Executive Fellows

Chief Ronnell Higgins

Chief Ronnell A. Higgins leads the Yale University Police Department, the nation’s oldest campus police department, established in 1894.  Chief Higgins has been instrumental is designing and implementing strategies to reduce crime at Yale to the lowest levels since the department began reporting UCR Crimes in 1985. With an emphasis on community policing, public safety, and contemporary policing standards, Chief Higgins’ reputation for leadership, experience, and exemplary achievement, reflects his ability to drive change, broker exceptional intercommunity relationships, optimize operations, and ensure overall public safety. Chief Higgins’ broad background and understanding of the unique issues of an urban Ivy League campus have earned him a reputation for delivering solutions which produce outstanding results and for leveraging relationships for mutual benefit. Chief Higgins began his career as a Corrections Officer for the State of Connecticut in 1994.  During his time with DoC he was selected for several assignments to include facility Gang Task Force and the Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT) where he served as a Team Leader.

Chief Higgins has a BS in Law Enforcement Administration from the University of New Haven and he is a 2006 graduate of the FBI’s National Academy. He is a full scholarship recipient at the Executive Development Institute at Northwestern University; holds a certificate in Law Enforcement Education from the University of Virginia; he successfully completed the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia in 2010 and the Crisis Leadership in Higher Education Seminar at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2011. In 2013, Chief Higgins was appointed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy to the Police Officers Standards and Training Council (POSTC). He was appointed to the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Committee and also serves as President of the South Central Connecticut Chiefs of Police Association. Chief Higgins serves on the Executive Board for the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives for Connecticut (NOBLE), and was named one of the state’s Top 100 influential African Americans by the Connecticut NAACP. Chief Higgins was appointed to the Connecticut Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System by the Senate Majority Leader of the Connecticut General Assembly and is the recipient of the Elm-Ivy Award honoring Yale and New Haven community members whose service strengthens the ties of the university and its hometown.

Chief Higgins has served on the board of the New Haven YMCA and My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) New Haven.  He also volunteers as a coach for the New Haven Pop Warner Youth Football Program. Chief Higgins lives in New Haven with his wife Robin (NHPD Ret.), and two children, Rayona and RJ.

Chief Higgins can be reached directly at: rhiggins@policefoundation.org

Commissioner Robert C. Haas (Ret.)

Commissioner Robert C. Haas served as the chief executive of the Cambridge Police Department from April, 2007 to May, 2016. Prior to this, he was the Massachusetts state Executive of Public Safety from 2006-2007, and served as the state Undersecretary of Law Enforcement and Homeland Security from 2003-2006. He was Chief of the Westwood (MA) Police Department from March 1991 to February 2003, and served in various positions in the Morris Township Police Department from 1976 until 1991.

Commissioner Haas launched a wide range of community policing initiatives, including outreach to the city’s youth, homeless and those who serve the mentally ill. The Cambridge Safety Net Collaborative tracks potential youth offenders and provides them with deterrent and diversionary services to avoid risky behaviors. The SMART Policing Initiative has joined three urban departments together to focus on high-risk offenders and devise methods to avoid future victimization.

He received a Masters of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration from Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Science Degree from William Paterson College of New Jersey. He has completed course work for a PhD in Law, Policy and Society at Northeastern University. He has served on many boards and commissions, and is currently a member of the U.S. Attorney’s Multi-disciplinary Threat Assessment and Intervention Working Group.

Chief Tony Farrar (Ret.)

Tony Farrar retired as the chief of the Rialto (CA) Police Department. A police officer for over 30 years, Chief Farrar is a graduate of the California Peace Officers Standards and Training (CA POST) Executive Leadership Command College and the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University. He is also an adjunct instructor through the Coast Community College District.

Chief Farrar holds masters’ degrees in both administration of justice and business administration and a bachelor’s degree in police science. He also graduated from the Police Executive Program at Cambridge University’s Institute of Criminology (United Kingdom) with a master’s degree in criminology in July 2013.

Chief Farrar is a graduate of the CA POST Master Instructor Development Program and a certified trainer in the six different CA POST disciplines. He is also a certified trainer through the California Association of Tactical Officers and the National Tactical Officers Association.

In 2009, Chief Farrar received the CA POST Individual Excellence in Training Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to law enforcement training and encourages innovation, quality, and effectiveness.

Chief Farrar has extensive tactical operations expertise and has shared his knowledge through presentations to law enforcement personnel, community groups, and the private sector throughout California and in other states. He has developed several law enforcement conferences and training venues, and his written materials have been published in both domestic and international publications.

