Leadership News

Thursday, November 24, 2011

FBI Philadelphia Presents the 2011 Director’s Community Leadership Award

Special Agent in Charge George C. Venizelos of the Philadelphia Division of the FBI announced today that Stacy A. Irving, Senior Director of Crime Prevention Services for the Center City District and Chairperson of the Philadelphia Crime Prevention Council, is this year’s recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for the Philadelphia Division.

Since 1990, the FBI has publicly recognized and honored the achievements of individuals and organizations for their continued efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs and violence in America with the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award. Each year, one individual or organization in each of the FBI’s 56 field offices is selected whose achievements in the terrorism, crime, drug, gang, and/or violence prevention and education field have had exemplary impact on the community.

With more than 30 years of experience working with neighborhood and downtown business communities, Ms. Irving is internationally recognized for her unique crime prevention models, which combine crime reduction strategies, economic development, emergency preparedness and police, business and community partnerships.

Ms. Irving has been an active supporter of the FBI, working closely with both the Philadelphia Division and the FBI’s Community Relations Unit at FBI Headquarters for many years. She is a 1997 graduate of the FBI Philadelphia’s Citizens Academy Program, a co-founder and the current President of the FBI Philadelphia Citizens Academy Alumni Association, and a member of the Board of Directors and past Vice President of the FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association.

To further support the FBI and local law enforcement, Ms. Irving works closely with the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force and Counter Terrorism Squads on a variety of crime issues in the central business district. Over several years, she has helped coordinate the Annual Bank Robbery Prevention Summit with the Delaware Valley Financial Security Officers Group which is designed to assist law enforcement and financial institutions from throughout the region.

In 2010 and 2011 Ms. Irving helped coordinate two-part meeting between the FBI National and local Citizens Academy Alumni Associations and our office, along with representatives of more than 23 Muslim organizations from the region. These meetings provided an opportunity to bring together the Muslim community with federal, state and local law enforcement and human relations organizations, and to identify issues of concern, to facilitate mutual understanding, as well as to forge stronger partnerships.

Ms. Irving also serves as founder and Chairperson of the Philadelphia Crime Prevention Council, which is a forum for federal, state and local law enforcement working in partnership with corporate and private security to identify and facilitate crime prevention and emergency preparedness strategies. The Philadelphia Crime Prevention Council is celebrating its 14th year of successful public/private partnerships. Since September 11, 2001, Ms. Irving has dedicated a portion of every meeting to the FBI to provide counter-terrorism updates and to insure that the FBI has a strong working partnership with the private sector and local law enforcement.

Ms. Irving is the co-founder and administrator of the Alert Philadelphia emergency communications network in partnership with the Philadelphia Police Department. This critical communications tool was developed in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 to enable law enforcement and emergency management to communicate with the private sector and each other in the event of an emergency. Alert Philadelphia is being used to provide real-time text based messages with critical information on homeland security, crime alerts, bank robberies, amber alerts, bomb threats, demonstrations, and appeals for information, among other vital notifications. The system is an excellent example of public/private partnerships, as well as an emergency management and crime fighting tool, and has been credited with aiding the Philadelphia Police Department with five arrests to date.

The Philadelphia Division of the FBI presents Ms. Stacy Irving with the 2011 Director’s Community Leadership Award for her selfless dedication to making Philadelphia a stronger and safer community through her crime prevention initiatives, law enforcement and private sector partnerships and her steadfast support on behalf of the FBI and its mission.

