John Marx, CPP
John Marx is the Executive Director of The Law Enforcement Survival Institute and founder of CopsAlive.com. He is the author of the book Armor Your Self™: How To Survive A Career In Law Enforcement and has created our primary training programs: Building Tactical Resilience™, Armor Your Self™, Armor Your Agency™, and True Blue Valor™.
John was a police officer for twenty-three years and served as a hostage negotiator for nineteen of those years. He worked as a patrol officer, media liaison officer, crime prevention officer and burglary detective. Also during his career he served as administrator of his city's Community Oriented Governance Initiative through the police department's community policing project. John retired from law enforcement in 2002. When one of his friends, also a former police officer, committed suicide at age 38, John was overcome with sadness and began researching the problems that stress creates for police officers. He decided he needed to do something to help change those problems and he wanted to give something back to the profession that gave him so much. He started a project that has evolved into CopsAlive.com. Put simply, the mission of CopsAlive is to save the lives of the people who save lives! CopsAlive.com gathers information, strategies and tools to help law enforcement professionals plan for happy, healthy and successful careers, relationships and lives. Today, John combines his skills to assist law enforcement professionals and their agencies how to foster wellness and build Tactical Resilience™. He also consults with businesses about improving their communications, security and customer service programs.
Eric Potterat, Ph.D.
Eric Potterat, Ph.D. is an active duty Commander in the U.S. Navy who for the last 9 years has served as the Psychologist for the U.S. Navy SEALs. As their Head Psychologist, he provides, supervises and manages the assessment and selection programs, mental training, mental toughness and performance psychology training, clinical care, operational readiness/resilience training and neurocognitive evaluation programs for all the active duty personnel across the NSW Force world-wide. In addition, he is an Associate Member of OPTIBRAIN, the Center for Optimization of Brain Resources to Improve Performance. OPTIBRAIN is a joint consortium (UCSD and NHRC) focusing on researching the brain systems, neural mechanisms and cognitive processes that characterize optimal performance in extreme environments. He is considered one of the leading experts in individual and organizational resilience and performance enhancement in high-risk operational occupations. For the last 14 of his 18 years in the Navy, he has focused his research and practice on stress resilience, operational/special application psychology, selection, neuropsychology, human factors, mental toughness training, and elite human performance in extreme environments. He is also credited for developing and implementing the Mental Toughness Training Program for the U.S. Navy SEALs and embedding it into their training pipeline. He has 30 peer-reviewed, professional journal and/or chapter publications, has been featured on national media (History Channel, MSNBC, national magazines, etc.), and has served as a consultant on human factors, selection and assessment, and mental toughness to many organizations including, NASA, the U.S. Olympic Training Center, many law enforcement and government agencies, and numerous professional (NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.) and collegiate sports teams.
Chaplain Cary A. Friedman
Chaplain Cary A. Friedman is a consultant and lecturer on matters of stress-management and ethics for the law enforcement community. A hospital, prison, and police chaplain, he began consulting to the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit in Quantico, VA in 2001, and contributed to the design of the Spiritual Survival for Law Enforcement course for the FBI’s National Academy. Chaplain Friedman is the author of five books, including Spiritual Survival for Law Enforcement and Wisdom from the Batcave. In 18 lighthearted chapters, he uses Batman’s example to illustrate profound truths such as How to Triumph over Adversity, the Value of Inspiring Others, and A Better Definition of Victory. Focusing on relationships with self, others and the community, the book illustrates how to live a better life, something trauma sufferers want and need. He has spoken at the FBI Academy, the FBI Training Network, International Conference of Police Chaplains, TX Department of Public Safety, and CT Department of Public Safety, and has appeared on The History Channel.
Christian W. Dobratz, M.A.
Christian Dobratz formerly served as a licensed Peace Officer in the State of Minnesota, and has been a collegiate professor since 2008, teaching in the Law Enforcement Program at MN State University Mankato. As a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Instructor, Christian primarily teaches courses related to Police Stress, Law Officer Mindset II (formerly Tactical Communications), Defensive Tactics and Physical Fitness for Officers, as well as Narcotics Investigations. Prior to his current teaching load, he also has taught courses in criminal investigations, political science, police emergency response procedures (now law officer mindset I), criminal code, report writing, and interview & interrogation. Christian brings 18 years of licensed law enforcement experience to the program, where he previously served roles such as a Patrol Officer, General and Juvenile Detective, Forensic Examiner for the Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, Narcotics Detective, Drug Task Force Coordinator, Patrol Sergeant and Watch Commander. The last seven years of his career, his primary role was that of a Detective Sergeant, where he oversaw both the Detective and Records Division, and was a member of the McLeod County Child Protection Team. Christian is an active member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) where he has presented and instructed for several years in areas of police stress management, and the reduction of and increased awareness of Police Officer suicides. He is also a Member of the National Center for Crisis Management, in collaboration with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, and is also listed in the professional directory of The National Center for Crisis Management. Christian’s research interests are in the areas of Police Stress, stress related to retirement, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), medical disabilities, line of duty injuries, and the reduction/awareness of police suicide.
Kathleen Mitchell, Ph.D., PMP
Dr. Kathleen Mitchell is a law enforcement leadership professional with extensive experience in various leadership, enforcement, and investigative positions for local, state, and federal agencies. Dr. Mitchell began her 35 year law enforcement career working for county and local police departments in Broward County, FL and Loveland, CO. She worked in many law enforcement capacities which include officer, front line supervisor, and investigator. She was the first female officer promoted to supervisor for the Loveland Police Department. She retired as an FBI executive manager at FBI Headquarters and served as a field office Supervisory Special Agent. As Chief of Investigative Training at the FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia she supervised New Agents Training, Leadership Development, and Faculty/Instructor Development. She was an executive Educational Advisor for the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA) providing education and training guidance to executives and staff responsible for training DoD and the Intelligence Community advanced counterintelligence. Dr. Mitchell became an accreditation expert achieving state and national accreditation for local police departments, the FBI Academy and the JCITA. Dr. Mitchell earned a doctorate degree with honors in Adult Education from Walden University. For her doctorate, she specialized in emotional intelligence in her research of FBI New Agent Trainees. She also is a graduate in Leadership Studies from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. Based on her reputation and accomplishments, she was asked to create a Faculty/Instructor Development Program for INTERPOL, Lyon, France.
Mordecai Z. Dzikansky
NYPD Intelligence Detective First Grade (Ret.) Mordecai Z. Dzikansky is the author of Terrorist Suicide Bombings: Attack, Interdiction, Mitigation & Response and Terrorist Cop: The NYPD Jewish Cop Who Traveled the World to Stop Terrorists. A native of Brooklyn, Detective Dzikansky was appointed to the NYPD in 1983 and served as uniformed patrolman for two years in Brooklyn North. He served in the Organized Crime Control Bureau, the elite Manhattan South Homicide Squad and the Midtown North Detective Squad. In 1993, after a rash of synagogue burglaries in the Metropolitan area, Detective Dzikansky was selected to be lead investigator of the then newly formed specialized Torah Task Force. The task force affected numerous arrests and successfully recovered many of the sacred Torah scrolls. In addition, Detective Dzikansky was selected to work on terror related investigations including the murders of MK Meir Kahane and Ari Halberstam (Brooklyn Bridge murder). From January 2003 through 2008 Detective Dzikansky was posted in Israel as the first NYPD Intelligence Division Overseas Liaison to the Israel National Police. His main focus was intelligence gathering and the immediate relay of key information back to NYC to enhance the Department’s ability to recognize, react to and prevent or recover from terrorist acts. He responded in person to and analyzed 21 bombing scenes in Israel and several attacks globally, including events in Turkey, Russia, Spain and Egypt. He currently lectures and consults on global security and policing topics and is called upon by various law enforcement agencies, academic/think tanks and community organizations to provide first-hand analysis of the current terror trends, lessons learned and world-wide applications in preventing and responding to terrorism.
