2024 ILACP Conference Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Dave "JD Buck Savage" Smith
Sponsored by Critical Response Group

Dave Smith’s "Leading for the Winning Mind" addresses the critical truth that “leadership” is not the function of a particular rank within an agency but what each individual does with the position they are in. Presented by Dave “JD Buck Savage” Smith this program identifies and explores the skills each of us needs to bring out the best in ourselves and in others. 

Attendees will gain an awareness that they must show “leadership” whether they are talking to a crime victim, dispatching a call, arriving at a chaotic scene, training a recruit, speaking to the media, leading an entry team, running a staff meeting or managing an entire organization. Critical officer safety lessons are woven throughout the program, which is presented in a fast-paced, 4-hour format filled with interaction, videos, real world resources, and of course, humor.

We will discuss:

  • Assessing your individual “leadership” abilities regardless of your position
  • Realistic & inspiring leadership traits everyone can use
  • The dangers of “Management by Best Seller”
  • Your role in identifying and fixing “failure” in your organization, regardless of rank
  • Why “officer safety” is a critical leadership function
  • Helping yourself & others combat organizational stress
  • The Nature of Systems
  • American Law Enforcement’s role in “Freedom”
  • Maintaining true Optimism in a bureaucratic world
  • Training leaders how to motivate others to their fullest potential

This unique program explores how true leaders can get the best from their people and from themselves while at the same time combating the effects of routine, organizational stress and the roles imposed on them by bureaucracy. The program is updated constantly and tailored to the specific audience and agency. “Leading for the Winning Mind” is one of the most unique law enforcement training experiences available today and is appropriate for all personnel, from dispatchers and recruits to chiefs and sheriffs.

 *Dave Smith's presentation has been approved for 4 hours of Continuing Education Credit

Plenary Speakers: Bruce Sherman and Jake Boyd

Jake Boyd and Bruce Sherman are bringing a training course, Interdiction for the Protection of Missing and Endangered Childrendeveloped by the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS), to help law enforcement officers identify and rescue endangered or exploited children and identify those who pose a high risk threat to a child. While law enforcement officers are well-trained and highly proficient in making observations of suspicious behaviors leading to arrests and successful interdictions of illicit drugs, weapons, and currency, we work to expand their training and knowledge so they can take a victim centered approach in working child victimization cases and identifying those who offend against children.

The Interdiction for the Protection of Missing and Endangered Children program is not only a Human Trafficking class, but a Crimes Against Children Class. This program helps front line officers identify Technology Facilitated Crimes Against Children, Missing Children, Human Trafficking/Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, High Risk Threats Against Children and Sex Offender Compliance/Registration.  

This presentation is a condensed overview of the 2-Day Basic Interdiction for the Protection of Children Training. It has been approved for 3 hours of Continuing Education Credit.



*All breakout sessions have been approved for continuing education credit hours.

8 a.m. - 9:25 a.m.

Course Title: Law & Disorder: Navigating the Maze of New Laws for Police Chiefs
Speaker: Curt Borman
North Pavilion 1

Course Description: The assault weapons ban and cash bail elimination dominated the news last year. But this legal update will cover dozens of new laws affecting police operations that did not receive as much attention. Just to name a few, these subjects include 911 and 988 regulations, abandoned newborn infants, automated license plate readers, “cocktails to go” liquor rules, crime victim rights, elder abuse, gambling regulation, gang database maintenance, juvenile interrogation, law enforcement drones, line of duty disabilities, noncitizens as sworn officers, officer certification standards, schools (bullying prevention, fentanyl education, trauma kits, emergency police response plan), traffic laws, vaping in public, victims’ rights, and much more. Stay current on what’s new in the legal landscape. 

Course Title: Embracing the Truth: A Wellness Foundation
Speaker: Thomas Lemmer
North Pavilion 2/3 

Course Description: Within the policing profession, the ongoing challenges of officer wellness are a reality. Many police officers believe that their leaders and their communities do not fully understand them or the challenges they face. Here in this session, conference attendees will be guided into a deeper exploration of how those who have sworn a law enforcement oath can and must embrace the power of truth. In life there is suffering, and evil is real. Understanding these two core truths is essential, particularly for those who serve as peace officers. The role of the police officer was never intended to be an easy one. It was created because evil exists, and suffering is increased when evil is left unchecked. Yet equally true is this, most police encounters involve people who are not evil. This is true even if those involved are making bad choices necessitating intervention. Bad choices, particularly those involving lawlessness, always come with consequences. Such is true, even if the “who will pay” the consequences, and the “when and where” those consequences will play out, has expanded or shifted. Fortunately, the possibility of redemption is also true. Serving in the role of a peace officer is an honor, and beyond. The role carries with it great responsibilities and great opportunities. Those working in law enforcement can garner great strength from the truth, and the truth is discernible through both reason and faith. For each officer there is the opportunity to find great meaning in the service of their work. For every officer there is always the fundamental responsibility to seek, embrace, and foster the truth. Every officer has a duty to do what is right and true, even if no one hears or sees their actions. The truth is more than a simple fact. The truth has direct application in the real world and has the power of goodness. During these challenging times, it is from this power of goodness that another truth is apparent. The way forward must be a proactive one. When the police are one with the community, the community is safer, freer, more stable, and better positioned to help foster the well-being of all of the community’s members, including its police officers. To meet this challenge, it is essential that the members of the law enforcement profession fully embrace the truth of their sworn oaths. It is equally essential that our communities fully embrace those who have sworn an oath to protect them. Finally, in fostering officer wellness, police executives must consistently lead from a foundation of truth.