Ms. Irving was presented with a certificate this past Thursday in the FBI offices in Philadelphia, and a formal ceremony will be held at FBI Headquarters on Friday, March 16, 2012, during which the FBI Director will personally present each of the recipients with their award.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Advancing Women’s Leadership in Law Enforcement

By Director Connie Patrick, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
Last week, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) hosted 21 women in law enforcement as part of FLETC’s Women in Law Enforcement Leadership Training Program at our headquarters in Glynco, GA. FLETC hosted a week-long leadership training program to help promote and support women’s leadership in law enforcement, discuss current leadership challenges for women in law enforcement, and help facilitate career planning.
 During the training program, I had the great privilege to join U.S. Secret Service (USSS) Chief of Staff Julia Pierson and FLETC Assistant Directors Cynthia Atwood and Dominick Braccio for a panel discussion on law enforcement leadership topics. 
USSS Chief of Staff Pierson began her career as a police officer in Orlando, Florida and then served as a USSS Special Agent assigned to the Miami Field Office.  FLETC Assistant Director Atwood was a special agent at the United States Department of Agriculture before coming to FLETC 15 years ago to promote law enforcement training excellence.  FLETC Assistant Director Braccio has 32 years of law enforcement experience and recently received the Outstanding Advocate for Women in Federal Law Enforcement Award for his contributions in areas of recruiting, retaining, and promoting women in law enforcement from the Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE) Foundation.
During the panel discussion, we noted that, while the law enforcement officers in attendance  represented a diverse spectrum of agencies and functions, they shared common experiences as women in law enforcement. Although women make up 47 to 50 percent of the workforce in the United States, they constitute only up to 20 percent of the law enforcement workforce and are underrepresented in the management ranks.
Here at FLETC, we are working hard to advance issues that impact women in law enforcement.  In the coming year, we will hold Women in Law Enforcement Leadership Training Programs at the FLETC domestic centers and internationally at the International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEA) in Thailand, Hungary, Botswana, and El Salvador. 
We at FLTEC understand that the law enforcement profession as a whole will continue to improve as women bring their skills and experience to leadership roles in law enforcement organizations across the country and around the world, and we look forward to being a part of their good work.                                          
Connie Patrick is Director of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), DHS’s law enforcement training organization.  Last year, FLETC trained more than 70,000 law enforcement professionals in skills including fingerprinting, tracking financial transactions, counterterrorism tactics, securing a building and searching a crime scene.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Internet Safety: Cyberbullying, Sexting and Social Networks

The December 1, 2011, episode of American Heroes Radio features a conversation with Detective Keith Dunn on Internet Safety: Cyberbullying, Sexting and Social Networks.

Program Date: December 1, 2011
Program Time: 1500 hours, PACIFIC
Topic: Internet Safety: Cyberbullying, Sexting and Social Networks
Listen Live: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lawenforcement/2011/12/01/internet-safety-cyberbullying-sexting-and-social-networks

About the Guest
Keith Dunn, KDCOP, has been warning and training parents, teachers, law enforcement and other community organizations nationwide about online dangers since 1999. KDCOP has worked closely with Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement as well as public and private investigative teams along the East Coast.

Keith has his degree in Criminal Justice and Computer Forensics. As a former member of the United States Air Force, Keith represented his Country during Operation Desert Storm. During his tour on active duty, Keith performed as a singer and dancer for “Tops in Blue”, a USO type military performing group started and operated by Bob Hope. After an honorable discharge from the Air Force in 1997 Keith immediately became a Police Officer for a local department. In 1999 Keith received a position as a Detective for the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office as an active member of the National Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Thanks to being proactively involved in the arrest and prosecution of internet predators and internet offenders, Keith began speaking on National TV and Radio. Keith still has time to appear for speaking engagements and has been seen on many shows like CNN with Paula Zauhn, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, The Montel Williams Show and has worked with the production staff for the Judge Hatchett Show and Maury Povich Show. Keith has talked to over 50,000 students and 10,000 parents around the Country and has recently partnered with DARE NJ as their internet safety expert and trains all NJ DARE Officers about internet crimes.