Captain Joseph Padilla has commanded the Gang, Juvenile and Traffic Operations Bureau's of the Denver Police Department. He has managed several large events including the traffic and transportation plan for the Democratic National Convention, the World Series, Presidential visits, large protests, parades and other high profile activities. He has experience resolving personnel issues, developing staffing and deployment protocols, analyzing crime trends, identifying community concerns and scheduling special events. He is currently the commander of the Professional Standards/Civil Liability Bureau. In this position he is responsible for identifying and producing relevant records in contemplation of litigation or pursuant to claims and lawsuits. Additionally he supervises the Professional Standards, Secondary Employment, Limited Duty and Court Liaison units of the police department. He previously served as the manager of the Investigative Support Center for the Rocky Mountain H.I.D.T.A. (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) program. Responsibilities included coordinating narcotics intelligence information and the management of local, state and federal intelligence personnel assigned to Colorado, Utah and Wyoming and establishing interstate connectivity of statewide intelligence systems. During his thirty-plus year career Joe has survived several critical incidents, including being involved in fatal police shootings. He has received his department's Medal of Honor (including being nominated for the Presidential Medal of Valor), 3 Medals of Valor, 2 Distinguished Service Crosses, 4 Police Merit Medals and numerous "Officer of the Year" awards. His education was at the University of Denver and Metropolitan State College of Denver, and he is a graduate of the 235th session of the FBI National Academy. Although he is now in a management position, Joe always remembers and identifies with the officers most exposed to the hazards of law enforcement.
Lisa Wimberger is the founder of the Neurosculpting® Institute. She holds a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Stonybrook, NY and a Foundations Certification in NeuroLeadership. She is the author of NEW BELIEFS, NEW BRAIN: Free Yourself from Stress and Fear. Lisa is the Founder of the Trance Personnel Consulting Group and Ripple Effect, LLC. She has created and facilitated leadership trainings for executive teams in Fortune 500 companies, the Colorado Department of Health Care and worked individually with international management. She has created and facilitated Emotional Survival programs for Colorado Law Enforcement Agencies and peer counsel groups. Lisa writes for the Elephant Journal, CopsAlive and partners with the Law Enforcement Survival Institute. Additionally, Lisa’s services are sought on a national level by individuals in law enforcement looking to find a new way to navigate through their stress patterns. Lisa is a public speaker, and has addressed audiences ranging from corporate leaders to FBI and Secret Service. Lisa is a member of the National Center for Crisis Management and ILEETA (International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association). Her mission to share practical and powerful stress management techniques to those in need caused Lisa to develop her Neurosculpting® programs combining neuroscience principles with mindfulness and energetic modalities.
Clarke & Tracie Paris
Clarke retired from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, with the rank of Sergeant, after 27 years of service. During his time with LVMPD he worked in undercover assignments, as a training officer & sergeant, and a traffic enforcement officer & sergeant. In addition, he has worked as the sergeant in charge of special events and supervised a squad of bicycle officers on the Las Vegas Strip. Tracie Paris has been a Registered Nurse for the past 29 years. She has worked as a Trauma/ER Nurse, Outpatient Surgery Nurse and Charge Nurse. In 2006 she was honored as ‘Nurse of the Year’. Now Clarke and Tracie travel the country to lecture about law enforcement stress as well as the prevention of police, first responder and military suicide. Clarke is devoting his retirement to educating law enforcement, first responders and military members on dealing with PTSD and suicide. In 2000 Clarke authored a book, and in March 2007 began work on the documentary film The Pain Behind The Badge. Clarke and Tracie have traveled the nation presenting The Pain Behind The Badge to thousands of police officers, military personnel, and their spouses. Clarke and Tracie were involved in recovery and training of personnel assigned to VA Tech PD after the 33 student massacre as well as Lakewood Police Department Personnel after that agency’s four officers were murdered as they sat in a coffee shop in November, 2009.
