DR. THERON BOWMAN
Dr. Theron Bowman began his public service career in 1983 as an officer with the Arlington (TX) Police Department, and served in numerous positions before being appointed police chief in 1999. He later served for five years as a Deputy City Manager and Director of Public Safety before retiring in 2017. He is a police practices expert and President/CEO of The Bowman Group.
He led the North Texas regional public safety efforts for the 2010 NBA All Star game, MLB World Series games and NFL Super Bowl XLV. He created and led an internal workgroup that explored and later created a statistically significant predictive geospatial algorithm that accurately explained more than seventy percent of residential burglaries in a city of 370,000 people. He has led, managed and participated in police practices investigations and audits in multiple locations, including Albuquerque, NM, Baltimore, MD, Battle Creek, MI, Chicago, IL, Cleveland, OH, Los Angeles County, CA, Maricopa County, AZ, Meridian, MS, Newark, NJ, New Orleans, LA and Seattle, WA. He is a federal court-appointed consent decree deputy monitor in Baltimore, MD, and a multidisciplinary law enforcement expert on the New Orleans, LA and Memphis, TN monitoring teams. His oversight areas include Policies, Training, First Amendment, Stops, Searches and Arrests, Bias-Free Policing, Misconduct Complaints, Recruitment, Hiring, and Promotions.
Dr. Theron Bowman’s recognitions include the African American Peace Officer Association of Arlington "Officer of the Year," Proclamation of Achievement from the Texas State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, a University of Texas at Arlington “University Scholar and Distinguished Alumni.” Theron Bowman assumed the duties of Police Chief in Arlington, Texas in 1999, and in 2003, was presented by the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute with the Outstanding Local Leader Award. In 2004, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) presented him with the Gary P. Hayes Award. In 2005, Chief Bowman was elected to chair the Texas Intelligence Council, and he began his service as a CALEA Commissioner in 2006. He served as an IACP Executive Committee member for more than ten years. Dr. Bowman was inducted into the Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame located at George Mason University in 2012. Today he serves as a Director for the National Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
Dr. Bowman received three degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington, a bachelor’s in biology, a master’s in public administration and a doctorate in urban and public administration.
DR. ALEX DEL CARMEN
Alex del Carmen received a Ph.D. in Criminology from the College of Criminology at the Florida State University. He is considered an authority on the topic of race and crime with particular emphasis on racial profiling in law enforcement. Dr. del Carmen has written numerous articles in internationally recognized journals and published several books. Among these is the nationally recognized book titled “Racial Profiling in America”, which he published with Prentice Hall. Dr. del Carmen has presented his research findings throughout the world (Scotland, Belgium, Slovenia, Spain, United Arab Emirates, and Italy). Over the past 21 years, he has trained thousands of police officers including all of the Texas Police Chiefs. In addition, he is responsible for creating the Texas racial profiling statistical template widely used by law enforcement agencies throughout the state. He is often a guest on CNN, Fox News Radio, Telemundo, Univision and NBC, among other media outlets.
Dr. del Carmen is currently Professor and Associate Dean of the School of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Strategic Studies at Tarleton State University. In that role, he oversees the criminal justice program, graduate program in public administration, Corp of Cadets, and five academic institutes. He has also served as a Federal Monitor for two of the most significant police reform cases in the nation. Dr. del Carmen has resided in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex for the past 21 years and continues to engage in consulting on racial profiling and biased based policing with police agencies throughout the country. He was recently named as a Fulbright Specialist by the United States Department of State. This was followed by an invitation by the Czech Republic to train their police personnel at the police academy in Prague. Dr. del Carmen currently serves as a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Civil Rights Committee.
Mr. Tom Petrowski is a consultant, practicing attorney and a Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Strategic Studies at Tarleton State University.
