​​​​​​​​​The Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science Scholars Program 

Apply now to be a LEADS Scholar and attend the 2017 IACP conference.

Applications are due June 30, 2017.

Learn more and submit your application.

A Partnership between NIJ and International Association of Chiefs of Police

On this page find:​

Overview of the Program

Hear from the Scholars

Established in 2014 through a partnership between NIJ and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) program is designed to develop law enforcement officers who are committed to advancing and integrating science into law enforcement policies and practice. To accomplish this, merit-based scholarships are competitively awarded to mid-rank officers from agencies of any size and executives from small agencies who have effectively infused research into policy development within their agencies.

Research is a valuable tool for law enforcement agencies—not only for the police chiefs who make policy decisions, but also for the mid-rank officers who carry out and measure those decisions. Through this program, NIJ and IACP hope to identify and nurture the next generation of law enforcement leadership through encouraging the use of evidence-based research to advance criminal justice throughout the nation.

After two years, NIJ and IACP have built up a strong group of 19 scholars who are committed to using evidence-based research to strengthen the adjudication of law enforcement within their jurisdictions. NIJ and IACP are currently working on techniques to encourage further collaboration between the scholars and to strengthen the program even further moving forward.


LEADS scholars posing behind Chicago Police Department sign

LEADS scholars and NIJ staff visiting the Chicago Police Department.

LEADS scholar posing at IACP conference

LEADS scholars at the IACP Excellence in Law Enforcement Research awards banquet

As part of the LEADS program, scholarship recipients participate in a number of activities, including:

  • Attendance at the IACP Conference.
  • Participation in private workshops with NIJ, OJP and IACP leadership.
  • Numerous networking activities between the current and incoming classes of scholars.
  • An opportunity to network with, and learn from, like-minded officers working towards the common goal of improving law enforcement throughout the nation.

During 2015, the scholars undertook a number of special activities, including:

Read the NIJ Journal article "Using Research to Move Policing Forward" by 2014 LEADS scholar James Nolette in which he details his activities under the LEADS program and explains how his department uses evidence-based research to reduce crime and better help the public.

Applying to Become a LEADS Scholar

Visit the LEADS application webpage to learn more about eligibility for the program and to see the status of when applications will be accepted. NIJ anticipates seeking more applications in summer 2016. Get started on your materials now!

Scholar Bios

Class of 2014

Portrait of Daniel P. Brauer

Daniel P. Brauer

Daniel P. Brauer
Lieutenant, Glendale Police Department, Glendale, WI
In addition to his role as a patrol lieutenant serving the Glendale Police Department, Lieutenant Brauer maintains a number of other responsibilities including: TRACS administrator/trainer, department grant writer, promotional assessor, accreditation manager, dispatch center liaison, TIME System TAC, and RMS administrator/trainer. While the LEADS program may be still in its infancy, Lieutenant Brauer has already received tremendous value from the program. He feels that the combination of NIJ, the IACP, and LEADS scholars has created a brain trust that will lead to research-based innovation, problem solving, and the continued professionalization of law enforcement. He is honored to have this opportunity to work with some of the most dedicated, insightful, and intelligent members of the law enforcement community.

Portrait of Gary Eblan

Gary Eblan

Gary Eblan
Sergeant Detective, Boston Police Department, Boston, MA
The Boston (MA) Police Department is a stalwart supporter of community policing strategies reflecting the values of the visitors and residents of Boston. As the Registrar of the Police Academy, Sergeant Detective Gary J. Eblan, M.A., has spent more than 16 of 26 years involved in the creation, design, implementation and execution of all facets of police training. The LEADS program has allowed him to expand his knowledge and resource base, and bring innovative ideas back to the Boston Police Department. Sergeant Detective Eblan now works as an investigator in the Bureau of Professional Standards, Anti-Corruption Division.

