Executive Fellows

Chief Pat Walsh

Chief Pat Walsh started his career in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 1984.  In 1991, he moved to the Pacific Northwest and began working for the Portland Police Bureau.  While with the Portland Police, Chief Walsh worked a variety of assignments to include gang enforcement, narcotics, patrol, office of accountability and professional standards, tactical operations, chief’s adjutant, executive officer and the compliance coordinator for the federal settlement agreement between the United States Department of Justice and Portland.

In 2014, Chief Walsh began his current position as the Chief of Police for the Lompoc Police Department in Lompoc, California.  Chief Walsh has been the region representative for the California Police Chiefs Association since 2015.  He represents municipal police chiefs in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties.

Chief Walsh has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia University in Management Communications and Leadership and a Master’s degree in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

Chief Walsh wrote his master’s thesis on building trust between the community and the police.  His thesis is titled, “A Practitioner’s Guide to Trust and Legitimacy.”  Link to thesis: https://calhoun.nps.edu/bitstream/handle/10945/37737/13Sep_Walsh_Patrick.pdf?sequence=1

Chief Walsh is committed to the study of police procedures and the ever changing science and practices that strengthen the profession.

Chief Travis Walker

Chief Travis Walker joined the Cathedral City (CA) Police Department in September of 2016 as Deputy Police Chief. He was promoted to Police Chief in October of 2017.

Prior to joining Cathedral City Police Department, Chief Walker spent twenty years with the San Bernardino Police Department, where he worked a variety of assignments throughout his career; to include Patrol, Bicycle Mounted Enforcement, Narcotics, Gangs, K9, Specialized Enforcement Bureau, and various Detective, Supervisor, and Management Assignments. He also served as the Tactical Commander during the 2015 terror attack in the city of San Bernardino.

Chief Walker has a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Disaster Preparedness from Grand Canyon University and possesses a Management Certificate issued by the California Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training. He is also a graduate of the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute.

Chief Walker is a recognized subject matter expert in the areas of Active Shooter Response, Critical Incident Management, Gangs, Incident Command, and Narcotics.

Assistant Chief Rodney Parks (Ret.)

Rodney Parks is a former Assistant Chief of Police with the Metropolitan Police Department. He retired in 2013 after thirty-one years in law enforcement, serving in numerous operational, investigative, and programmatic units of the Department.

His law enforcement career includes assignments in patrol, traffic, disciplinary unit, training academy, homicide branch lieutenant and commander, commander of criminal investigations, and assistant chief of the Professional Development Bureau. During his tenure with the Homicide Unit, he led its members to superior performance in attaining over a 70% closure rate. He has served on various review boards and assisted in new policy review, analysis, and implementation. Mr. Parks has led new projects designed to improve and enhance the administration and operation of the department. Many of his assignments required coordination and collaboration with outside law enforcement and community partners, to include working a dual role as interim Chief of the D.C. Protective Services Division to provide assessment and recommendations to the City Administrator.

Following his retirement, Mr. Parks currently works as an adjunct professor with Penn State Public Safety & Justice Institute, University of the District of Columbia, and an instructor with the BenchMark Professional Seminar Company. Mr. Parks serves as Academic Director for the Georgetown Forensic Institute Summer Camp and Summer Discovery Program for middle and high school students. Mr. Parks has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Management from Johns Hopkins University. He is also a graduate of the 201st Session of the F.B.I. National Academy.

Chief Jennifer Tejada

Chief Jennifer Tejada has been working in municipal law enforcement for over 24 years. She has created programs and/or worked in a leadership capacity in several specialized areas including Community Policing Programs, Juvenile Justice Reform, Threat Management, Emergency & Disaster Preparedness, Workplace Violence Prevention, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention, and Hostage Negotiation. She has also served on several violence prevention and victim services committees, boards and commissions, both locally and regionally in the State of California.