Elaine Dumler is an author, speaker and expert in creating police and military family support networks. I’m Already Home, (version one) is the first book Elaine wrote designed to help families discover unique and wonderful ways to stay connected and in constant communication when they are separated by deployments and assignments. In 2006 the updated edition, I’m Already Home Again, was released, which combines the best of the original edition with over 150 new ideas, resources, stories and expanded chapters on reunion and reintegration. The information for both books was gleaned through interviews with over 2000 military families who shared the best practical ideas that worked for their families. Following the path of another 1200 family interviews, 2009 brought the release of her 3rd book, The Road Home – Smoothing the Transition Back from Deployment. Ms. Dumler also assists law enforcement agencies who want to form and enhance their Family Support Networks.
Julie Zielinski is a wife and mother of three adult children, Tami, Matthew (deceased) and Mark. She has three grandchildren. Julie is a retired assistant tennis coach whose coaching style builds self-discipline and strength in meeting challenges both in sports and for life. With the tragic death of her son, she felt the need to help others. Julie is author of Matt’s Last Call the story of Julie’s fun-loving, marine, sheriff’s deputy son who committed suicide and caused her world to come crashing down. As Julie reflects on the death of her firstborn son, she informs parents and children of the dangers of suicide, the difficulty of coping, the pain of everyday life and lastly the days when happiness returns, even if just a little bit. She shares her story to prevent pain and grief for other families, and to comfort other suicide survivors. Julie is the suicide liaison for the Washington State Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors. She is also the Washington State Representative for the National Police Suicide Foundation.
Mary Kelly, Ph.D.
Mary Kelly, PhD is a nationally recognized and renowned economist and leadership expert specializing in improving business efficiency and maximizing available resources. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Mary has trained over 40,000 military and civilian personnel in multi-cultural environments around the world. She served 21 years as a commissioned officer in the Navy and retired as a Commander. A university business and economics professor, Mary combines theory and practicality. With extensive experience in human resources, finance, insurance, organizational leadership, strategic planning and project development, she focuses on building successful strategies for business leaders at all levels of an organization. Mary is the author of several books including: In Case of Emergency, Break Glass!, 15 Ways to Grow your Business in Every Economy, 360 Degrees of Leadership: Steering Around the Icebergs and Money Smart: How not to buy cat food when you don’t have a cat. Mary is cited in hundreds of publications worldwide every month. Mary coaches the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Equestrian Team and she and her therapy dogs make routine visits to local hospitals and retirement homes.
Bob “Coach” Lindsey
“Coach” Bob Lindsey retired from law enforcement after 34 years of service. He retired at the rank of Colonel from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana. His career included military service, all sectors of law enforcement and governmental security. The colonel is a graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana and the FBI National Academy. He is best known as "Coach Bob" by countless numbers of police officers and law enforcement trainers throughout the United States and other nations. Since his retirement, he continues to utilize his vast experience to teach other law enforcement trainers. He is a founding member of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, serving on the Board of Directors of that organization for 16 years. He also holds the position of International Instructor Trainer emeritus with Monadnock Lifetime Products. He writes and creates Tactical Tips for PoliceOne.com, and he is a member and contributor to Team one and ILEETA. Colonel Lindsey has received numerous awards and honors including the ILEETA Outstanding Law Enforcement Trainer of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement award from ASLET. He has received many other honors which are too numerous to mention. Colonel Lindsey was personally trained in Verbal Judo techniques by Dr. George Thompson and now works with the Vistelar Group teaching Verbal Defense & Influence.