Course Title: Family Wellness: Integrating Family Programming into Your Agency
Speaker: Caitlyn Brennan
North Pavilion 5

Course Description: Officer safety and wellness does not stop at agency doors and the hours away from the department are often the most critical for officers and support staff. Knowing that we all bring the job home and bring home to work with us, we must continue to build resources that also cross those lines. Integrating family into the wellness plan for agencies is key to ensuring the holistic success of officers and support staff. This course provides tools and resources to build the bridge between work and home to foster more resilient officers and support staff. The stressors facing the law enforcement community continue to grow and the intrusion into family life has become more prevalent post-COVID and during challenging times of recent unrest. Officers and support staff are looking for all-encompassing support from their agencies and now, more than ever, seeking a healthy work-life balance. Our wellness plans need to be recalibrated to address these changes. Course topics will include internal resources for departments, such as onboarding protocols and wellness guides for families; family-focused wellness, such as family communication skills and expectations; and best practices on building local support systems for families, such as family groups and culturally competent clinicians. All of these topics impact recruiting, retention and ultimately agency success.

Course Title: Law Enforcement Action in Democracy: Examples and Safeguards We Can Learn from Holocaust History
Speakers: David Williams, Evan Phifer
North Pavilion 6

Course Description: Based on the Holocaust Museum’s Brill Law Enforcement Action in Democracy training program, explore the meaning and importance of democracy and law enforcement through the lens of the Holocaust using activities such as photographic analysis, historical case study explorations, contemporary scenarios discussion, hate crimes investigation, and interaction with a Holocaust survivor hologram. Participants will understand how changes in government policy and law shifted the traditional functions of German policing to one that implemented human rights abuses and genocidal programs represented as national security and defense priorities. The full training supports departments in aligning with nine of the Ten NAACP Shared Principles of Policing. Case studies explored will include police officers in Nazi Germany and its occupied territories who stood up for good during the Holocaust and were examples of Upstanders who abided by moral and human values in the face of atrocity and genocide. These examples will also be tied into modern day ethical decision making as well as a discussion on identifying and addressing bias and hate crimes today. This presentation will also foster empathy and cultural understanding by allowing attendees to ask questions to an interactive hologram of a Holocaust survivor. This award-winning interactive experience combines holographic interviews with voice recognition technology that enables Survivors to share their stories and respond to questions from the audience.


9:35 a.m. - 10:25 a.m. 

Course Title: Getting Started with ILEAP Accreditation 
Speaker: ILEAP Director Jeff Hamer
North Pavilion 1

Course Description: This session will focus on the information needed for Department decision makers to make choices in regards to pursuing ILEAP Accreditation. There will be grant information, details on costs, as well as software considerations. Plenty of time for Question and Answers as well.

Course Title: ILETSB Panel
Speakers: Anthony Cobb, Paul Petty
North Pavilion 2/3

Course Description: Presented with members of ILETSB to discuss current events with the board and to answer questions from attendees.

Course Description: Understanding the Pathway to Violence
Speaker: Michael Zegadlo
North Pavilion 5

Course Description: Active shooter incidents are not spontaneous, sudden events which occur without warning. They are the predictable and preventable behavioral destination of a “pathway to violence.” Law enforcement professionals should all have basic awareness-level training in threat assessment, enabling them to recognize the common risk factors and observable behaviors that may be indicative of a subject on the pathway to violence. This program will provide attendees with a basic understanding of the behavioral evolution of an active shooter and help them to recognize potential signs or cues that may indicate an individual is in distress, in need of help or may be planning violence.

Course Title: Building the Future Force: The Art and Science of Police Officer Recruitment and Retention
Speaker: Elizabeth Borman
North Pavilion 6

Course DescriptionIn this presentation, we will delve into the core principles and innovative strategies shaping the recruitment process for tomorrow's law enforcement leaders. Discover the intricate balance of art and science behind effective law enforcement recruitment and interviews. Uncover practical insights on navigating unconscious biases in interviews, crafting competency-based interview questions, and fostering constructive communication with candidates to optimize their success throughout the selection process. This session aims to equip you with actionable techniques and evidence-based approaches to elevate your recruitment practices and build a diverse, skilled, and resilient force ready to meet the challenges of modern policing.


10:35 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Course Title: Taking Care of Our Own 
Speaker: Chris Prochut
North Pavilion 1                        

Course Description: The presentation includes tough facts, open conversation, humor and sometimes tears. Starting with a discussion of suicide and depression warning signs, we examine the paradigm shift taking place in which it is becoming increasingly OK to ask for help. Yet, stigma still exists and many fear they will lose their job if they seek mental health assistance. There is a long way to go. Addressed are the topics of stigma, the “suck it up” attitude, the myth that seeking help is a sign of weakness, and the reality that more Officers die by their own hand than in the line of duty. During the second part of my presentation, Prochut tells his own story of the struggle with mental illness and suicide ideation. 

