Rebecca Benson

Rebecca comes to the Police Foundation with a several years experience from police departments on each coast. She most recently served as a Crime and Intelligence Analyst with the Los Angeles Police Department, Olympic Division. The Olympic Division was one of a few new divisions that had been created in recent decades within the LAPD. Prior to the new facility opening its doors, Rebecca served on the Olympic transition team. Her team was responsible for preparing and providing analytical support to assist in the creation of new area boundaries, mapping and documenting community resources, activities and special locations as well as analyzing personnel resources and shift schedules. Following the official opening of the division, she was responsible for daily crime analysis and mapping of the division. Rebecca also led weekly crime control meetings with the Command staff and organized strategies around prevention and deterrence with Command, Detective, and Senior Lead Officers. She was also greatly engaged in preparation of monthly CompStat reports and presentations. She received numerous commendations and was awarded Civilian of the Year for 2009.

Ms. Benson began her Law Enforcement career and spent many years with the Boston Police Department. Within the Office of the Police Commissioner, she served as a Program Manager on several community and youth projects. She was detailed to the Youth Violence Strike Force to assist in the development of the Boston Reentry Initiative (BRI) as well as the other similar and expanded programs based on the success of the BRI. She was heavily involved in the creation of a critical database that allowed for intelligence sharing among project law enforcement partners. These initiatives also involved partnering with local community organizations, schools and businesses.

In addition to her current Police Foundation role, Rebecca is mother to a very active five year old. This valuable position has further developed her skills in daily preparation and planning, creative resource administration, evaluation, negotiation techniques, and crisis management.


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Julia Billings

Julia Billings comes to the Police Foundation from the Middle East Bureau at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), where she served as a Program Analyst and Gender Specialist for the Middle East, working on a wide range of issues in the Middle East region. In this capacity, she provided technical expertise and policy analysis for international development programming in the areas of gender equality, countering violent extremism, civil society strengthening, and youth integration. She led the democratic growth team to design and establish a five-year strategic development approach as part of USAID’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) with the Government of Tunisia. She also managed projects addressing countering gender based violence.

Julia received her M.S. in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania and her Bachelors Degree in International Studies from Kenyon College in 2011. Her research has explored the effect of drug policy on crime in the United States and she is interested in criminal justice reform both in the United States and internationally.


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Amanda Burstein

Amanda Burstein has over fifteen years of experience in project and program management, with eight years in the public safety sector before beginning her work as a Senior Program Manager with the National Police Foundation in 2019. Ms. Burstein previously served as a Program Manager at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), overseeing national training and technical assistance programs such as the Alzheimer’s Initiatives, Officer Safety and Wellness programs, and the Research Center. Working closely with all levels of government, law enforcement and strategic partners, she facilitated the development of tools and resources to further enhance public safety initiatives. She has participated in the National Officer Safety and Wellness Working Group and the CDC’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health’s Public Sector Working Group, and she was staff liaison to IACP’s Research Advisory Committee, SafeShield Committee (officer safety), and Crime Prevention Committee. She also oversaw entrepreneurial efforts within IACP’s portfolio of management studies and promotional testing products. She acted as guest editor for Police Chief Magazine for several years, providing subject matter review to monthly columns and several whole issues.

Prior to IACP, Amanda worked for several nonprofits including The National Mentoring Partnership, Volunteers of America, and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, working in various marketing, fundraising, and programmatic roles.

Amanda received a B.A. in Clinical Psychology from Tufts University with minors in Community Health (Public Health) and Child Development and has a Project Management Professional Certification from the Project Management Institute. She will be starting a Master’s in Public Administration at George Mason University in Fall of 2019.

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Brett Cowell

Brett Cowell is a Senior Project Associate at the National Police Foundation. He received a Master’s Degree in Criminology, Law and Society from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance, with a minor in Leadership Studies, from Virginia Tech. Brett’s areas of focus include police use of force, officer safety and wellness, and law enforcement technology.

Brett’s recent work with the National Police Foundation includes research on officer safety training, police use of force, police foot patrol, public safety use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), crime gun intelligence centers (CGICs), and body-worn cameras, as well as work on the critical incident review of the public safety response to the February 20, 2016, mass shooting incident in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Brett has also been heavily involved with the development and management of the National Police Foundation’s LEO Near Miss officer safety initiative, the first-ever near-miss reporting system for law enforcement.

In Brett’s spare time, he is a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician with the Nokesville Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad in Northern Virginia.


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Dean M. Esserman, J.D.

Dean M. Esserman is the immediate past Chief of the New Haven (CT) Police Department. Prior to that, he served as Chief of Police in Providence, Rhode Island; Stamford, Connecticut; and the New York State MTA-Metro North Police Department. From 1987-1991, he served as the general counsel to Chief William Bratton of the New York City Transit Police. He started his career as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York, and as a special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

He is a graduate of Dartmouth College (B.A.) and New York University School of Law (J.D.). He has held university appointments at the Yale Law School, Yale University, Yale Child Study Center, University of New Haven, and Roger Williams University. He is the past Chair of the IACP’s Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Committee. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Executive Institute and the Law Enforcement in Counter Terrorism program. He is also a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police and the United States Secret Service Dignitary Protection Program.

