Policing Fellows

Lieutenant Kevin Townsend, MPA

Kevin Townsend is a Lieutenant with the Riverside (CA) Police Department. Riverside is 81 square miles and has a population of 324,000. Kevin’s prior assignments include patrol officer, field training officer, and parole/probation team. His detective assignments were in burglary, auto theft and gangs, during which Kevin wrote an 85-page gang ‘association’ warrant and participated in numerous undercover operations. He received a community award for being officer of the year in 2007 and was named detective of the year in 2009. He was a patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, and personnel sergeant. Kevin was a member of the police association’s board of directors for five years. As a Lieutenant, Kevin has worked as a patrol Watch Commander and Personnel Lieutenant. In May 2016, Kevin was named ‘Area Commander’ for one of the police department’s areas/districts; his area is about 17 square miles with an approximate population of 102,000. Kevin is tasked with managing community policing efforts, connecting with civic groups and government for crime prevention, and problem solving at the local level. He works to identify and address crime trends and neighborhood issues, develop partnerships, and align all available resources to reduce crime and increase livability in his assigned area. Kevin is a graduate of Supervisory Leadership Institute (SLI), has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree.

Sergeant Rachel Tolber

Rachel Tolber has worked for the Redlands Police Department since 1998 and is currently a sergeant assigned to the Investigations Bureau. As the Investigations Sergeant, she oversees all criminal investigations as well as Crime Analysis, Forensics, and the Property and Evidence Unit. Over the last 18 years, she has worked patrol, served as a field-training officer, a special victim’s detective, and has worked as the Professional Standards Sergeant.

Sergeant Tolber has received civic recognitions and honors for her leadership, work, and service. She was instrumental in creating the Police and Corrections Team (PACT), and spearheaded the Citizen Volunteer Park Rangers for the City of Redlands. Tolber also served as an Executive Intern to the Redlands City Manager, where she helped lead policy and strategic initiatives adopted and implemented by city executives.

Sergeant Tolber received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Redlands, California, in 1998. She received a Masters in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of California, Irvine in 2006. In 2011, she received a Masters in Applied Criminology and Police Management from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. During her course of study at the University of Cambridge, Sergeant Tolber examined the feasibility of conducting a randomized control trial to test restorative justice among the parole population in Redlands, California.

Sergeant Tolber has been a board member of the Home Again Project, Gang Reduction Intervention Team, and presently serves on the board of the San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services. She is also a founding member of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing.

Deputy Bernard Brown

Deputy Bernard Brown has over 20 years of public service experience and is currently employed as a Deputy Sheriff with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office located in Northern California. He has held collateral assignments on the Crisis Intervention Team and Gang Unit, and he has also served on the Special Enforcement Detail, which assists in various operations for the department. His prior experience also includes time as a field training officer and bicycle patrol officer.

Deputy Brown has developed expertise in managing and writing grants for departments. He was previously responsible for assisting law enforcement agencies in Delaware with the State Homeland Security Grant Program, and most recently, he assisted his current agency in obtaining grant funds for the Crisis Intervention Team.

Deputy Brown holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Clemson University and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Excelsior College. He completed his thesis project at Clemson University on the Total Policing Strategy.

Deputy Jose Villanueva, Ph.D.

Deputy Villanueva has been in law enforcement for over 20 years.  He is currently a Deputy with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.  Deputy Villanueva has also worked for the West Sacramento and Fairfield Police Departments.  He has worked patrol for over 10 years and investigations for 9 years.

Deputy Villanueva has worked in the following special assignments: General Investigator, Yolo County DA Investigator, Gang Detective/Investigator, FBI Safe Streets Sacramento, US Marshal Task Force Sacramento, Career Criminal Intelligence Detective and on the Parole Impact Team in Solano County.  Deputy Villanueva was the lead Detective and Gang Expert for the first Norteno Gang Injunction in California.  Deputy Villanueva is a California Subject Matter Expert on the topic of Gangs, and he just recently received his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Business, with an emphasis in Criminal Justice, from Northcentral University.

