Policing Fellows

Assistant Chief Travis Martinez

Travis Martinez is currently an Assistant Chief 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 since 2008. She has worked as 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 as a member of the Fugitive Operations Team on the identification, location, and apprehension of fugitive criminal aliens. Tamirra was an Instructor at the ICE Academy and is a 2007 graduate of Baylor University where she received her B.A. in Psychology. She has a Master of Science in Psychology and a PhD in Public Safety Leadership with a concentration in Criminal Justice. Her dissertation research examined police officers’ perspectives regarding militarization within community policing.

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.

Sergeant Frank P. Tona

Frank P. Tona is currently a Sergeant with the Charles County, Maryland Sheriff’s Office where he’s worked since 2002. He is currently assigned to his department’s Patrol Division and has collateral duties as a Hostage Negotiator and Crime Scene Processor. He began his career in the Patrol Division and was later transferred to the Criminal Investigation Division. While assigned as a Criminal Investigator, he worked cases in the Financial Crimes Unit, Special Victims Unit, Robbery Unit and the Major Crimes Unit. In late 2011, he was promoted to the rank of Corporal, and in early 2012, he was transferred back to the Patrol Division. In 2015, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

Frank has an undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Brockport in Criminal Justice and a graduate degree in Public Administration from Norwich University. He is presently a Board Member with the Mid-Atlantic Cold Case Homicide Investigator’s Association, and served as Vice President of his department’s labor union, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #24 from 2007 to 2013. He has professional affiliations with the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the International Association of Identification, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Frank is adjunct faculty member at Norwich University, University of Maryland-University College, and John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  He’s been affiliated with the Police Foundation since 2013.

He can be reached at tonap@ccso.us

Lieutenant Stuart Greer

Stuart Greer is a Lieutenant with the Morristown (NJ) Police Department. His emergency services career began as an Emergency Medical Technician in the cities of Irvington and Newark before being selected for appointment as a Police Officer in 1998. During his time in uniform, he worked through every assignment in the Patrol Division including a foot post, bicycle patrol, traffic safety unit, and as a field-training officer. He was selected for assignment to the Criminal Investigations Unit in 2006 and worked as a general case Detective. Following his assignment to a Detective Squad, he was promoted and transferred to the Services Division. As a Sergeant, he was responsible for Police Records and OPRA, Property & Evidence, Firearms and Cellblock Management and was tasked to manage various projects including a complex transfer from a local to a regional public safety dispatch model.

In his current assignment, Lieutenant Greer serves as the Commanding Officer of the Criminal Investigations Unit with direct responsibility for managing all Detectives, the Anti-Crime Unit, and the Property & Evidence Unit. In addition, he serves as Public Information Officer, Training Coordinator, and as an Internal Affairs Supervisor.

Lieutenant Greer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Justice Studies from the College of Saint Elizabeth (Morristown, NJ), a Master of Studies (MSt) in Applied Criminology and Police Management at the University of Cambridge (UK), and is currently working towards a Master of Public Administration at the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University. As part of his graduate research, he conducted an experimental trial to test the effectiveness of checklists in initial responses to burglary investigations.  He is a New Jersey Police Training Commission certified instructor, teaching numerous in-service courses to both recruits and sworn officers, and has traveled around the U.S. teaching evidence-based approaches to reducing homicide and gun violence to Police Commanders.

In 2015, Lieutenant Greer joined with several other Police Foundation Fellows to launch the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing, serving as a voice for change from within the policing community.

Lieutenant Greer is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Police Executive Research Forum, Society for Evidence Based Policing (UK), American Society of Criminology and the Morris County Detectives Association.  More importantly, he is a proud member of the Tartan Army and follows Scotland as they continue their way to world football domination (decidedly not based upon evidence).

Sergeant Renée J. Mitchell

Renée J. Mitchell has served in the Sacramento Police Department for nineteen years and is currently a Police Sergeant. While other people golf, fish, or hunt, Renee goes to school. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of California, Davis, a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco, a Master of Business Administration from the California State University, Sacramento, a Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Criminology from the University of Cambridge.

She was the 2009/2010 Fulbright Police Research Fellow, where she attended the University of Cambridge Police Executive Program and completed research in the area of juvenile gang violence at the London Metropolitan Police Service. She is the President of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing. You can find her TEDx talks “Research not protests” and “Policing Needs to Change: Trust me I’m a Cop” (featured below) where she advocates for evidence-based policing. She is a Police Foundation Fellow, a member of the George Mason Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame, and a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge.