Pauline Alvarado

Pauline Alvarado is a Project Associate at the National Police Foundation. Pauline’s previous criminal justice, government, and nonprofit experience encompasses analytical and project management roles at the Council of State Governments Justice Center, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, and White House Office of Management and Budget. Pauline has co-authored reports, designed government agency dashboards, overhauled grant reporting information systems, and consulted on data visualizations, all in the spirit of leveraging practical criminal justice policy and science to advance data-informed decision-making.

Pauline earned a Master of Science in Criminology and Master of Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley. Her accolades include a mayoral appointment as the Seattle Human Rights Commission Co-Chair (2016-2017) and Lipman Family Prize Fellowship (2017-2018) at the Wharton School for global social impact and philanthropy.

Pauline Alvarado
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Rebecca Benson

Rebecca is a Senior Project Associate with the National Police Foundation providing analysis of local-level law enforcement policies, procedures, and practices. As part of the programs team, Rebecca is involved in the review and analysis of mass violence and mass demonstration critical incidents. She has supported the development and publication of technical reports of incident reviews as well as interactive e-reports specifically for field use. Rebecca has provided technical assistance to agencies on policy and practice as part of collaborative reform projects and agency requested reviews. Using her field experience, Rebecca also advises agencies on data collection and analysis, program development and management, as well as interagency and community collaboration and engagement.

Prior to joining the National Police Foundation, she served as a Crime and Intelligence Analyst with the Los Angeles Police Department, Olympic Division. She provided analytical support to the development of the new division by creating new area boundaries, mapping and documenting community resources, activities and special locations, and analyzing personnel resources and shift schedules. Additionally, Rebecca liaised with the community groups and organizations to support a smooth transition from the previous division. At the new division, Rebecca was responsible for daily crime analysis including mapping and statistical reports, led weekly crime control meetings with Command staff, and developed strategies for crime prevention and deterrence with Command, Detective, and Senior Lead Officers. She coordinated unified responses to community issues with neighboring divisions and bureaus, other local law enforcement agencies, and local community groups. Rebecca also managed divisional CompStat reports and presentations and participated in research, development and testing of systems and processes with the CompStat Division. She received numerous commendations and was awarded Civilian of the Year in 2009.

Prior to her work in Los Angeles and following her graduate work at Northeastern University, Rebecca served the Boston Police Department in a few capacities. As Program Manager in Community and Youth projects in the Office of the Police Commissioner, she managed a successful youth partnership between law enforcement, community partners and the business sector. Concurrently, she was detailed to the Youth Violence Strike Force to assist in the development of the Boston Reentry Initiative (BRI) that brought together public safety, community service providers, and faith-based partners. She was heavily involved in the creation of a critical database that facilitated information sharing among project partners. She consulted on policy and organizational development with state and federal LE partners to replicate the program across and beyond the state.

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


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Dominique Burton

Dominique Burton is a Project Associate at the National Police Foundation, supporting many locally focused law enforcement projects. She has experience in criminal justice related policy development and administration, intergovernmental relations, and community engagement. Dominique has previously worked for the IACP and CNA where she provided extensive analytical and technical support to criminal justice research and projects at the local, state, and federal levels. Her work centered around engaging and promoting best practices through research and training opportunities for law enforcement professionals, enabling them to continue to enhance their organizational, public safety, crime reduction, and community policing effectiveness.

Dominique has a bachelor’s degree from the SUNY College at Brockport in Criminal Justice and a minor in Forensic Science. She is also fluent in Spanish.

Dominique Burton
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Brett Cowell

Brett Cowell is a Senior Project Associate at the National Police Foundation. Brett provides comprehensive project management for a portfolio of training and technical assistance projects focused on improving officer safety. These projects include the Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Near Miss reporting system, the only national, non-punitive near miss reporting system for the law enforcement profession, and the National Law Enforcement Roadway Safety Program (NLERSP), a BJA-funded program designed to reduce the number of officers injured and killed on the nation’s roadways.

Brett’s past work at 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 law enforcement responses to critical incidents.

Brett received a master’s degree in Criminology, Law and Society from George Mason University and a bachelor’s degree in Finance, with a minor in Leadership Studies, from Virginia Tech. In his spare time, Brett is a first responder with over seven years of experience at a local volunteer fire department and rescue squad.


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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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Christine Johnson

Christine Johnson is a Project Associate at the National Police Foundation, supporting the VALOR officer safety project. Prior to joining the National Police Foundation, Christine served as the Strategic Analysis Specialist for the DC Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) from 2016 to 2020. In this role, she was responsible for facilitating data sharing agreements, as well as establishing partner agencies’ access to the CJCC’s information sharing database, JUSTIS. Additionally, in her time at the CJCC, Christine produced the agency’s first four annual Information Sharing Forums. These conferences convened local and nationally recognized figures in the field of information sharing. She also took on project management duties with respect to the agency’s two grant-funded initiatives through BJS’s NCHIP (National Criminal History Improvement Program), which implemented information sharing infrastructure between the District of Columbia and the FBI. Finally, Christine guided the agency’s effort to organize and update the JUSTIS System Security and Privacy Plan, to remain in compliance with federal information security standards.

Previously, she was a Special Investigator with Keypoint Government Solutions, and served at a national nonprofit for 3 years, the aim of which was to provide executive leadership training to Latina women across the country. Christine graduated from the Catholic University of America in 2011 with a bachelor’s in Spanish for International Services, and a minor in Latin American Studies. In 2014, Christine received her master’s in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Behavioral Analysis from the University of Cincinnati.


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Alonso Mendez

Alonso Ulises Mendez joined the Police Foundation in August 2019 as a Regional Manager. In his role Mr. Mendez 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.

Mr. Mendez’s experience in law enforcement dates back to 1996 where he worked for the State of Baja California, Mexico in the Attorney General’s Office holding different positions such as State Special Prosecutor for homicides, kidnapping and organized crime, director of crime investigations, deputy Attorney General and Interim Attorney General.  He also served as Police Chief almost 15 years in two agencies in the City of Mexicali Department of Public Safety and in State of Sonora, Mexico, Public safety State Police. He led these agencies though the CALEA accreditation process three times. He was a member of the Advisory Board to the Executive Director of CALEA, and is chairman  of  the Mexican Commission delegate to conduct reviews of Mexican agencies aspiring to receive CALEA accreditation.

Mr. Mendez holds a law degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, specializing in criminal law. He is a certified Crisis Negotiator by the FBI and California POST and is also certified by the FBI in Kidnapping Investigation and intelligence trends for gangs and organized crime. He holds several other recognitions from DEA and US Customs and Border Protection. He is a member of the Executive Law Enforcement Advisory Board for DARE and graduated from the FBI National Academy Session 240. He is certified in Police Command from the National Commission of Safety (Mexico).

Mr. Mendez is fluent in Spanish and English.


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Danielle Parsons


Danielle Parsons is a Project Associate at the National Police Foundation, supporting the VALOR officer safety project. Danielle has interned with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Parole Commission, which spurred her interest and pursuit of identifying problems in the criminal justice system and crafting solutions using evidence-based practices and policies.

Her areas of interest include reducing barriers for ex-offenders, community-oriented policing, and using empirically-based research to inform criminal justice reform.

Danielle received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Crime and Justice from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Florida International University.


Danielle Parsons
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