Sean Riley is the Founder and President of Safe Call Now®, a confidential, comprehensive 24-hour crisis referral service for all public safety employees, all emergency services personnel and their family members nationwide. Sean started his law enforcement career as a San Diego County Deputy Sheriff in 1987 and then relocated to Washington in 1990 where he spent over 16 years with the Kirkland Police Department. Sean’s many accomplishments include being a member of the International Homicide Investigator’s Association, Homicide and Sexual Assault Detective, D.A.R.E. Officer, Gang Officer and certified trainer. He is also credited with solving one of the first ever elder abuse homicide cases in the nation. Sean’s prominent career in law enforcement ended in 2005 when he could no longer hide his “secret” behind the badge. Sean threw away his almost 20-year stellar police career due to alcohol and drug addiction and was headed towards suicide to become just another unknown statistic. After returning back to school for substance abuse counseling and being a supervisor in a treatment center, Riley decided to do something about it. From his own experience, he knew that first responders wanted to come forward for help but due to the stigma attached, they would not. Admitting to a substance abuse or mental health problem is perceived as a sign of weakness and could result in the termination from a noble career. By creating a safe and confidential place to reach out for help, first responders are now coming forward in droves from around the nation to better their lives, better their families and better their careers. Safe Call Now® was started in 2009 after legislation was passed guaranteeing confidentiality nationwide for all who call the Safe Call Now® crisis line which is staffed by current and former first responders.
Mark Sherwood, Naturopathic Doctor, is the president and founder of Live4E, a company specializing in equipping persons with tools to provide inner peace through daily renewal of the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. He also has a full-time naturopathic practice in Tulsa, OK at the Functional Medical Institute. His activity DVDs and full line of nutritional supplements are the highest quality and are sold around the world. Mark is the host of 4E TV, a weekly television program airing on three networks. He is a former Oklahoma state and regional bodybuilding champion, ex-professional baseball player and a 24-year retired veteran of the Tulsa Police Department, where he logged a decade of courageous service on the department’s SWAT Team. Mark’s passion for wellness motivated him to develop several wellness based courses, which he teaches to law enforcement professionals, corporations, and churches throughout U.S. and worldwide. He firmly believes that “each person has an awesome destiny and purpose in life, which can be revealed only through the pursuit of total wellness.” Mark is a motivational speaker whose presentations are sought by audiences nationwide. His passion and experience for total wellness make him a versatile role model for people of all ages.
Christie Ward, CSP
Christie Ward, CSP is a nationally acclaimed leadership and communication expert known for high-content, high-energy workshops and keynotes that get results. A fearless facilitator who tackles the tough subjects, Christie’s workshops are highly customized to meet organizations’ specific needs and are interwoven with real-world stories and actionable tactics. Since 1999, when she founded The Impact Institute, Christie has focused on communication, leadership, and teambuilding topics that result in more productive teams and effective leadership. Highlights include lowering union grievances at an AT&T division by 66%. In addition, she personally coached the World Champion of Public Speaking for the year 2000. Previously, as Director of Training for CareerTrack, Inc., Christie coached and managed 200 of the best professional trainers around the world. For leaders at all levels, Christie Ward teaches skills to communicate with crystal-clear clarity. For supervisors and managers, Christie takes the mystery out of managing people by teaching effective, “front line” communication and teambuilding skills. For individual contributors, Christie Ward’s “how-to-fix” workshops teach how to effectively communicate with your colleagues and managers, stressing why each person must take responsibility in building a great team and a great workplace.
Sgt. Mark St. Hilaire
Sergeant Mark St.Hilaire has 25+ years as a police officer and is currently serving as a Patrol Sergeant in a suburb of Metrowest Boston,Massachusetts. Mark is continually training as a police peer assistant, and serves as a volunteer member of a regional C.I.S.M. team. He is committed to educating public safety professionals about the benefits of good health,developing our relationships and emotional wellness to improve our quality of life on and off duty. Mark has been a presenter at the last several conferences of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) and is a regular contributor to CopsAlive.com.