberman, Ph.D.
Dr. Cory Haberman is an assistant professor in the School of Criminal Justice and Director of the Institute of Crime Science at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Haberman has two primary research interests. First, Dr. Haberman’s research focuses on using quantitative methods to understand spatial-temporal crime patterns. Second, Dr. Haberman’s research uses mixed-methods to advance evidence-based policing with particular interests in crime analysis, hot spots policing, and focused deterrence. Dr. Haberman’s has worked with police agencies across the country on implementing innovative strategies, such as hot spots policing or focused deterrence. He is also currently working on projects related to the use of virtual reality for law enforcement training. Dr. Haberman’s work has been published in leading criminology and criminal justice journals, such as Criminology, Crime and Delinquency, Journal of Experimental Criminology, and Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.
I received my PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of South Carolina in 2015. Currently, I am an assistant professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska Omaha, where I coordinate our MA program and teach undergraduate and graduate-level classes on policing. My research centers on policing with emphases on procedural justice, legitimacy, and officer-involved shootings. To date, I have published over thirty peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews related to these and similar topics. I am thrilled to have been selected for the inaugural class of LEADS Academics, because as a criminologist, I believe it is important to convey research findings to people outside of academia – including the police and the general public. I look forward to networking and potentially collaborating with the other LEADS Academics and Scholars to advance policing through rigorous science.
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
Lt. John Koch has served as a police officer for the City of Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) for 17 years. He currently leads the Strategic Information Center (StIC), which is responsible for implementing CSPD’s transition to Intelligence-Led Policing. This role includes supervision of the department’s Intelligence Unit, Crime Analysis Unit, Strategic Investigations Unit, and Vice & Human Trafficking Unit. Lt. Koch has held assignments in patrol, the Homicide Unit, the Special Victims Section, and the Internal Affairs Section. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems and Aerospace Studies, and he will complete his master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado in December 2019. Lt. Koch’s research interests include implementation of Intelligence-Led Policing in law enforcement agencies, the impact of traffic enforcement on traffic collision prevalence, and using evidence-based best practices to improve criminal investigation quality.
A 23 year veteran of the Richmond (VA) Police Department, Lieutenant Naoroz is currently in charge of the 4th Precinct Focus Mission Team. Previously, he has served as the Executive Officer of 2nd Precinct, a 15 year member of the SWAT Team, a use of force instructor for the academy responsible for designing the training currently employed by the department, a patrol sergeant, and a narcotics detective. Lieutenant Naoroz also volunteers his time to serve as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Richmond Retirement System. His research interests include deployment strategies, officer wellness, and police technology. Lieutenant Naoroz is a graduate of the University of Richmond.