Over 500 law enforcement officers and asset protection investigators from around the Chicago area converged at the College of DuPage’s Homeland Security Training Center this week. The 10th annual Cook County Regional Organized Crime Task Force (CCROC) training conference took place on August 8 and 9 and started off with not one but three powerful keynote speakers and then pulled out the stops even further with over 30 sessions in two days.
David Williams, supervisor, Special Prosecutions Bureau, Cook County States Attorney’s Office, emceed and was backed up by a small army of CCROC volunteers. In addition to putting on an impactful event, the volunteers managed to feed the medium-sized army of attendees, handled logistics smoothly, and raised over $6,000 for the Project Fire Buddies Charity.
A few highlights from the conference were the keynote sessions from USA-A Brandon Stone, who shared stories of his time as a Navy Seal and his journey after a life-changing injury he incurred while serving our country; Jeff Sallett, former associate deputy director FBI, described his experiences on 9/11 and at the Boston Marathon bombing; and Landy Dunham, Army Aviation Col-ret, AVP AP with CVS shared great nuggets on leadership.
Those keynotes were a tough act to follow—there was even moonwalking from Dunham! But CCROC pulled it off by offering a substantial number of learning sessions for attendees to choose from on a wide breadth of topics.
There were too many sessions to comment on them all, but a few to highlight were:
Using Cellular Records and Google to Solve Crimes, Joliet PD. Det. Jeff German explained the technology used in cellular tracking and gave those in attendance real-world examples of case studies. A multitude of resources were offered to the audience to help them navigate these sometimes-complicated cases.
Prosecutor Panel, featuring Will (Michael Casson), DuPage (Bob Berlin), and Kane (Jamie Mosser) County Prosecutors was an open discussion led by Dave Williams. Topics included the Illinois SAFE-T Act and the ways in which the panel did or didn’t see it changing how laws are enforced. The controversial act and its possible ramifications were of high interest to the audience. The prosecutors spent further time covering ways for investigators to communicate and collaborate with them for the best outcomes and how their individual teams are set up.
Safeguarding Retail and Online Marketplaces from Theft and Fraud, a panel featuring Walmart’s Brandon Hunter, global investigator; Amazon’s Faith Kohler, organized crime engagement team; Comcast’s Stephanie Kyle, senior director, security and business continuity; and Walgreens’ Telly Knetter, major crimes investigator. The panel dove into ways that police and retailers can collaborate with online marketplaces and retail investigation teams to best bring their cases to fruition. The panel discussed ways in which they are balancing data privacy while ensuring that questionable sellers are stopped.
Behavioral Threats, presented by Frank Patercity, director of corporate security, investigations, and ORC, Kroger, gave an overview of the concepts behind behavioral threat assessment and management. Patercity then gave a case study on an identified threat and walked the attendees through a successful outcome using behavioral threat analysis.
Other sessions included Drones as First Responders, Trends and Patterns in Credit Card Fraud, The Retailing of Counterfeiting, and a VirTra Training Simulator.
If you are interested in joining CCROC or attending future meetings, you can go to ccroc.org or email email@example.com.