In 2009, Chief Farrar participated in a Homeland Security Training Mission in Israel, training with experts in law enforcement, the military, and the private sector. In 2010, Chief Farrar participated in a Humanitarian Mission to Haiti, assisting with relief efforts and evaluating first response plans.

Most recently, Chief Farrar concluded an extensive yearlong study to evaluate the effect of body-worn video cameras on police use-of-force. This randomized controlled trial represents the first experimental evaluation of body-worn video cameras used in police patrol practices. Cameras were deployed to all patrol officers in the Rialto (CA) Police Department. Every police patrol shift during the 12-month period was assigned to experimental or control conditions. In July 2013, Chief Farrar received the 2013 Award for Excellence in Evidence-Based Policing for this study from the Society of Evidence-Based Policing at the 2013 Conference on Evidence-Based Policing at the University of Cambridge (UK). The award is given annually for outstanding policing research that advances the evidence base in policing and informs police practice.

Chief Farrar is a member of the California Police Chiefs Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the Society of Evidence Based Policing.

Chief Jane Castor (Ret.)

Jane Castor joined the Tampa Police Department in 1983 and was elected the first female president of a police academy class. In 2009, she became the first woman to be named chief of the Tampa Police Department.  Chief Castor has redefined community policing in her hometown and driven down the crime rate with her innovative approach to fighting crime.

Over the course of her career, Chief Jane Castor built a reputation for working side by side with residents, community leaders, business owners and neighboring law enforcement agencies to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in Tampa.  Those community partnerships are the foundation of TPD’s dynamic crime reduction strategy, “Focus on Four.” Since its induction in 2003, the plan has reduced violent and property crime by 70%.

Involving the department in the community, Chief Castor recently opened the doors of a multi-million dollar gymnasium for the Police Athletic League, which serves more than 300 at-risk children. The department also opened a safe haven for children called the RICH House. Chief Castor’s commitment to at-risk kids is exemplified in her new Young Adult Police Academy. It targets kids on the verge of becoming involved in crime.

Chief Castor partnered with the Florida Holocaust Museum to develop a course on protecting people’s rights. She also worked with a University of South Florida professor to ensure all Tampa Police officers attend a day-long training on recognizing and overcoming biases to establish fair and impartial policing practices.  To address the daily demands of policing, Castor partnered with a non-profit to create a First Responder’s Post Trauma Training. It’s designed to help officers work through their most traumatic incidents, and is offered to first responders statewide.

The department has smoothly handled many large-scale, national and international events under her command, including Super Bowl XLIII and the 2012 Republican National Convention. Chief Castor developed a progressive policing strategy that avoided the classic confrontations associated with political conventions. Officers even provided food to hungry protesters.

Chief Castor testified on the topic of officer safety before President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing in February 2015. She serves on the board of the Major City Chiefs Association and on Harvard’s Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety.  She was named Woman Law Enforcement Executive of the Year in 2009 by the National Association of Women in Law Enforcement

A Tampa native Chief Castor received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminology from the University of Tampa. She recieved Master’s of Public Administration from Troy State University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Chief Rick Braziel (Ret.)

Rick Braziel served as chief of the Sacramento Police Department (SPD) from 2008 until his retirement in December 2012. A 33-year veteran of the SPD, including 18 years as a member of the executive leadership team, he held a variety of ranks. As deputy chief, his assignments included the Office of Operations, Office of Investigations, Office of Technical Services, and the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

As chief of police, Braziel refocused the SPD mission, including redesign of crime reduction strategies, deployment, and resources resulting in the reduction of Part I crime by 21% while reducing department staffing by 28%. Under his leadership, the SPD increased transparency and community involvement through the creation of a Police Advisory Committee, Interfaith Leaders Council, Youth Advisory Committee, town hall meetings, online citizen surveys, and a redesigned website with interactive features.

Braziel’s commitment to community policing is illustrated in his book, Cop Talk: Essential Communication Skills for Community Policing. He is also a nationally recognized instructor on the topic. He consults and instructs for Humboldt State University in team-building, communication skills, community policing, and leadership.

Braziel conducts organization assessments and critical incident reviews. He was the lead investigator in the review of the police response to Christopher Dorner. He was a member of a team reviewing the riots in Ferguson Missouri and the St. Louis County Police Collaborative Reform Initiative. Rick also completed a review of the Stockton Police response to the Bank of the West robbery and hostage taking and the review of the December 2, 2015 terrorists attack in San Bernardino. Rick worked with the Washington State Patrol on the Trooper Recruitment and Retention Study. He is currently the Inspector General for Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and serves as Vice Chair on California’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST).

Braziel received his BA and MA in communication studies from California State University, Sacramento. In 2006, he received a master of arts in security studies from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. His thesis resulted in a $3.1 million grant toward the creation of communities of learning.