Keith has been involved with or trained with nationally accredited organizations such as the FBI, Police Training Commission, and the FBI Crimes Against Children Unit — Online Child Pornography/Child Sexual Exploitation. He also attended the Online Crimes Against Children Unit Commander Course and was certified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The KDCOP Foundation, a NJ Nonprofit Corporation, was created to provide little or no cost cyber safe assemblies to schools in order to keep their students safe in the digital world. The foundation brings together some of the greatest minds when developing cyber safety curriculum and then executes a dynamic, interactive, educational and inspirational school assembly. The mission of the KDCOP Foundation is to procure sponsorship and grant money to limit the financial stress that already plagues our school systems in order to perform assemblies at every school across the country.

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in law enforcement, public policy, law enforcement technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in law enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole:

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Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA

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Friday, November 18, 2011

2011 Denver Division Director’s Community Leadership Award

The FBI Denver Division is proud to announce Mr. Allan Wick as the recipient of the Denver Director’s Community Leadership Award for 2011. The outstanding contributions demonstrated by Mr. Wick for service to his community are astounding. As a leader in Colorado’s security industry, he demonstrates a strong and sustained commitment to building safer communities through crime prevention and critical infrastructure protection. His outreach and leadership in Colorado and beyond is promoting lasting relationships with government, private sector businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States.

Mr. Wick has achieved extraordinary results within the programs he initiated and built for the future. His influence in the FBI InfraGard program has developed a relationship of trust and credibility in the exchange of information concerning various terrorism, intelligence, criminal, and security matters.

InfraGard brings together representatives from the private and public sectors to help protect our nation’s critical infrastructure—both virtual and physical—from attacks by terrorists and criminals.

Read the best leadership book and learn how to become a respected leader like Mr. Wick!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Command Chief Master Sergeant: Leadership, taking care of Airmen should be the culture

Become as good a leader as the Command Chief Master Sergeant!  Learn from the best military leadership books written by professional military role models.

By Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. John Orrell
National Guard Bureau

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -Taking care of Airmen, getting help when help is needed and leading through engagement is the wingman concept the Air National Guard must continue to embrace, the senior enlisted advisor to the chief of the National Guard Bureau said here last week.

Speaking to senior enlisted members, junior officers and select outstanding junior enlisted members during the Air National Guard’s 2011 Enlisted Leadership Symposium, Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Denise Jelinski-Hall passionately reminded everyone of the necessity of taking care of each other.

“Taking care of our Airmen – it’s important – to create that culture of getting help if help is needed,” she said.

“Their wingman is there, their supervisor is there catch them, to help them, because … you’re engaged, you’ve got eyes on your Airman and taking care of them – that is what is expected of each and every one of you, to ensure we are taking care of our Airmen.”

Focusing on leading through engagement, Jelinski-Hall went through what she called her 10 leadership points.

1. Have a strong work ethic
For this point Jelinski-Hall said it may not be as simple to achieve as it is to explain, but like everything it will take work, focus and drive.

“To achieve any level of success, it takes hard work,” she said. “It takes work, time, effort, commitment, dedication, sacrifice to ensure you give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.”

2. Maintain a strong foundation of core values
Jelinski-Hall said she centers this leadership point around faith, family and life core values, such as integrity, trust, teamwork, doing the right thing and having that inner courage to ensure Guard members stand up for what is right at all times.

“It’s that foundation that as an Airman you are going to continually reach back on, and draw upon, when things get tough.”

3. Attitude, it all begins with attitude
“Everyday it begins with bringing the right attitude to the fight, to the office or wherever you are,” she said. “Have the right attitude. No one can give you that attitude and no one can take it away from you.”

It is up to the Guard member to decide what their attitude is going to be like, she said.

“You chose it everyday – when you wake up … you choose how you’re going to come to work, how you’re going to treat your employees,” she said.

“Attitude will determine your aptitude … and if you’re going to be successful in life you [need] to have that right attitude.”

4. Continual growth of self-development
“Education is absolutely a strategic imperative,” Jelinski-Hall said.

Self-development is also professional education, finding a mentor, being a mentor and volunteering for opportunities to get out of comfort zones, she said.

“Put yourself on a path of self-development. Take advantage of different courses.  Use your opportunities for training,” Jelinski-Hall said.