Chief Tejada is a strong advocate for building trust and community partnerships and working closely with public and private entities to deliver efficient and quality service to all community members. She is the recipient of several awards, including the James Q Wilson award in Community Policing. In her leadership capacity, Chief Tejada has been tirelessly advocating for the inclusion of mindfulness based resiliency training in First Responder Wellness programs to address the high rates of depression, suicide, PTSD, substance abuse, sleep deprivation, and trauma.

Chief Tejada served for 4 ½ years as the police chief in Sausalito and has been serving as the Chief of Police for the City of Emeryville since 2015.

Chief Deanna Cantrell

Deanna started with the San Luis Obispo Police Department as the Chief of Police on January 4, 2016. Prior to this appointment, she was with the Mesa, Arizona Police Department for 21 years, with her last assignment as the Assistant Chief of the Administrative Services Bureau where she oversaw Fiscal, Supply, Fleet, Police Information Technology, Communications, Records and the Forensics Lab. Deanna served as the Deputy Chief of Special Operations, Patrol Commander, Internal Affairs Lieutenant and Sergeant, Gang and Patrol Lieutenant, and many other positions within the police department, including time spent as a Motor officer in Traffic and several Special Operations positions.

Deanna has consistently reduced harm in her communities by increasing public safety and trust through data-driven, intelligence-led policing, as well as significant community engagement and participation. She started the Police And Community Together (PACT) Board and Policing Education And Community Engagement (PEACE) program since moving to SLO. She served on the NAACP Legal Redress Committee, the Muslim Police Advisory Board, and was chair of the Human Rights Forum in Mesa. She served as the chair of the diversity and peer support teams and was the department’s Subject Matter Expert for constitutional matters regarding search and seizure.  Deanna was an advisor and briefly served as the Chair of the Arizona Women’s Initiative Network (AZ-WIN) serving to increase the number of women in policing. Deanna is now the chair of the Criminal Justice Administrators Association for SLO County, serves on the YMCA board, the Homeless Services Outreach Committee, the Hancock Academy board, and is on the Changing the Narrative Committee with the California Police Chiefs Association.

Deanna holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education and a Masters of Administration from Northern Arizona University. She is a graduate of Northwestern University Police Staff and Command School and the International Association of Chiefs of Police Leadership in Policing Organizations. Deanna is an adjunct faculty member for Northwestern University teaching policy, contemporary policing, and executive image.


Major David Dalton

Major David Dalton has nearly twenty-five years of law enforcement experience with both the Auburndale (Florida) Police Department and the Clearwater (Florida) Police Department. He began his career with the Clearwater Police Department in 1996 and ultimately served within the Department’s Old Clearwater Bay Neighborhood Policing Team and within the agency’s Detective Division, first as a Crimes Against Children and Families (Sex Crimes) Detective and later as a Homicide Detective.

As a sergeant, Major Dalton held supervisory positions as a Patrol Team Sergeant, Patrol Support Team Sergeant, and Internal Affairs Investigator, while assuming additional responsibility as the Department’s Accreditation Manager. As a Lieutenant, Major Dalton held positions as the Assistant Commander of the Support Services Division, Assistant Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division, and as the Clearwater Beach District Commander, where, during his two years of assignment to this position, he was twice selected as the Clearwater Beach Chamber’s “Citizen of the Year.”

Major Dalton is currently assigned as the Support Services Division Commander of the Clearwater Police Department, 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, such as the University of South Florida, Department of Criminology. In 2016, he was inducted into the University of South Florida’s Department of Criminology Wall of Fame for Distinguished Alumni.

Major Dalton holds both a BA in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of South Florida in Tampa. He is also a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police, Session #50, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency’s Drug Unit Commander Academy, and the Florida Police Chief’s Association Future Law Enforcement Executive course.

Major Dalton resides in Tampa, Florida, with his wife Anna, who is a Pediatric Cardiologist, and their son.