In addition to numerous commendations, Braziel received the Silver Medal of Valor in 1988, Distinguished Service Award in 2001, and a Unit Citation in 2002. He was named alumni of the year by California State University, Sacramento.

 Chief Braziel (ret.) can be reached directly at rbraziel@policefoundation.org.

Chris Butler, Resident Agent In Charge (Ret.)

Christopher L. Butler is currently serving as the Investigations Group Supervisor at the NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.

He recently retired as the Resident Agent in Charge for the U.S. Secret Service Riverside (CA) Resident Office, the largest Secret Service RO geographical district in the U.S. outside of Alaska. The 27,000-square-mile district includes more than 4.3 million residents.

The Secret Service is the lead agency safe-guarding our nation’s financial infrastructure and ensuring the integrity of our economic systems. In that vital role, Resident Agent Butler worked closely with law enforcement at all levels on investigations and enforcement to investigate and take down counterfeit currency rings. Butler’s Secret Service Inland Empire Financial Crimes Task Force saved consumers millions of dollars through detection and enforcement against credit card fraud. During his time at the Riverside Office, Butler worked with local and regional law enforcement on a wide range of crime and terrorism prevention task forces.

During his 29-year law enforcement career, he also served as the Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge, Los Angeles Field Office; United States Deputy Marshal, San Francisco Field Office and served with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Sacramento. He has supervised the international criminal groups squad, protection, training, task force operations, and other management priorities.

He completed the Executive Leadership Program in Ethics, Integrity, Organizational Behavior and Change at Johns Hopkins University. Butler has attended courses at the FBI National Academy and is currently an Instructor with the United States Department of Education, No Child Left Behind Initiative. He is an Adjunct Professor at La Sierra University.

Butler is the past Vice President of the American Criminal Justice Association, LAE and obtained his bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento.

Retired Agent Butler can be reached directly at cbutler@policefoundation.org

Chief Hassan Aden

Hassan Aden has over 28 years of law enforcement service and executive leadership experience in law enforcement. He previously served as the Director of Research and Programs at the International Association of Chiefs of Police overseeing a large portfolio of operational programs and research projects aimed at advancing professional police services and promoting enhanced administrative, technical, and operational police practices and policies. Hassan Aden continues to serve on numerous national advisory groups including the National Academies of Science’s Proactive Policing Committee, Department of Justice-sponsored groups, and others.

Hassan’s police experience includes serving as the Chief of Police with the Greenville (NC) Police Department.  He has extensive experience in the administrative, investigative and operational aspects of policing, and he has demonstrable success in working with questions such as crime control policies, community engagement and strategic planning.  While Chief of Police at the Greenville Police Department, he and all of the Greenville Police staff were deeply committed to community partnerships aimed at reducing crime and improving the quality of life in the City of Greenville. 

Prior to his appointment as Chief of Police for the Greenville (NC) Police Department, he served in the Alexandria (VA) Police Department for 26 years rising to the rank of deputy chief of police.
He is a graduate of American University’s Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation (ISPPI) from which he earned a Master of Public Administration Certificate in 2007. In December 2009, he graduated from American University’s School of Public Affairs earning a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. 

Due to his commitment to the continued professionalization of policing, he is a past Commissioner for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and continues to advise CALEA on issues facing modern policing.  He is an active member of the Police Executive Research Forum and serves as a Senior Executive Fellow with the Police Foundation in Washington, DC.

Chief Andrew Bidou

Chief Andrew Bidou was appointed the Chief of the Vallejo (CA) Police Department in 2014. Prior to Vallejo, Chief Bidou served 25 years in policing with his last position as the Benicia (CA) Police Chief. Chief Bidou, began his career in the City of Newark (CA) where he rose from the ranks of Police Officer to Captain. As a police officer, Chief Bidou achieved broad experience in all aspects of police work, including assignments in patrol, SWAT, K9, gang enforcement, narcotics, detective, range master, and field training officer. As an administrator and Police Chief, he is credited with implementing a highly effective Community Policing Program, creating and implementing the Benicia Policing Strategy, a process utilizing resource management, crime analysis and problem solving to address crime and quality of life issues which resulted in three consecutive years of historically low crime rates and improved citizen satisfaction. He is also recognized for improving the training and selection standards for civilian and sworn staff, as well as increasing professionalism and diversity. Chief Bidou is widely recognized for his commitment to outreach and engagement, and developing a strong relationship between the police department and all segments of his community.

Chief Bidou earned his Bachelor of Arts in Management from Saint Mary’s College, a Masters of Public Administration from Golden Gate University, a Masters Certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University, and a Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Education from the University of Virginia. He is a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police held at Boston University, the FBI National Academy, and completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program held at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Chief Bidou is currently a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the California Police Chiefs Association.