“Put yourself out there – expand yourself. One thing you can do is to ask a trusted colleague … three questions – ‘What do I need to stop doing? What do I need to start doing? What should I continue to do?’” she said. “Seek out those mentors and ask those questions.”

5. Be ready
“Opportunities come and go, sometimes they’re fleeting and it’s just that crack in the little window … where you’ll be able to sneak in when that opportunity happens,” she said.

It’s about Guard members being available when needed and positioning themselves for the call.

“No matter what level of success you reach continue to ask the question – ‘What do I need to do to prepare for the next thing?’ - so when that moment happens, and leadership taps you on the shoulder … and says it’s your turn, it’s best if you’re ready.

“Give leadership every reason to select you,” Jelinski-Hall said. “You have to prepare for that next opportunity.”

6. Strategic Risks
Guard members should not be afraid to take strategic risks, she said.

“Sometimes in life to go forward you need to do a little lateral side-step, or sometimes you may have to take a step back,” Jelinski-Hall said.

“Think strategically and take that risk. The path is not always straight … there are multiple ways to reach a level of success and leadership. Think strategically about how you are going to accomplish the goals you have set for yourself and your organization.”

7. Reach up, reach down, reach out, reach in
Jelinski-Hall said this point takes work from all Guard members throughout the chain.

“Reach up to supervisors, mentors and read Air Force Instructions.

“Reach down – when you achieve a level of success – it is an inherent responsibility as an Airman to bring someone up with you.

“Reach out to your community – serve, volunteer.”

“And the most difficult is reach in. Reach in to know and understand yourself. Determine your strengths and weaknesses so you can maximize your true potential.”

8. Professionalism
Throughout a Guard member’s career this step should be a constant in everything they do in uniform and out, Jelinski-Hall said.

“Uphold the highest standards of professionalism, both civilian and military,” she said. ‘Be true to those core values. Do what’s right. Treat everyone with dignity and respect and be the best Airman that you can be.”

9. Respectfully don’t take “no” for an answer
Telling a story from when she was trying to become a command chief master sergeant and was told there was no way it would happen for her, Jelinski-Hall said she respectfully questioned why, and took the time to find out how she could, instead of settling for the “no” she received.

“Trust but verify the answer when you are told ‘no’,” she said. Don’t accept the saying “no you can’t” and take the time to research the facts and try to find the “yes you can” solution.

“Many of us ask the question, ‘Can I do it?’ That’s the wrong question. You need to ask, ‘How can I do it?’ It’s a different mindset: It assumes you can already do it – and you can,” Jelinski-Hall said.

10. Be a fire starter
Jelinski-Hall said this point is there to remind Guard members to enjoy what they do or else they become ineffective.

“Have passion and conviction for what you do.  You have to have passion for what you do. And if you do, then this is not work,” she said.

“Get out there and ensure what you do you enjoy. Be excited about what you do, and have conviction to do a good job with that.”

She added that Guard members should use her points as a framework to develop their own throughout their careers, but to not forget how they got there and who helped make it possible.

“We stand on the shoulders of great leaders who have come before us, and you now are charged with doing the very same thing for those coming after you,” Jelinski-Hall said. “Break that glass ceiling and ... make things better for those you lead, those you serve, for those that come after you.”

It is that attitude of leadership and hard work which will allow the Air National Guard to continue building off its history and make things better for future Guard members, she said.

“The skills and ability we have in our National Guard … are the best, not only in America but the entire world.” Jelinski-Hall said. “I am so proud of everything you do each and every day to defend the flag that unites us in purpose.
“Give absolutely everything you have – that’s the difference in all things.”

Thursday, November 10, 2011

FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award

Become a leader in your workplace or in your community by learning from the best leadership book, written by leaders for leaders!

Scott Brunner, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Kentucky Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced the recipient of the 2011 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award. Brunner will present the award today to Chief Norman Mayer, of Louisville, Kentucky, at a ceremony to be held this evening at the St. Matthews City Hall.