Portrait of Mark Landahl

Mark Landahl

Mark Landahl
Sergeant, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Frederick, MD
Sergeant Mark Landahl, Ph.D., serves as the Supervisor of the School Resource Unit within the Homeland Security Section of the Frederick County (MD) Sheriff’s Office. The 13 Deputies of the School Resource Unit provide law enforcement services to the more than 46,000 students and staff in 67 schools in the 664 square miles of Frederick County. Participation in the NIJ LEADS program provided access to law enforcement experts dealing with the latest challenges in the field and access to evidence-based practices in school-based policing that helped to improve service delivery in Frederick County.

Portrait of James Mac Gillis

James Mac Gillis

James Mac Gillis
Lieutenant, Milwaukee Police Academy, Milwaukee, WI
Lieutenant Mac Gillis serves as his agency’s training lieutenant and also conducts training research for the agency. Since being selected as a LEADS scholar, Lieutenant Mac Gillis has had the opportunity to network with the Las Vegas (NV) Metro Police Department and the Washington State Police Academy; recently he has conducted a research presentation for the Shanghai, China Police College. This program is about researching best practices and sharing knowledge and experiences to improve our profession. One of the most important outcomes from this experience is that agencies must have strong executive decision-making that is evidence-based and backed by scholarly research, but must also involve those at the practical application level. LEADS is that essential practical component.

Portrait of Louis Molina

Louis A. Molina

Louis A. Molina
Senior Advisor for Security & Emergency, New York City Department of Homeless Services, New York, NY
​As senior advisor to the agency, Mr. Molina provides strategic advisement and expert consultancy on all security and emergency operations within the agency to include the agency’s 700+ Peace Officer force. Mr. Molina has over 16 years of law enforcement and public safety experience that includes his work with the New York City Police Department, as senior police instructor with the U.S. Department of State, and as New York University Department of Public Safety and Deputy Chief with Kings County District Attorney’s Office prior to being appointed senior advisor at NYC Department of Home Services. The NIJ LEADS progra​m connected him with other law enforcement experts from across the U.S. who contributed to his process in transitioning the agency’s police culture from an occupational to a professional mindset using evidence-based practices to enhance investigations and public safety.

Portrait of James Nolette

James Nolette

James Nolette
Captain, Fayetteville Police Department, Fayetteville, NC
The Fayetteville (NC) Police Department has 443 sworn employees with an additional 200 non-sworn employees for a total of approximately 650 employees. Captain Nolette is currently assigned to the position of Executive Officer for Chief Harold Medlock and holds the rank of Captain. As part of his responsibilities in this position, Captain Nolette oversees the day-to-day operations of the Fayetteville Police Department Crime Intelligence Center (CIC). The CIC is the agency’s operations center for all major investigations, incident command center and crime analysts. Each week, the CIC embeds itself into all major “trend” or “spree” crimes, and it utilizes research and technology in a way that streamlines the investigative and policing processes as to allow for the system to run smoother. The LEADS program has allowed Captain Nolette to have a network of contacts who are focused on the future of policing while maintaining contact with the day-to-day operations that are required to maintain a strong presence in the field of traditional policing.

Read more about Captain Nolette’s experience in the LEADS program in the NIJ Journal article Using Research to Move Policing Forward.

Portrait of Edward Pallas

Edward Pallas

Edward Pallas
Lieutenant, Montgomery County Police Department, Gaithersburg, MD
Lieutenant Edward Pallas has been a police officer with the Montgomery County (MD) Department of Police for 21 years. He is currently the Deputy Director of the Major Crimes Division and is also a member of his department’s Emergency Response Team, where he has served as a conflict/hostage negotiator for the last 15 years.

Lieutenant Pallas earned his bachelor of arts in criminal justice from the University of Maryland, College Park, and his master of science in management from Johns Hopkins University. He earned his doctor of education in organizational leadership and innovation at Wilmington University. His dissertation research investigated the relationship between emotional intelligence, leadership style, and effectiveness in police supervisors. Lieutenant Pallas is a certified IACP Master Instructor in both the Leadership in Police Organizations℠ program and the Iraqi Police Education Program.

He is also a certified practitioner in the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator and the Emotional Intelligence Inventory. As a LEADs scholar he has networked with and explored the research of other police professionals from across the country. He believes the LEADS scholarship program will continue to bridge the gap between practical application and academic research required of 21st century law enforcement leaders.