Chief Christopher Catren

Christopher R. Catren was selected as the Chief of Police for the City of Redlands on December 20, 2017. He leads a progressive group of 84 sworn officers, 31 full-time and 17 part-time professional staff, and nearly 100 volunteers. The department serves approximately 70,000 residents across nearly 40 square miles. Redlands Police Department is a full-service, municipal police department comprised of teams who perform functions such a patrol, investigations, communications, traffic, K-9, SWAT, and multiple enforcement and community policing activities. The department has a history of utilizing technology to improve its delivery of services to the community.

Chief Catren began his career in law enforcement in 1994 with the Redlands Police Department as its first crime analyst. In this role, he quickly learned the value of transforming data into information to further the department’s prevention, intervention and suppression activities. In 1996, Chief Catren became a sworn police officer and worked his way through the ranks to include assignments as an investigator, training officer, field supervisor, detective and sergeant. His supervisory positions included investigations, patrol, field training coordinator and Reserve Police Officer coordinator. In 2007, Chief Catren was promoted Lieutenant and managed the Investigative Services Bureau, the Patrol Services Bureau and the Special Operations Bureau during his tenure. He was promoted to Commander in 2013, and oversaw each of the department’s divisions before promoting to the position of Chief of Police.

Chief Catren possesses a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, San Bernardino.  He also earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from the same institution.  He graduated from the California POST Command College in 2012.

Chief Catren is a member of the California Police Chief’s Association and represents the association on the Statewide Data Sharing Task Force and as a member of the Technology Committee.

Dan Merkle

Dan is a lifelong learner motivated by helping to find solutions to the complex challenges facing public safety today.  He is the founding CEO and Chairman of Lexipol, a leading policy and training systems provider.  The Company was built on the premise that wide spread professional collaboration and a continuous improvement discipline would elevate all participants’ knowledge and safety.  Under Dan’s leadership, the Company developed one of the first Software as a Service (SaaS) technology platforms to reach thousands of public safety agencies effectively.  The Company was sold in 2014 to a private equity company allowing Dan to retire.  Or so he thought.

In 2016, Dan was asked to lead a group to deploy the Veritone Artificial Intelligence platform on a secure gov-cloud environment serving governmental agencies.  The technology creates a common operating platform for multiple cognitive engines to create actionable intelligence from unstructured private and public data such as audio and video media.  This allows efficient review of what is becoming an avalanche of data coming into agencies.  He served as President of Veritone Public Safety until the Company successfully concluded an IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

He has been a regular presenter on emerging topics and technology to IACP, DOJ COPS, FBINAA, State Chiefs and Sheriffs Associations, and JPA risk sharing consortiums. He has served on numerous Boards of Directors including a role as Vice Chairman at REI.

Dan is an Eagle Scout, received a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Chapman University, was granted a certificate from Harvard Graduate School of Business in Corporate Governance, and earned a 100 ton USCG Master License with sail endorsement.  Dan and his wife live on the Puget Sound with two very happy Labradors.

Captain Ivonne Roman

Ivonne Roman earned a Master of Public Administration with Distinction from Rutgers-Camden and was their recipient of the Public Policy Department Student Achievement Award for 2017.  Ivonne has over 20 years of experience in law enforcement, having served as the Chief of Police in Newark, NJ.  She ascended through the ranks, serving in various operational positions, such as internal affairs investigator, precinct commander, and chief of detectives for the criminal investigations bureau.  She received the Director’s Award in 2008 for her work as the commander of the Gangs and Narcotics Bureau and received the Chief’s Award in 2012 as commander of the 2nd precinct.  She was a member of Newark’s Consent Decree negotiation team in 2015. She is a Certified Public Manager and completed Labor Relations certification through Rutgers University.

Ivonne is a PhD candidate at Rutgers-Camden studying the intersections of policing, public affairs and community building.  She has established a Women’s Leadership Academy (WLA) within the Newark Police Superior Officers’ Association.  The WLA mentors women interested in a career in law enforcement to increase retention of female recruits in the police academy. The WLA also offers advanced professional training opportunities for female officers interested in promotional advancement within the Newark Police Department.  Ivonne is a National Institute of Justice LEADS Scholar (Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science), class of 2016, and is an executive board member of the American Society for Evidence-Based Policing.