Brunner stated that since 1990, the FBI has publicly recognized the achievements of individuals and organizations whose efforts in the crime, drug, gang, violence prevention, or education field have had an exemplary impact on the community. Each of the FBI’s 56 field offices annually recommends to the FBI Director one person or organization deemed worthy of this prestigious award.

The following is an overview concerning Chief Mayer:

Chief Mayer began his career with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and later joined the Louisville Police Department where he rose through the ranks achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1988, Chief Mayer was named Chief of Police of the St. Matthews Police Department. He quickly made changes within the agency that positively impacted the department and the community it serves. Today, the St. Matthews Police Department is accredited and is considered one of the finest police departments in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Perhaps one of the most important contributions that Chief Mayer has made to the St. Matthews’ community is one that has also been important throughout Kentucky and its impact may be felt for generations to come. In 1996, Chief Mayer established the first School Resource Officer (SRO) program in Kentucky, in his words, “to maintain an environment where teachers feel safe to teach and students feel safe to learn.” The program was intended to address the trend of increasing crime and disorder in our schools. The program had a remarkable effect on the environment and safety of our schools and was heralded as a success. The program became a national model for law enforcement agencies and schools throughout the United States. Today there are approximately 200 School Resource Officers in Kentucky. Chief Mayer encouraged his SRO to become a national SRO training instructor. To date, that officer has trained over 400 police officers nationwide to fill this important role.

Chief Mayer created a Criminal Investigative Division to conduct more in-depth investigations of matters within St. Matthews. He also established a Special Response Team (SRT) composed of specially trained patrol officers who could respond to active shooter incidents at the schools or large malls within the community. He solicited help from the Louisville FBI SWAT team to provide active shooter training for his personnel. He has maintained a close liaison with the Louisville FBI and appropriately recognizes incidents as potential federal criminal or terrorism matters. Within the past year, he referred two matters to the Louisville FBI. One matter involved a complicated scheme by a local automobile dealer to defraud customers and banks. The referral prevented many hundreds of thousands of dollars of additional loss. On another matter (which is still pending) Chief Mayer thought might be terrorism related, however, investigation by the Louisville FBI determined it to be a criminal matter involving multiple locations throughout the country.

Chief Mayer’s influence is apparent in the leadership positions held by his own police officers in some of Kentucky’s most important law enforcement organizations such as “The Kentucky School Resource Officers Association,” “The Kentucky Women in Law Enforcement Network,” and “The Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program.” Chief Mayer has been a mentor to countless police officers throughout Kentucky. He has been an ethical and moral leader and he continues to set high standards for others to follow. He has clearly earned the respect and admiration of his officers and community.

Chief Mayer will be afforded the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. in March 2012 to be personally recognized by the FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III at a national ceremony to be held at FBI Headquarters.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Sacramento FBI Announces 2011 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award Recipient: WEAVE, Inc.

Learn from the best leadership book and become a leader in your community or workplace!

The Sacramento Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is pleased to announce that WEAVE, Inc. is the recipient of the 2011 Director’s Community Leadership Award.  The annual award recognizes the achievement of an individual or organization for commitment to violence education and prevention.

“It is an honor to be able to present WEAVE, Inc. with the Director’s Community Leadership Award for commitment to crisis intervention and prevention in our region,” said Herb Brown, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Sacramento FBI field office. “Beth Hassett and her team’s outstanding efforts have continually increased the community’s understanding of domestic violence and sexual assault and have ensured that victims have resources available to begin the healing process.”

Since opening as a grassroots organization in 1978, WEAVE has become a large, nationally recognized agency that provides crisis intervention and prevention services to women, men and children who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking in the Sacramento region. Focused on eliminating the cycle of violence and abuse, WEAVE dedicates significant resources to prevention and education programs in addition to essential victims services.  In 2011, WEAVE realized the following successes:

■197 women and 168 children found refuge at the safe house for an average of 27 days each
■15,865 callers received help from the 24-hour support line
■1,006 women and men received counseling
■57 children received therapy to break the cycle of violence
■1,404 victims received legal services
■212 rape victims were accompanied at the hospital during evidence collection.