Lieutenant Travis Martinez

Travis Martinez is currently a lieutenant with the Redlands Police Department overseeing the Special Operations Bureau. During the fiscal crisis of 2011, Lt. Martinez sought an innovative and affordable strategy to address crime trends occurring in the community.  RPD began deploying specialized GPS technology to apprehend those that were driving up the crime rates.  Experiencing immediate results with arrests for crimes such as vehicle burglary, armed robbery, and commercial burglary, Lt. Martinez focused his California Command College project on how GPS technology could be used to address all crime trends and wrote an article on the Redlands program that was published in the January 2014 edition of the Police Chief Magazine.  The facilitators of Command College selected Lt. Martinez’s project to be presented at the Command College graduation attended by several law enforcement executives from across California.

Lt. Martinez holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and has presented at several international, national, and state conferences on how to address crime trends utilizing GPS tracking devices and taught POST approved classes on the topic in several states. He oversaw the implementation of the GPS tracking program at RPD which has led to the apprehension of 152 suspects for various types of crime including robbery, bike theft, vehicle burglary, residential burglary, commercial burglary, metal theft, wire theft, credit card skimming, cemetery theft, vending machine theft, constructions site theft, and laptop theft. As a result of the program, RPD has recovered over $200,000 in stolen property including two recent cases where detectives were able to locate over $75,000 in stolen property taken from 11 different residential burglaries in the Inland Empire.

Lt. Martinez created the “While You’re Away Program” in which Redlands citizens can pick up a laptop that has a GPS tracking device embedded in it and place it on their kitchen table to help provide the resident with 24/7 electronic stake-out protection while the resident is away on vacation.  The program was recently highlighted in the February 2014 COPS Community Policing E-Newsletter and is now being replicated by other police departments throughout the United States.  Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards, most recently being named the 2012 City of Redlands Safety Manager of the Year.

Sergeant Andrew Mendonsa (Ret.)

Andrew Mendonsa was an 18-year veteran with the Amador County Sheriff’s Office in Northern California. During his career, he served in a wide variety of assignments, including court security, patrol, SWAT, administration and training and standards. Prior to leaving Amador County, he served as a sergeant in the Investigations Bureau, supervising and conducting investigations related to homicide, robbery, sexual assault and child abuse.

Andrew formerly served as a field training officer, primary firearms instructor and sniper team leader. He is a certified instructor at a state law enforcement academy, delivering courses in crisis intervention, victimology and search warrant preparation. He has served as a subject matter expert in law enforcement marksmanship and was part of the first detective cognitive study administered by the California Peace Officer Standards and Training. Andrew formerly served as an adviser to the Los Rios Community College law enforcement academy in Sacramento.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University, Long Beach and a Master’s degree in Criminology and Management from the University of Cambridge. His research interests including procedural justice, legitimacy, and sentencing theory.

Andrew currently serves as a senior consultant with the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

Sergeant Greg Stewart

Greg Stewart is a sergeant and 19-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau in Oregon. He currently runs the Bureau’s Crime Analysis Unit. Sergeant Stewart has served as a patrol officer, including working in both a walking beat and conducting street level drug investigations, and as a patrol sergeant. Additionally, he supervised for the Bureau’s Domestic Violence Reduction Unit and worked to implement one of the nation’s first automated actuarial risk assessment systems. This system was used to conduct risk-based case assignment aimed at targeting domestic offenders with the highest risk of recidivism for additional follow-up.

Sergeant Stewart has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Lewis and Clark College and a master’s degree in science from Portland State University’s Criminology and Criminal Justice Program. His studies included the use of geographic information systems, statistics, research methods and data analysis. His culminating project for the master’s degree consisted of training a group of college students to code police use of force cases for both traditional variables (force factor) and also for constitutional factors such as governmental interest and level of control achieved prior to the application of force. He then conducted checks on inter-rater reliability to demonstrate the feasibility of reliably coding factors related to constitutionality from administrative records of police use of force.