Chief Paul M. Walters

Paul M. Walters served as Chief of Police in Santa Ana, California, from 1988 to 2013, making him the longest-serving chief in a major city in modern U.S. history. When Walters was first appointed chief, the department had 359 officers serving 293,000 people. Budget cuts reduced that to 320 officers by the time he retired – but the force now protects 335,000 residents – and a total population of 500,000 during the working day. At the same time, the crime rate has dropped to the lowest level in almost 40 years and gang violence fell by more than 40 percent a year in 2011 and 2012.

Walters is currently a Senior Associate with the Center for Public Safety Management, International City/County Management Association (ICMA), in Washington, DC. The Center is dedicated to improving local government performance (effectiveness and efficiency) through the identification, promotion, and application of leading practices.
Under Walters’ leadership, the Santa Ana Police Department was recognized since 1997 as a National Demonstration Site and Training Center for Community Policing and Problem Solving. He trained and assisted numerous police executives and public officials from throughout the country on how to implement innovative Community Policing strategies. During his tenure, Santa Ana built a new police administration building and jail designed to support Community Policing Strategies.

Chief Walters was recognized by President Bill Clinton for Community Policing innovations, leadership and accomplishments in lowering crime. He was also recognized several times by the Orange County Board of Supervisors, California Attorney General, the Governor of California, and both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

In 2009, Walters received the Department of Defense’s highest award, the Employer Freedom Award, and he was personally recognized by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for exceptional leadership, support and personal devotion to supporting the National Guard and Reserve.

He was also recognized as a national innovator and leader in policing, received the Director’s Award from Director of the FBI, Louis Freeh, for exceptional public service and leadership. He was only the second person in the history of the FBI to receive this award who was not an FBI employee.

He was asked by the Mayor and city council to serve as the interim City Manager/CEO in June 2011, while continuing to serve as the Chief of Police. In 2011-2012, he led the city from impending bankruptcy at a $30 million deficit to solvency with $20 million in reserves.

Walters received a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Science from California State University, Fullerton and graduated with Bachelor of Science and JD Law degree from the American College of Law. He completed a two-year graduate program in executive leadership and development from POST California Command College.

Chief Walters is a U.S. Air Force veteran, serving as a NCO and Combat Crew member of 571st Strategic Missile Wing, Titan II ICBM, David-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona. He was also stationed at Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa, Japan with the 498th Tactical Missile Squadron.

He has received numerous awards and accolades over the years, most recently by the Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) board for outstanding leadership as the Executive Board Chairman, and the Orange County Regional Narcotics Suppression Program for service as bard chairman and for leading its development into a nationally recognized program.

Chief Walters (Ret.) can be reached directly at pwalters@policefoundation.org

Chief Marco Vasquez

Marco Vasquez was appointed Chief of Police for the Town of Erie in Colorado in 2013, and has served for 43 years in Colorado law enforcement.

Rising through the ranks at the Denver Police Department (DPD), Chief Vasquez retired as the Deputy Chief of Administration in 2008 after 36 years with the department. Chief Vasquez gained extensive experience throughout his career in internal affairs investigations, drug enforcement and patrol operations. As Deputy Chief of Administration, he was responsible for the annual budget of more than $175 million.

Vasquez was named Chief of Sheridan (CO) Police Department in 2008, serving until 2010. The next year, he became the first Chief of Investigations for the newly-created Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division for the Colorado Department of Revenue and served in this capacity until 2013.

Throughout his career, Chief Vasquez has been a strong advocate of community policing and has implemented the community policing philosophy in the agencies where he has worked. As one of the leading authorities on legalization of marijuana in Colorado, Chief Vasquez serves as the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) Marijuana Issues Committee chair. In that capacity, he has participated in a number of rule-making working groups and panels, such as the Amendment 64 Implementation Law Enforcement Issues Committee, the Use of Recreational Marijuana Sales Tax Revenues Interim Study Committee, and the Department of Revenue Marijuana Edibles and Potency Working groups. Chief Vasquez has assisted the CACP in developing the “CACP Marijuana Position Paper” and the Police Foundation in developing Colorado’s Legalization of Marijuana and the Impact on Public Safety-A Practical Guide for Law Enforcement.

Chief Vasquez received a master’s degree in Management from Regis University and is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Colorado Chiefs of Police Association (CACP) and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). Chief Vasquez has also graduated from PERF’s Senior Management Institute in Policing (SMIP) and the IACP Leadership in Police Organizations (LPO) course.

Chief Vasquez can be reached directly at mvasquez@policefoundation.org

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