“I am honored that WEAVE has been chosen as the Sacramento area recipient of the Director’s Community Leadership Award.  WEAVE believes that all women, men, and children deserve to feel safe in their homes and community,” said Beth Hassett, executive director of WEAVE. “In these difficult times we have to be more innovative, more enthusiastic and more committed to making sure that the most vulnerable among us are taken care of.  The award represents our continued efforts to create a cohesive response to victims and accountability for perpetrators.”

For more than two decades, Beth Hassett, executive director of WEAVE, has been a volunteer and staff member for non-profit organizations focused on improving the quality of life in the Sacramento region and beyond. As the executive director of WEAVE, Hassett leads a team of advocates, counselors, educators, and volunteers who share the common goal of bringing an end to domestic violence and sexual assault in the community.

In addition to her position with WEAVE, Hassett currently serves as a commissioner on the First Five Sacramento Commission, president of the Planned Giving Forum of Sacramento, treasurer of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA), vice president of the Midtown Business Association, secretary of the Sacramento Children’s Coalition, and is a member of both the ALS Association National Board of Representatives and the board of the ALS Association of Greater Sacramento. She was appointed to the statewide Domestic Violence Advisory Council by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2010 and graduated from the Sacramento FBI Citizens Academy in 2011.

Hassett will accept the 2011 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award on behalf of WEAVE, Inc. from SAC Brown during a small ceremony held at the Sacramento field office at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, November 30, 2011. Hassett will also travel to FBI Headquarters in Washington D.C. to receive the official engraved crystal award from FBI Director Robert Mueller on March 16, 2012, at a public ceremony.

Established in 1978, WEAVE provides crisis intervention and prevention services to women, men, and children in Sacramento County who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or human trafficking. Key programs include a safehouse for women and children, a sexual assault response team, a 24-hour support and information line, counseling, legal services, and prevention education for youth and adults.

Media Contact:
Gina Swankie, (916) 214-8309

Monday, November 07, 2011

Aaron T. Ford Named Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Memphis Division

Special Agent Aaron T. Ford has read and learned from some of the best leadership books.  You should do the same and become a leader in your workplace.

Director Robert S. Mueller, III has named Aaron T. Ford special agent in charge of the FBI’s Memphis Division. Mr. Ford most recently served as an inspector in the FBI’s Inspection Division at FBI Headquarters (FBIHQ) since August 2010. He oversaw field office and FBIHQ inspections, shooting incident review teams, audits, and special inquiries.

Mr. Ford began his career as an FBI agent in August 1985. His first assignment was to the St. Louis Division, where he worked violent crime and organized crime matters. He was also a SWAT team member, where he participated in the execution of numerous high-risk threats, search warrants, and protective details.

In June 1989, Mr. Ford transferred to the Newark Division. He served as team leader on the SWAT team. In August 1998, he was promoted to supervisory special agent on a drug squad.

Two years later, in January 2000, he became a supervisor for the public corruption/civil rights squad. In August 2005, he was assigned as supervisory special resident agent of the Red Bank Resident Agency. While in this role, he supervised all criminal matters.

Mr. Ford returned to FBIHQ in February 2006 as a team leader in the Inspection Division, where he served until August 2007. He participated in the auditing of all FBI programs. In October 2007, he made his way back to the Newark Division as assistant special agent in charge. Mr. Ford oversaw the administrative branch and later the criminal enterprise branch.

Prior to his FBI career, he served as a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Ford investigated violent crime, fugitive, drug, and corruption cases.

Mr. Ford is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in criminology from Tennessee State University and a Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers School of Law.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Phoenix's community relations officer brings people together

Whether a police officer or active community member, learn from the best leadership book to become a leader like Rudy Bustamante!