Portrait of Charlie Thorpe

Charlie Thorpe

Charlie Thorpe
Captain, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Sarasota, FL
Captain Charlie Thorpe is a 25-year veteran of the Sarasota County (FL) Sheriff's Office. His current assignment is bureau commander of the agency's Investigations where he oversees over 100 sworn and civilian employees involved in criminal investigations, intelligence, homeland security, forensic services, victim advocacy, crime analysis and support for these sections. Captain Thorpe completed his master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration through the University of South Florida at Sarasota-Manatee while serving as the Lieutenant of the Intelligence Section. In this position, he developed a strong interest in regional collaboration with other agencies and with academia in order to promote intelligence-led policing practices for crime prevention. Captain Thorpe developed the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office current program of "Intelligence 2 Action," which places a strong emphasis on analysis-supported response to crime and hazards. The collaboration with other agencies has resulted in the area law enforcement exchange, or "ALEX" program, that has considerably enhanced information and intelligence sharing among local, state and federal law enforcement in the southwest region of Florida. Captain Thorpe takes a special interest in the effect of repeat or "prolific" offenders on crime in a community. His research in this area led to his pursuit of involvement in the LEADS program. The LEADS program has become a quick success in promoting the importance of academic/practitioner relationships in building solid and efficient practices for daily policing in our nation. As this program continues, Captain Thorpe suspects the benefits will become something to behold; but the networking relationships among the LEADS scholars and their new research contacts have already proven to be exceptional.

Class of 2015

Portrait of Shon Barnes

Shon Barnes

Shon Barnes
Captain, Greensboro Police Department, Greensboro, NC
Captain Shon F. Barnes is a valued member of the Greensboro (NC) Police Department and is currently the commander of the Operational Support Division. As a commander, his duties include policy implementation and evaluation. Captain Barnes has most recently completed a quasi-experimental research project regarding the implementation of predictive policing analytics. These analytics are built upon a meta-analysis predictive policing algorithm, based on five years of reported crime data. Findings from this research have guided recommendations for other law enforcement agencies. Captain Barnes credits the LEADS program and the IACP conference with bridging the gap between research and practice.

Portrait of Erin Freidline

Erin Freidline

Erin Freidline
Lieutenant, Riley ​County Police Department, Manhattan, KS
Lieutenant Freidline is currently assigned to the Patrol Division of the Riley County (KS) Police Department. Within this division, Lieutenant Freidline uses data and intelligence to increase the effectiveness of their officers through using hot spot policing to try and deter and prevent crime with our intelligence unit providing a minimum of weekly updates about crime trends. As a LEADS scholar, Lieutenant Freidline has gained a new network of mid-level supervisors to communicate with in reference to solving crime problems and sharing ideas. She is also appreciative of the wealth of knowledge available through NIJ and their website, who are working just as hard to progress law enforcement in a positive direction.

Portrait of Tarrick McGuire

Tarrick McGuire​


Tarrick McGuire
Lieutenant/Sector Commander, Arlington Police Department, Arlington, TX
Tarrick McGuire, a native of Dallas, TX, has a B.S. in Speech Communications from Oklahoma State University and an M.S. in Leadership from Criswell College. Currently he serves as a Lieutenant for the Arlington (TX) Police Department with a diverse law enforcement background in criminal investigations, personnel and recruiting, tourism policing, and police operations. As Director of Mentoring Arlington Youth, he is working to increase legitimacy among young men in communities of color and conducting research on ways to reduce juvenile recidivism. As a LEADS scholar he has been able to enhance his law enforcement knowledge incorporating best practices in programs and policy in his organization.

Portrait of Cory Nelson

Cory Nelson

Cory Nelson
Lieutenant, Madison Police Department, Madison, WI
Lieutenant Nelson is currently in charge of the Professional Standards and Internal Affairs Office within the Madison (WI) Police Department, a department of approximately 450 commissioned and 150 civilian employees. Having never been to the IACP Conference previously, Lieutenant Nelson came away from the event very impressed; with the major take away being the importance of using data and research to make departments more efficient. After the conference, Lieutenant Nelson contacted an academic researcher at a college in Wisconsin and explained his plan to implement a domestic violence initiative that targets offenders. Lieutenant Nelson and the researcher plan on beginning research and discussions in January 2016.

