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Developing Subject Matter Experts: Presenter Bios

Course Description:

The police are currently facing courts that are unable to prosecute complex criminal investigations without the assistance of Subject Matter Experts (SME). Police officers who are SMEs provide critical expertise in drug, gang, or gun investigations. The Law Enforcement Training Association (LETA) recognizes a need to provide training to support officers who will provide expert evidence in the field of gang investigations.

This requires LETA to identify, mentor, and provide this introduction to gang investigations to officers who already are in gang units, and other officers on the street, on how to gather intelligence on a criminal organization and what evidence the court needs to attain a successful prosecution.

Register here

Sgt. (Ret.) Jeff Kaye, Reno Police Department

Presentation Title: “MINDSET, The Key to Survival”

Jeff Kaye is a veteran law enforcement professional who served twenty-five years and retired at the rank of Detective Sergeant from the Reno, Nevada Police Department. He served fifteen years in undercover and tactical response assignments, including five years supervising a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force. Jeff was assigned to a two-year deep undercover assignment that required taking on a new identity and networking with the criminal element. It was here that he learned the importance of mindset in law enforcement, because when you’re under, you’re alone.

Since his retirement from law enforcement in 2006, Jeff has been involved in school safety, school policing, and emergency management. He is the author of six books, including the soon to be released true crime novel about a “cop turned serial killer” who was apprehended in Reno, Nevada. Jeff is considered a Subject Matter Expert in law enforcement training areas related to tactical response, stress, and liability issues. He is currently the President of the consulting company School Safety Operations Inc. and D4 Survival Training. He currently lives with his wife and family in North County San Diego, enjoying what he affectionately refers to as  the “Post-Cop Afterlife” we work our careers to achieve.

Sgt. Brad Fawcett, VPD

Presentation Title: Weapons

Sgt. Fawcett is currently working as the Sgt. i/c of Research for the VPD Force Options Training Unit.

He is a court-recognized use-of-force and non-firearms prohibited weapons expert. He has provided opinion evidence in Coroners Inquests, civil trials, criminal trials up to an including the Supreme Court of British Columbia, labour relations hearings, and a commission of inquiry.

Sgt. Fawcett has an extensive resume related to use of force. Some of the skills he can provide are well suited to the FOTU dedicated research project. He has a familiar/working relationship with Police Services Division, the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC), and the Independent Investigation Office of BC (IIO BC). He has a working relationship with RCMP and has developed manuals and courses from conception through provincial approval. He has been a sessional instructor at a post-secondary institution where has instructed Ethics for a Law Enforcement Environment and was the Canadian director of the International Association of Ethics Trainers (IAET) for ten years.

Sgt. Fawcett is familiar with requirements for program to be “court defensible” and works closely with academia in validating training and course development.

Cst. (Ret.) Doug Spencer, VPD and Transit Police

Presentation Title: Gangs

Doug Spencer has been qualified as a gang expert by courts in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.  Such courts include the British Columbia Provincial Court (for example in R. v. Y.T.H., 2001 BCPC 10) and the British Columbia Supreme Court (for example in R. v. Dhak, 2003 BCSC 595).

As a gang expert, Doug Spencer is proficient in gang activity and culture in the Lower Mainland.  Doug Spencer’s expertise was achieved over his 15 year tenure with the Gang Crime and Youth Crime Units at the Vancouver Police Department. During that that time period, Doug Spencer was also twice-seconded as an investigator to the Integrated Gang Task Force.

For a 15 year period, Doug Spencer conducted numerous checks of gang members, monitored thousands of gang members and associates on police records management systems, and handled dozens of confidential gang informants.  Doug Spencer has a comprehensive understanding of the history and evolution of gang crime groups, their recruitment methods and membership, and their hierarchy within the gang crime world.

S/Sgt. Darin Sheppard, RCMP

Presentation Title: Drugs

Staff Sergeant Darin Sheppard is in his 24th year with the RCMP and is currently the Non-commissioned Officer in Charge of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Unit at the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit in British Columbia.  S/Sgt. Sheppard has spent the majority of his service in the areas of Drugs and Organized Crime.  S/Sgt. Sheppard is a court recognized expert in a variety of drugs and has been qualified at both the Provincial Court and Supreme Court levels in British Columbia and Alberta.  S/Sgt. Sheppard has been an undercover operator for 20 years and has been a cover person for 15 years, covering on both undercover and police agent lead files.   S/Sgt. Sheppard instructs provincially, nationally and internationally on a variety of subjects, but primarily undercover operations, and drug investigations.

Sgt. (Ret.) Joel Johnston, VPD

Presentation Title: Use of Force  

Joel is a retired 28-year veteran of the Vancouver Police Department (CANADA) with a background in Patrol, Foot Patrol, Crowd Control and Traffic Enforcement. He spent 20 years specializing in Force-related training & program development, and Emergency Response (ERT).  He served 9 years as Use of Force Coordinator, 5 years as operational Squad Leader of one of four fulltime ERT (SWAT) squads and 2 years as the Training Coordinator for ERT.  He was seconded to the British Columbia Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General as Provincial Use of Force and Municipal Emergency Response Teams (SWAT) Coordinator from 2005 – 2011. Joel began presenting at ASLET in 1993, 95, 97, 2001 and at ILEETA in 2012 and 2017. He has served on multiple National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and Canadian Police Research Center (CPRC) Working Groups – including Tactical Operations, Less Lethal Weapons, Vascular Neck Restraint, Conducted Energy Weapons and Excited Delirium Syndrome. He is the Principal of Joel Johnston Consulting Inc® in Vancouver, BC, he is a private training coach, consultant and Use of Force Subject Matter Expert. He has been retained in 74 use of force cases and given testimony across Canada to all levels of Courts, Hearings, Inquests and Inquiries. Joel obtained a degree in Economics from Simon Fraser University where he was a 4-year varsity athlete and was drafted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He has a background in business and banking.