If anyone knows Phoenix, it's Rudy Bustamante. He's spent his entire life there, serving in community roles ranging from police detective to school board member. When U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was looking for a community relations officer for the Phoenix area, Bustamante was the perfect fit. Two years into the position, he works tirelessly to educate advocacy groups, schools, neighborhoods, and local law enforcement agencies about ICE.

"People are totally surprised at what we do," he said.

It's a common misconception that ICE focuses only on immigration. While that's part of the agency's mission, ICE also serves as the largest investigative agency in the Department of Homeland Security. ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents enforce customs laws, conduct drug and human smuggling investigations, detect financial fraud, and more.

"Rudy is able clear up miscommunication about what each federal agency's role is," said Michael Nowakowski, a Phoenix city councilman. "Rudy has helped bring the community together and understand the role of ICE. Everyone wants to lock up bad people. If you're smuggling human bodies across the border, you're going to jail. No one wants to have a human smuggler next door."

Like Nowakowski, people want to know what's happening in their communities, especially when ICE is involved.

"I'll call my contacts from my cell phone from the scene when we execute a search warrant. That provides them with an idea of what's going on, and they appreciate that," said Bustamante.

 You'll also find Bustamante making presentations at schools and meeting with advocacy group leaders at local coffee shops. He considers in-person meetings to be of great importance because that's how he builds rapport and trust with the local community.

 During those interactions, he uses the Steven R. Covey quote, "Seek to understand; then to be understood," as a guiding principle.

In order to be effective, "You must first listen. Then, you can share what you have to offer and how you can help out," said Bustamante. "ICE employees are part of the community. They work here, go to school here. They have a vested interest in keeping your community safe."

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Face of Defense: ‘Soldier of the Year’ Leads by Example

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

SEOUL, South Korea, Nov. 2, 2011 – She is, by one measure, the best soldier in the Army: a first sergeant -- the enlisted leader of an Army company -- and single mother, who stands about 5 feet tall and whose personal email address includes the moniker “short dawg.”

But according to the troops, commanders and civilians who work alongside her, 1st Sgt. Monekia Denkins’ influence far exceeds her physical stature.

Denkins, recently chosen as Army Times newspaper’s 2011 Soldier of the Year, received some two dozen unsolicited letters in support of her nomination for that award. Fellow members of the South Korea-based 201st Signal Company wrote of her tolerance, guidance, mentorship and motivation and leadership.

Denkins’ leadership style is indicated within many nomination letters that describe her attitude toward rank. As one letter put it, “On a weekly basis we held meetings in the conference room and [Denkins] would start it out the same: ‘Everyone take off your rank. In this room rank doesn’t matter, for we are family and everyone has a voice. If anyone has anything they need to get off their chest, now is the time, for once we walk out of this room we speak with one voice.’”

Denkins and Army Capts. Keila Sanchez-Erazo and Gary Jones, her current and former company commanders with the 201st, spoke with American Forces Press Service during Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta’s visit here last week. Denkins introduced Panetta to the crowd at a town hall gathering, addressing them as “leaders.”

“I refer to all of my soldiers as leaders, because leaders must believe in themselves -- people must believe in themselves,” she told AFPS. “My soldiers are referred to as leaders, not by rank, … because I want them to be able to go out there and be able to accomplish any mission.”

Denkins said she considers it her job to show soldiers what right looks like.

“I am the example. My commander is the example,” she said. “Beyond that, I make them face their fears head-on.”

Poor leaders are those who don’t meet established standards, she said.

“There’s one standard. You can always rise above the standard, but you don’t drop below. … It’s not an 82nd Airborne [Division] standard, it’s not a Fort Bragg standard, it’s not a Korea standard. It’s the Army standard that we compete against,” Denkins added.

She admitted the letters supporting her nomination surprised her.