Portrait of Jason Potts

Jason Potts

Jason Potts
Sergeant, Vallejo Police Department, Vallejo, CA
Sergeant Potts is currently assigned to the Vallejo (CA) Police Department Internal Affairs Unit where he partnered with an administrative analyst to investigate allegations of police misconduct. He also facilitates the Department’s “Lexipol” police policy updates, authors and helps implement policy, evaluates city claims, and works closely with Vallejo’s Attorney’s Office in reference to litigation matters. Additionally, Sergeant Potts supervises the department’s bicycle patrol team and is a member of their SWAT team. He recently attended the University of California, Irvine, where he earned a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Criminology, Law and Society and researched the impact of police-video recordings on policing strategies. While at the 2015 IACP Conference, Sergeant Potts had the incredible opportunity to network and collaborate with most of the NIJ LEADS scholars. His hope is that it will be the beginning of a sustained and collaborative relationship with NIJ, along with the past, present and future NIJ LEADS scholars.

Portrait of Nicole Powell

Nicole Powell

Nicole Powell
Sergeant, New Orleans Police Department, New Orleans, LA
As a sergeant of Deputy Superintendent Rannie Mushatt’s staff, Sergeant Powell’s main role is a liaison between the Investigation and Support Bureau and the Public Integrity Bureau. Sergeant Powell’s responsibilities include assigning, tracking and monitoring all internal investigations. She assists in the conduct of disciplinary hearings, preparing vital notifications and pertinent paperwork. She also review​s staffing requirements, court attendance, policy compliance and training. In addition to those duties, Sergeant Powell conducts quarterly reviews of sex crime cases per the consent decree. Sergeant Potts believes that participating in the LEADS scholar program has been truly an amazing experience. She has gained a new perspective about partnerships related to evidence-based approaches in leadership roles and the need for effective community policing. She was honored to interact with OJP Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason and NIJ Director Dr. Nancy Rodriquez at the IACP Conference, and she looks forward to gaining knowledge and experience in continuing participation in the LEADS scholar program.

Portrait of Sheryl D. Victorian

Sheryl D. Victorian

Sheryl D. Victorian
Lieutenant, Houston Police Department, Houston, TX
Lieutenant Victorian is assigned to the Special Victims Division – Child Sexual Abuse Unit within the Houston (TX) Police Department. In this position, Lieutenant Victorian is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of personnel investigating sexual offenses involving child victims and child perpetrators. Lieutenant Victorian earned a doctor of philosophy degree from Texas Southern University in Administration of Justice. Her research interests include police leadership, police-community relations, and police ethics. As a result of her experience thus far as a 2015 LEADS scholar, Sheryl understands how critical her role is as both a law enforcement officer and scholar in positively affecting policy through research.

Portrait of Joshua Young

Joshua Young

Joshua Young
Corporal, Ventura Police Department, Ventura, CA
Joshua Young is a corporal with the Ventura (CA) Police Department. During his time with the department, he has worked as an undercover police detective and tactical operator on the department’s SWAT team.​

Cpl. Young is an internationally recognized subject matter expert on body-worn camera technology. He was the principal investigator in a 12-month randomized controlled trial at the Ventura Police Department, which was the first known attempt to empirically test the effects of body-worn video cameras on prosecution outcomes. He has also provided training and policy recommendations on body-worn camera technologies to law enforcement agencies in several countries.

Cpl. Young has a master’s degree in criminology and police management from the University of Cambridge. He is also a Fellow at the Police Foundation; an adjunct instructor of Criminal Justice at Ventura College; and a founding member of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing.

Cpl. Young credits the LEADS​ program for bringing research-oriented officers together with NIJ leadership to collaborate on new ideas to improve American policing.