Chief Ken Savano

Police Chief Savano began his career with the Petaluma Police Department on August 15, 1994. His first two assignments on the street included foot patrol and bicycle patrol in downtown Petaluma. Very early in his career, he was recognized as a law enforcement leader. As an officer with only two years on, he was selected to coordinate and implement the Department’s first full-time Traffic Safety Program. Within two years, he pursued grant funding and created a Traffic Safety Program that expanded to include a Motorcycle Team and DUI enforcement strategies that became one of the highest acclaimed law enforcement programs in the county.

Police Chief Savano’s dedication and commitment to public safety and his personal character earned him recognition as Officer of the Year in 1998. In 1999, he was selected to join the Motorcycle Team and continued his efforts to reduce fatal and injury collisions. He was also selected to join the Crisis Response Unit in 1999, performing a vital role as crisis negotiator in the field on critical incidents.

Police Chief Savano was promoted to Sergeant in 2002 and served as a patrol team supervisor and as the supervisor of the Hostage Negotiations Team (HNT). His contributions as HNT Sergeant resulted in team development and readiness that was recognized by law enforcement agencies throughout the region.

Police Chief Savano also served as the supervisor of the Police Canine Program. While supervising both specialty teams, he managed the annual Police Canine Competition and the annual HNT Community Golf Tournament. His commitment to our Department and our community ultimately earned him an assignment as the Motor Sergeant for our Traffic Team in 2008.

As Sergeant of the Traffic Team, Police Chief Savano earned some of the most significant recognition of his career. He and his team earned many formal commendations and awards from the International Association of Chiefs of Police Law Enforcement Challenge, the California Law Enforcement Challenge, the California Office of Traffic Safety, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). These recognitions from regional, state and the national level continued for each one of the six years he served as the Traffic Sergeant. Police Chief Savano and his team led the “AVOID the 13” Sonoma County DUI Task Force for six years and his team was responsible for developing the most innovative and effective DUI reduction strategies in the state and across the country. Those enforcement and education strategies reduced fatal and injury alcohol-involved collisions county-wide by more than 70%.

In July 2014, he was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to the Patrol Division where, in addition to his patrol teams, he also managed the Field Training Program and Police Canine Team. He was also selected as a Management Advisory Group (MAG) representative for the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Consortium.

In November 2014, Police Chief Savano was assigned to the Petaluma Policing Division responsible for professional standards, personnel, public relations, technology, social media, department support, school support, volunteers, mental health and homelessness.

In June 2016, in addition to his command of Petaluma Policing, he was asked to assume a leadership role in the Operations Division again as a Patrol Lieutenant and was responsible for the Eastside of Petaluma for District Policing.

Police Chief Savano earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. He graduated from the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute in 2005, completed the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Leadership Development course in 2013 and the POST Management Development Course in 2015. He is also a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (LEEDA), California Police Chief’s Association (CPCA), International Association of Chief’s of Police, California Peace Officers Association (CPOA), National Tactical Officer’s Association (NTOA), and the California Association of Hostage Negotiators (CAHN). Chief Savano is a member of CPCA Technology Advisory Committee and a graduate of Leadership Petaluma sponsored by the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to his law enforcement commitments, Chief Savano is active in the Petaluma community along with his wife Kathleen.  Chief Savano is a member of the Petaluma Sunrise Rotary Club, Petaluma Elks Lodge 901 and is a board member for the Salvation Army, Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Committee On The Shelterless (COTS). Chief Savano also supports Mentor Me Petaluma as a mentor, Social Advocates for Youth (SAY), Petaluma Boys and Girls Club, Special Olympics, Avon 39 – The Walk To End Breast Cancer, and has served as a law enforcement liaison to United Anglers of Casa Grande High School and the Adobe Creek Restoration Project.

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