“Really and truly, I thought they all hated me because of how I am,” she said. “But when you’re part of a team, you’ve got to push people to the point where they feel very uncomfortable. … When they’re uncomfortable and they can face it and overcome it, there’s no better feeling. You can see it in their faces that they believe they can accomplish anything.”

The first sergeant said during 20 years in the Army, she never has worried about being liked.

“When we have to fight and win tonight, [‘like’ is] not going to get us there,” she said. “It’s not about likership, it’s about military leadership.”

Sanchez-Erazo, who commands the 201st, said that while Denkin’s soldiers may not say so to her face, they truly admire the ability that she has to build them up. “She finds ways to make them believe in themselves,” the captain said.

Jones, former 201st commander, said Denkins not only leads her troops through their military tasks, but supports them in life challenges as well. For example, he said, one soldier in the company, a 19-year-old “super troop,” tested positive for HIV about a year ago.

“Absolutely outstanding soldier,” he said. “When he was first diagnosed, it was a very, very difficult time for him. The person that he went to was First Sergeant Denkins.”

During the three weeks before the soldier returned to the United States, Jones said, Denkins was by his side, helping him to cope with the news and the difficulty of sharing it with his family.

“There are so many leaders today who have a false sense of care,” he said. “You see the stories about toxic leadership -- leaders who only care about their careers. But she never looks up; she always looks to the soldiers.”

Denkins said the other soldiers in the unit never knew about that soldier’s condition, and he returned to the United States with his dignity intact. “I wanted him to concentrate on getting better, because this is not a death sentence,” she said, noting that she asks herself how she’d want to be treated when a tough situation arises. And when she faces a “point of no return” situation, Denkins said, her first thought is to turn it around.

“One human life lost is way too many, because one person can affect thousands,” she said. “So I’ve got to figure out a way to turn a situation around. I don’t sleep well at night, because I’m always thinking. I always want to make it better.”

Denkins admitted her time as a first sergeant has made her look at herself in a new light. Jones and Sanchez-Erazo build her up by challenging her to take better care of herself, she said.

“They see something that I haven’t taken time to look at, and that’s me,” she said. “I’m the last person to get fed.”

Denkins was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2008, and while she admits to not always taking her medicine as she should, she doesn’t let the condition slow her down. Jones said he once carried the first sergeant to the emergency room, where she was told to take three days off. Denkins was back at work later that morning, he added.

As a single parent, Denkins said, her 18-year-old son, Marquel, has had to get by on the “not a lot that’s left” when her duty day ends.

“It’s not a good balance,” she acknowledged. “I spend more time at work, … but when I am with my son, it’s quality time. And I will back him up, and I push him to do anything he can do.”

Her soldiers have asked her son how he can live in the same house with her, Denkins said, and his response is it’s easy “if you do what you’re supposed to do.”

“I believe that it starts at home,” she said. “I am a very disciplined person -- I always tell everyone, it’s the small things that will trip you up. What I say to my soldiers, my son gets 40 times over.

“I’ve never had a problem with my son, not once,” she continued. “Marquel is a blessing to me -- he’s very, very disciplined. He’s very respectful.”

Denkins has been selected for promotion to sergeant major, and she’s slated to attend the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy next year. Denkins said she considered retiring a while back, but has decided against it.

“I was actually getting a little disgruntled,” she said. “When you start seeing stories about toxic leaders, I take that personally, because I am a leader. For those who are out there who don’t want to do the right thing, I think they should be the ones who retire.”

Denkins said she’s looking forward to attending the academy.

“I want to do my best, because if you don’t have to worry about Denkins, that’s one less soldier you’ve got to worry about.”

Denkins said she has seen the standing of women in the military improve during her career.

“Now, as far as sitting at the table with the males, we’re coming a long way,” she said. “We’re noticing there are females that go into combat, they get into situations, and they survive.” She added some advice for other women in uniform.

“Don’t let somebody tell you that you can’t do something because you’re a female,” she said. “Stay grounded, focus, and you can achieve anything that you want to if you believe in yourself. But it starts with you.”