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Ben Gorban

Ben Gorban is a Senior Project Associate at the Police Foundation where he works on projects including Collaborative Reform and Critical Incident Reviews. His areas of interest are community oriented policing in the 21st Century, law enforcement policy, and operationalizing evidence-based promising practices and policies.

Before his work with the Police Foundation, Ben served as a Project Coordinator for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). In this capacity he oversaw the Division of State Associations of Chiefs of Police, provided training and technical assistance, developed resources for law enforcement executives, and published articles in Police Chief Magazine. He worked on national-scope projects on topics including social media, countering violent extremism, cyber crime, and traffic safety funded by federal agencies including Department of Justice, Department of Transportation, and Department of Homeland Security.

Ben received his M.S. in Justice, Law and Society from American University in 2011, and received his Bachelors Degree in both Philosophy and Justice, Law and Society from American University in 2009.


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Richard Haake

Rick Haake joined the Police Foundation in October 2018 as a Regional Manager for the Mexico team. In his Regional Manager role, Mr. Haake works on grant projects awarded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) with the purpose of increasing the professionalism of Mexican criminal justice agencies through CALEA Accreditation. Mr. Haake previously worked on the Police Foundation project team from August 2016 until October 2016 as a contracted Technical Advisor.

From 1981 to 2008, Mr. Haake worked as a Police Officer for the DuPage County Forest Preserve District in Illinois. Mr. Haake progressed through the ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant, Deputy Chief and Acting Chief during his career. Responsibilities included all facets of law enforcement work including administration, patrol, communications and training. He led the agency to its initial CALEA accreditation in 2001 and subsequent reaccreditations in 2004. In 2001, he was recruited by CALEA to become an Assessor and subsequently in 2004 became a Team Leader. Mr. Haake has been assigned to over 45 CALEA on-sites and has conducted over 100 mock assessments in the Midwest U.S. and Mexico. Fifteen of the CALEA assessments have been in Mexico.

Mr. Haake worked at three law enforcement agencies in Illinois as Accreditation Manager after retiring. He led the Hinsdale Police Department to three successful CALEA awards and the Fox Valley Park District Police Department to three successful CALEA awards. Mr. Haake also worked part-time at the McHenry County Conservation District’s Law Enforcement Department as a consultant: re-writing their general orders in preparation to someday initiate the CALEA process.

Mr. Haake obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois In Parks and Recreation and subsequently attended DePaul University where he received a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Mr. Haake also attended the Northwestern University’s School of Police, Staff and Command.


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Joyce Iwashita

Joyce Iwashita is a Project Associate with the National Police Foundation, supporting projects such as Collaborative Reform and Critical Incident Reviews. A Harry S. Truman Scholar, Joyce has interned at the U.S. Senate, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and National Criminal Justice Association, and has done work for the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship. Joyce received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, where she did research on U.S. sentencing laws.


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Garrett Johnson

Garrett Johnson joined the Police Foundation in 2017 as a Project Coordinator. A University Scholar from George Mason University, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Global Affairs, with minors in Criminology and Spanish. Garrett previously interned with the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs (OIA). There, he prepared case summaries and bilingual legal documents to share between the United States and South America regarding criminal cases and extradition agreements.


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Brett Meade, Ed.D.

Chief Brett Meade began his police career in 1982 with the DeLand Police Department in Florida. He was appointed Deputy Chief of Police of the University of Central Florida Police Department in September of 2014 and retired with the honorary rank of Chief in October 2018. The University of Central Florida is the second largest university in the United States with over 80,000 students, faculty, and staff. Chief Meade previously served almost 25 years with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando, Florida, retiring as a Patrol Commander, with practical command leadership in administrative as well as operational positions to include Campus Law Enforcement, Internal Affairs, Tourism Safety, Intelligence, Patrol Command, and Youth Prevention programs. He embraces community policing and intelligence-led policing philosophies, with documented and proven success in crime reduction by developing and implementing successful collaborative community strategies, anti-gang initiatives, and prevention programs utilizing a team approach.

For over six years, he served as a Regional Training Administrator for the Gang Resistance Education and Training program (GREAT) and served on several national boards, to include a seven-month assignment in Washington D.C. as a GREAT Training Coordinator for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Additionally, he chaired the GREAT Elementary Curriculum Development Committee. The GREAT elementary curriculum has been taught nationwide to over 4 million students.

Chief Meade is a recognized expert in domestic terrorism specializing in the sovereign citizen movement, having trained over 7,000 personnel across the State of Florida on Sovereign Citizen Encounters. He was also instrumental in obtaining legislation designed to protect public officials from paper terrorism tactics employed by sovereign citizens and served on the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange (Fusion Center) Executive Steering Committee and several other local, state and national boards. He is a Senior Instructor for the Criminal Justice Executive Institute with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Chief Meade is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute Command Officer’s Development Course, the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute Executive Future Studies Program, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Executive Development Seminar, and the Florida Police Chief’s Association Future Law Enforcement Executive course. He earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminology from Daytona State College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia College, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Webster University, and a Doctorate Degree in Organizational Leadership from Northcentral University. His specialization is factors influencing voluntary turnover and retention of sworn law enforcement personnel.


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