Class of 2016

Portrait of Ken Clary

Ken Clary

Ken Clary
Captain, Iowa State Patrol, Des Moines, IA
Captain Clary currently serves as an Area Commander for the Iowa State Patrol (ISP), which includes the oversight of four patrol districts including approximately one quarter of the State of Iowa. During his time as a Commander, Captain Clary has held a variety of positions including CALEA Accreditation Coordinator for the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Assistant Field Operations for the ISP. In these positions, he has utilized research and worked with numerous law enforcement agencies to determine best practices in hiring and promotional processes, as well as resource allocation. Recently, he worked directly with the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) to implement statewide police training and public education programs to combat drowsy driving. Subsequently, in June, Iowa GTSB and DPS hosted the first of its kind National Drowsy Driving Summit with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Portrait of Jeffery Egge

Jeffery Egge

Jeffery Egge
Sergeant, Minneapolis Police Department, Minneapolis, MN
Sgt. Jeffery Egge currently serves as supervisor of Strategic Analysis for the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) and specializes in the study of homicide, gang crime, hot spots, and research translation. With MPD, Sgt. Egge has worked in CompStat, Organized Crime, Homicide, and Patrol. Sgt. Egge holds a master’s degree in police leadership, administration, and training from the University of St. Thomas, and a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Concordia University. He was a Senior Research Fellow at the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and has contributed to publications on crime analysis, research and planning, and predictive policing. Jeff has presented at national symposia for the Center for Evidence Based Crime Policy, Police Executive Research Forum, and the International Association of Crime Analysts. Prior to joining the MPD, he was an Investigations and Training Specialist and Loss Prevention Manager for Dayton Hudson (now Target Corp).​

Portrait of Joan Fiesta

Joan Fiesta

Joan Fiesta
Lieutenant, University of Illinois Police, Urbana, IL
The University of Illinois Police Department is a fully sworn department that serves a community of over 45,000 students and 6,000 faculty and staff members. Lieutenant Fiesta currently serves as the administrative bureau commander, overseeing the crime prevention, training, telecommunications, and records units. The University is a rich environment for research and educational opportunities; Fiesta connects researchers from various disciplines to the department. The results of the research help the department develop evidenced-based training and practices. Lieutenant Fiesta holds a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric with a minor in Russian from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University.

Portrait of Jeremiah Johnson

Jeremiah Johnson

Jeremiah Johnson
Sergeant, Darien Police Department, Darien, CT
Sergeant Johnson has served the Town of Darien as a patrol officer, field training officer, accreditation manager, patrol sergeant, acting lieutenant, and detective sergeant. In this latter position, he leveraged research to increase his agency’s investigative capacity by cross-training a subset of patrol officers to function as detectives.

Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Geneva College, a master’s degree in justice administration from Western Connecticut State University, a master’s degree in criminal justice from John Jay College, and a doctorate in criminal justice from the City University of New York Graduate Center. His dissertation research focused on the role of relational networks in diffusing law enforcement innovations.

Portrait of Obed Magny

Obed Magny

Obed Magny
Police Officer, Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento, CA
Officer Magny is currently assigned to the Sacramento Police Department’s Professional Standards Unit where he is responsible for writing and updating agency policies and procedures. Officer Magny has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and sociology, a master’s degree in emergency services administration, and a doctorate degree in organizational leadership. Officer Magny’s research interests are in the field of motivation, job satisfaction, diversity, and emotional intelligence. Officer Magny is a strong proponent of applying scientific research in the field of policing. Officer Magny is fellow at the Police Foundation and a founding member of the American Society of Evidence Based Policing (ASEBP). Officer Magny is also an adjunct professor at Brandman University.

Portrait of Ivonne Roman

Ivonne Roman

Ivonne Roman
Captain, Newark Police Department, Newark, NJ
Captain Roman currently commands the Criminal Investigations Bureau (CIB). CIB consists of the following units: Homicide, Major Crimes, Robbery, Special Victims, Youth Aid, Auto Squad, Crime Scene, Ballistics, Criminal Intelligence Unit, Real Time Crime Center, and the Narcotics Unit. Roman earned a master’s degree in public administration from Rutgers University.