Jill Paterson, Crime Analyst, CFSEU

Presentation Title: How to gather intelligence to start or further an investigation on Gangs, Drugs or Use of Force

Jill Paterson is currently a Strategic Intelligence Analyst with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) working primarily on Gangs and Organized Crime and the Provincial Tactical Enforcement Priorities (PTEP) targeting process.

Prior to this position Jill was a Special Constable with the Vancouver Police Department, Criminal Intelligence Unit, Organized Crime Section.  In her position at the VPD Jill conducted strategic analysis for the department, tactical analysis for major investigations and intelligence probes related to Organized Crime in British Columbia. Jill began her Law Enforcement career with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in the Pacific Region, the majority of those years as an Intelligence Analyst in the Intelligence & Contraband Division.  Her duties there included Strategic, Tactical and Operational analysis.

Jill was the president of the Western chapter of the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA) for ten years and has been the recipient of the Award of Excellence in Analytic Products by Canada’s National Intelligence agency the Criminal Intelligence Services of Canada (CISC).  Jill taught the Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit (LEIU) and IALEIA developed Foundations of Intelligence Analysis (FIAT) course across Canada and the United States for several years.

Judge Reginald Harris, British Colombia Provincial Court Judge

Presentation Title: A View from the Bench

(coming soon…)

John L. Daly, CKNW Reporter, Global News Reporter

Presentation Title: How to work with the media to get the real story out

40 years in print, radio, and TV news as a reporter, assignment editor, & newscast producer, and talk show host. Predominantly TV News reporting.

General assignment specializing in crime & investigations of scams, cover-ups, government & agency incompetence, official malfeasance.

Man-made & natural disasters including air crashes, train crashes, forest fires, landslides, floods, earthquakes.

Live hits (sat, micro, dejero), investigative stories & series.

Reported Royal Commissions: Taser Death, In-Custody deaths, serial murders, money laundering.

As well as Supreme, Appeal, County & Provincial, Family, Federal Court cases, Security Commission hearings, inquests, prison riots, jail & prison escapes & break-outs, arsons, kidnappings, mysterious disappearances adults & children, bail hearings, commercial frauds, investment scams, phoney doctors, dentists, etc.

Uncovered police corruption, drunk judges, etc.

Familiar with news scripting, formats, software, production, equipment, lighting, sets, studio & remote broadcasting.

Retired from daily TV News, currently doing a weekly talk show for Global News/CKNW Radio.

Member of IRE: Investigative Reporters & Editors.

Some background:

Allison Hurst CTV Journalist

Presentation Title: How to work with the media to get the real story out

Allison Hurst joined CTV Vancouver in February 2013 on the assignment desk.

Instantly captivated by news, she went to BCIT the following September to complete the broadcast journalism program. During those two years Allison continued to freelance at CTV Vancouver, reported for CKNW and took a three-month internship in Belgium reporting and writing for a national TV show.

After she graduated in May 2015, Allison moved to Kitchener for a full time job at CTV Kitchener as a video journalist. She took a month leave of absence in August 2016, to go to Rio and report from the Olympic Games. Allison left Kitchener in May 2017 and came back to CTV Vancouver as a writer and reporter.

Allison has a degree from the University of British Columbia in political science and international relations. While she considers herself a Vancouverite, Allison has lived on both coasts and central Canada and is bilingual. In her spare time, Allison can be found hiking or skiing in the mountains, running along the sea wall and spending time with family and friends.

Sgt. Jennifer Keyes, VPD


Jennifer Keyes is a lawyer who worked as a prosecutor for the Department of Justice (now Public Prosecution Service of Canada) before joining the Vancouver Police Department in 1999. She is currently the Sergeant in charge of the Research and Policy Unit of the Planning, Research & Audit Section.

She has contributed to the welfare of the police membership through a decade of service as a Vancouver Police Union Director and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work.  As the Liaison to the VPD’s dispatch service provider, Ecomm-911, she was the Project Manager for a 7 year large scale transition to the Province’s new technology platform for emergency radio communications.

As the Legal Trainer for the VPD, she created and delivered the legal training for the inaugural Police Custodial Guards program and the Sergeants’ Selection Process Exam, receiving a Chief Constable’s Unit Citation for her efforts. She has also taught criminal law for 8 years in the Law Enforcement Studies Diploma Program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia

S/Sgt Lindsey Houghton, CFSEU-BC

Presentation Title: Media Relations

A former member of the Vancouver Police Department and the Department’s spokesperson, Staff Sergeant Lindsey Houghton is now the Organized Crime Agency of BC (OCABC) Advisory NCO working within the provincial integrated gang unit, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia.

The recipient of several provincial, community and policing awards, Staff Sergeant Houghton has continually sought new and innovative ways to promote positive policing initiatives, crime prevention strategies, and engage the public. This includes being the creator and architect of the CFSEU-BC’s End Gang Life ( gang prevention, education, and awareness initiative.

His work and advocacy has resulted in End Gang Life now becoming a national call-to-action against gangs and gang violence and, in British Columbia, the creation of B.C.’s first Gang Exiting and Intervention Program within the CFSEU-BC.

Staff Sergeant Houghton oversees the CFSEU-BC’s Community & Public Affairs and Gang Exiting & Intervention teams.