Sergeant Stewart has presented at a number of academic and professional police conferences such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Crime Analysts and the American Society of Criminology. His research has touched on issues such as police use of force, the use of risk assessment tools to improve case assignment, the impact of stereotype threat on citizen/police interactions and exploring alternate patrol strategies aimed at simultaneously maximizing police legitimacy and crime reduction. He has also trained or consulted for police agencies from the United States, Canada, Bangladesh, Mexico and the Ukraine.

Special Agent Tamirra Robinson

Tamirra Robinson has worked for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the San Antonio Area of Responsibility since 2008. She was a member of the Violent Criminal Alien Section where she worked directly with the Assistant United Sates Attorney and United States Magistrate Judge to proceed with criminal prosecution against individuals suspected of illegally re-entering the United States. She has also worked with the Fugitive Operations Team on the identification, location, and apprehension of fugitive criminal aliens. Recently she completed a 45 day assignment at the Southwest Border where she assisted with the day-to-day operations during the heavy influx of individuals coming to the United States. Tamirra is a 2007 graduate of Baylor University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She received a Master of Science in Psychology and is currently working on obtaining dissertation topical approval for her PhD in Criminal Justice.

Detective John R. Elliott

Detective John R. Elliott has served with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office in Maryland since July 2000. In the Major Crimes Unit, Detective Elliott investigates violent crimes including homicides, robberies, shootings, serious assaults, and stabbings. He is the Lead Investigator, providing direction to other detectives, resources, and management of complex crime scenes with multiple victims, witnesses, and officers. He has investigated or assisted in more than 150 death investigations which included homicides, suicides, accidental, undetermined deaths, and cold cases.

Detective Elliott has been active in legislative activities, testifying before a House of Delegates committee regarding the “No Good Time for Gun Crime” bill (House Bill 964/Senate Bill 558) and proposing a new ordinance regarding the carrying and concealing of replica BB guns – which was passed by the Charles County Commission and became law.

Since November 2011, he has been an instructor in criminal justice courses at the University of Maryland University College, currently teaching online classes in Criminal Investigation and Medical and Legal Investigations of Death.

Detective Elliott has developed diverse skills throughout his career, serving for four years as a Forensic Investigator for the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, conducting forensic death investigations. He served for three years as a patrol officer in the Washington D.C. Metro Transit Police, where he served as a Rail Safety Inspector, training and informing other law enforcement agencies on how to respond to incidents in the Metro Rail system. During his time with the Transit Police, Elliott was named Officer of the Year and received the Medal of Valor for apprehending a suspect who attempted to kill his partner.

Elliott served for 15 years as a volunteer firefighter with the Bryans Road Fire Department in Charles County and with the Rockville Fire Department. He is certified as a Firefighter II, a Fire Officer II and a Fire Service Instructor II, and maintained an Emergency Medical Technician certification from 1991-2005. He received a Unit Citation in Rockville for assisting in the rescue of an 8-year-old child from a house fire.

Detective Elliott received a Master of Science degree in Management from Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire and Arson Investigation from the University of Maryland.

Corporal Joshua Young (Ret.)

Joshua Young is a national consultant specializing in Criminal Justice Transformations in mid-sized and large Police Organizations. Josh advises on a broad range of services and capabilities, including developing and implementing innovative, cost-efficient strategies to achieve a more customer-focused, data-driven, and proactive organization.

Prior to consulting, Josh served as a member of the Ventura Police Department’s SWAT team and Detective Bureau. He retired as a police Corporal after 12 years of service.

While an active duty police officer, Josh was the first line-level officer to successfully integrate a major randomized controlled trial (RCT) within a police organization. The RCT provided empirical answers around body cameras and their causal relationship on prosecution outcomes and the speed of prosecution. Additionally, Josh developed training curriculum now modeled by numerous agencies in three countries.

Josh is a founding member and Vice-President of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing (ASEBP), a non-profit organization designed to support research-based strategies. Within the ASEBP, Josh oversees stakeholder engagement, organizational branding & visioning, and strategic planning.

Josh is an internationally recognized speaker on evidence-based practices and body-worn cameras. Josh is a Fellow at the Police Foundation in Washington D.C. and LEADS scholar with the National Institute of Justice.

Josh has a Master’s Degree in Criminology and Police Management from the University of Cambridge.

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