Newark Police is currently operating under a Federal Consent Decree. Roman is interested in research on police perceptions of legitimacy and procedural justice. Extant literature thoroughly explores citizens’ perceptions of legitimacy, but there is a dearth of research regarding officers’ perception and factors that influence those perceptions. Understanding both officers’ and citizens’ perceptions on these topics can have broad applications when implementing recommendations from the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Portrait of Daniel Stewart

Daniel Stewart

Daniel Stewart
Captain, Oklahoma City Police Department, Oklahoma City, OK
After joining the department in January 1999, Captain Stewart spent the early part of his career in patrol and served as a field training officer, firearms instructor, and control and defensive tactics instructor. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 2009, and subsequently assigned to the Planning and Research Unit. During this assignment, Daniel surveyed other law enforcement agencies and conducted thorough research on topics that benefited the department, such as vehicle equipment and early intervention systems. Additionally, he helped to develop written directives on critical projects such as body-worn cameras and Naloxone. He was promoted to the rank of Captain in 2015, and is currently assigned to Operations as a shift commander at one of the city’s four patrol divisions.

Portrait of Greg Stewart

Greg Stewart

Greg Stewart
Sergeant, Portland Police Bureau, Portland, OR
Greg Stewart is a sergeant with the Portland, Oregon, Police Bureau (PPB). His 20 years of service include being a patrol officer, patrol sergeant, and investigative sergeant. He supervised the Bureau’s Domestic Violence Reduction Unit and implemented an automated actuarial risk assessment system for domestic violence offenders. He is currently the sergeant of the PPB’s Crime Analysis Unit. His assignments include developing patrol strategies aimed at reducing crime while improving the relationship between police and community members and supervising PPB non-sworn crime analysts. In this capacity, he assists the PPB in operationalizing existing police-related research as well as conducting research on emerging issues.

Portrait of Wendy Stiver

Wendy H. Stiver

Wendy H. Stiver
Commander, Dayton Police Department, Dayton, OH
Major Stiver is the commander of the Central Patrol Division at the Dayton (Ohio) Police Department. She has also served as the commander of the Central Investigations Bureau and in both East and West Patrol Divisions. She holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati. She is also a graduate of the Police Executive Leadership College and Certified Law Enforcement Executive course. Major Stiver is an adjunct professor at Wright State University and teaches graduate courses in criminological theory. In addition to a current research project on police intervention in infant mortality cases, Major Stiver is researching gun violence trends to support focused patrol operations and responses.

Portrait of Rachel Tolber

Rachel Tolber

Rachel Tolber
Sergeant, Redlands Police Department, Redlands, CA
Sergeant Tolber has served the Redlands, California, community for 18 years. She is currently assigned to the Professional Standards Unit, where she is responsible for conducting all internal investigations, investigating citizen’s complaints, and overseeing the concealed weapons licensing process. Sergeant Tolber earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from the University of Redlands and her master’s degree in criminology, law, and society from the University of California, Irvine. Most recently, she earned a master’s degree in applied criminology and police management from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. During her course of study at the University of Cambridge, she examined the feasibility of conducting a randomized controlled trial to test restorative justice among the parole population in Redlands. She is also a fellow at the Police Foundation, an adjunct instructor of criminal justice at Chaffey College, and a founding member of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing.

Portrait of James T. Williams

James T. Williams

James T. Williams
Sergeant, Metro Nashville Police Department, Nashville, TN
Sergeant Williams is currently a supervisor in the Patrol Division for the Metro Nashville Police Department. During his time with the department, he has served as an officer in patrol as well as a Crash Investigator and Reconstructionist within the Traffic Section of the Special Operations Division. In his current position as a patrol supervisor, Sergeant Williams is responsible for identifying crime trends, directing officers, and implementing strategies to reduce crime within the district.

Sergeant Williams has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Northwestern University. For his master’s thesis, Sergeant Williams partnered with members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol to research the effectiveness of their use of predictive analytics to inform enforcement strategies aimed at reducing traffic-related deaths and offenses.

Date Modified: June 13, 2017