Course Title: Strengthening Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention in Illinois: Looking at the Roles of Law Enforcement
SpeakersDr. Stevan Weine, Megan Alderden, PhD, Jaleel K. Abdul-Adil Ph.D., Liza Suarez, Ph.D., Chief Joseph Leonas, Village of Lincolnshire
North Pavilion 2/3

Course Description: The State of Illinois, with the support federal agencies, and in collaboration with local law enforcement and community-based organizations has begun to build local prevention frameworks in several counties, with a goal of statewide scaleup to follow, as has been achieved in several other states (New York and Florida). Key components of this initiative include community-focused behavioral threat assessment and management (BTAMT) and a public health approach to violence prevention. It builds on research which suggests that some individuals follow a ‘pathway to violence’ which they move from a grievance or feeling like they have been wronged in some way, to thinking about using violence, to planning and executing those intentions. Each stage represents an opportunity for preventive intervention, particularly because many individuals share information about their intentions. One study of mass shooters, for instance, found that 65% of the attackers made threats or concerning statements in the past (U.S. Secret Service, 2020). To succeed, we need to strengthen community awareness and education, community, and bystander reporting, BTAMT that can respond to persons of concern in communities, including helping them access supportive services. Local law enforcement is needed to play key roles in leading, supporting, convening, coordinating, these activities, but in such a way that avoids over-securitization, and is consistent with innovative co-response models. This session will describe the work occurring in Illinois from the perspective of different stakeholders and facilitate audience discussion on key questions and dilemmas concerning how law enforcement can best contribute.

Course Title: S.A.F.E. Principles for Common Calls for Service Discussion
Speakers: Chief Pat Kreis, Chief Schenita Stewart, Chief Dave Anderson
North Pavilion 5

Course Description: A review and discussion of the S.A.F.E. Principles developed by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, ad-hoc committee on Rethinking Responses to Common Calls for Service. Committee members explored a variety of successful strategies and alternative responses that had been implemented. The committee focused on reconsidering the historical norms/protocols that unnecessarily led our officers down a risky path when responding to frequent, low risk, non-violent interactions. Just a few examples of historical norms and protocols analyzed included: Obligation to act, return to service, and prioritizing the irrelevant.

Course Title: ILACP/NAACP Presidential Roundtable to Build Trusting Communities 
Speakers: NAACP Illinois State Conference President Theodis Pace, ILACP Executive Director Kenny Winslow, Bob Moore, Austin Randolph
North Pavilion 6

Course Description: NAACP Illinois Regional Leaders discuss important topics such as recruitment, community relationships, how to address issues with how to follow-up, de-escalation training, building a resource committee and more.


1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Course Title: Officer Wellbeing: Offering Peer Support Program that Officers Will Actually Use
Speakers: Bill Kushner and Vickie Poklop
North Pavilion 1

Course Description: Most departments don't have an in-house peer support program. Those that do have a program, face an uphill task to get their Officers to use it. Stigma, rumor mill, lack of anonymity, etc., are all the challenges making accessing Peer Support a daunting task. EAP comes up short as well because the services are technically offered by the employer and the providers may not be aware of Law Enforcement culture. We aim to solve those problems with an innovative program that is 100% confidential, secure, anonymous and most importantly easy to use.

Course Title: Legal Update
Speaker: Don Zoufal, Yvette Heintzelman, Jill Leka, JohnTimbo
North Pavilion 2/3

Course Description: An interactive session with information on and questions about the most recent legal issues facing law enforcement. This is done by a team of presenters. The topics covered are Reasonable Suspicion for Traffic Stops, Pursuits, Use of Force, and Duty to Protect from Suicide/Duty to Provide Medical Attention. Other topics may include labor issues, decertification, fitness for duty, etc. 

Course Title: Combating Illegal Car Meets and Street Takeovers – A Multi-Jurisdictional Approach
Speaker: Shawn Green
North Pavilion 5

Course DescriptionIllegal car meets, street takeovers, drifting, and vehicle sideshows are activities that involve the unauthorized gathering of car enthusiasts and their vehicles in public spaces such as parking lots, industrial areas, and public roadways. These events often feature high-speed driving, stunts, and other reckless behavior, which have been associated with a range of negative outcomes including accidents, injuries, property damage, and disturbance of the peace. This presentation will walk attendees through a real-life case study of the successful disruption of illegal car meet and street takeover activities in the Chicago suburbs throughout spring and summer of 2023. Utilizing a coordinated, multijurisdictional approach - leveraging intelligence, technology, local ordinance enhancements, and innovative communication strategies - area police departments have successfully prosecuted offenders, impounded offending vehicles, achieved restitution for damaged property, and effectively eliminated the organizers', participants', and spectators' ability to carry out these dangerous and destructive activities.