In 2018, Mr. Petrowski retired from the FBI after 23 years of diverse service. He spent approximately half of his career in the FBI Legal Program. He was assigned to the Legal Instruction Unit, FBI Academy, Quantico VA, where he was the primary use of force legal instructor and taught law to New Agent Trainees, FBI employees attending in-service training and state and local law enforcement managers and officers attending the National Academy and other specialized legal instruction. He then spent three years as the Associate Division Counsel before returning to operational management. At the time of his retirement, he had served as the Chief Division Counsel in the Dallas FBI Field Office for approximately five years. As a Division Counsel, he provided legal counsel on all criminal and national security programs, policy compliance and internal/administrative and legal training matters. In 2016 he received the Manuel J. Gonzalez Ethics Award, the FBI’s highest award for ethics presented annually to one of the Bureau’s 35,000+ employees.
In addition to his tours in the FBI Legal Program, Mr. Petrowski had a diverse operational career in the FBI. His criminal investigative experience in the FBI includes assignments to a multi-agency street gang task force in San Diego, serving as the principal defensive tactics instructor in both the San Diego and Dallas FBI Divisions, over 10 years in the SWAT program, and leading the war crimes investigation of the Saddam Hussein Regime in Iraq in 2005. His FBI national security experience includes leading a counterterrorism team in Iraq in 2004, supervising the North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force for six years and being detailed to the CIA Counterterrorism Center at Langley, VA. For his service at the CIA, he was awarded the George Bush Award for Excellence in Counterterrorism – the CIA’s highest counterterrorism award.
Mr. Petrowski started his government service as a U.S. Army Officer and served exclusively in Special Forces, initially as a Special Forces Operator and later as a JAG Officer assigned to Special Forces. He operationally deployed to Africa, the Middle East, Southwest Asia, Central America and Haiti. After leaving active duty and prior to entering the FBI, he practiced corporate law in Boston, MA and taught at Northeastern University.
DR. RITA J. VILLAREAL-WATKINS
Dr. Rita J. Villarreal-Watkins is the Executive Director of the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT). Before taking over as Executive Director in 2001, she served as the Project Manager for LEMIT's Leadership Command College. Her academic background includes a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University, a Master of Public Administration from Texas A&M University, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Counseling from Sam Houston State University.
As the Executive Director of LEMIT, Watkins' responsibilities include the administrative supervision of the institute's programs and operations. She also oversees curriculum development, human resource management and supervision, fiscal planning, strategic planning, and international development initiatives.
Watkins worked in the criminal justice field for 17 years prior to joining the LEMIT staff. While she began her career as a juvenile probation officer, her move into policing came in 1984 with the College Station Police Department, and finally as Chief Deputy for the Brazos County Sheriff's Office. Throughout her law enforcement career, Watkins understood the value of professional development. She is an instructor certified by the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education as well as an alternative dispute resolution mediator. In 1996 she graduated from the Leadership Command College and in 1995, the 182nd FBI National Academy, where she was selected section representative of the academy class.
Since LEMIT is housed on the Sam Houston State University campus, Watkins has had the opportunity to bring her professional expertise into the classroom at the university level as well. Her teaching and research have concentrated in the areas of cultural diversity issues, leadership development, interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, investigative techniques, and diverse workplaces. Rita is co-author of Forgotten Heroes, a 1999 book written about and dedicated to women police officers killed in the line of duty.
Emily Gunston is a Deputy Legal Director at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs where she directs and supervisors the Committee’s criminal-legal-system reform work.
Prior to joining the Committee, Ms. Gunston was a Deputy Chief in the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice where she helped lead the Division’s group conducting pattern or practice investigations of police departments, including litigating and negotiating settlement agreements to resolve investigative findings. Ms. Gunston led the investigation of the Chicago Police Department and played leadership roles in the investigation of and work to reform other police agencies, including the New Orleans Police Department and the Cleveland Division of Police. During her nine years with the Special Litigation Section, Ms. Gunston also investigated and litigated cases regarding jails and prisons. Ms. Gunston was a public defender in Contra Costa County, California from 2001-2009.
Lynda Garcia is the policing campaign director at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund. In this role, she oversees the New Era of Public Safety initiative to promote fair, safe, and effective policing through collaborative reform. In March of 2019, The Education Fund published a comprehensive report to help build trust between communities and police departments, restore confidence, and reimagine a new paradigm of public safety. The report, New Era of Public Safety: A Guide to Fair, Safe, and Effective Community Policing, provides communities, police departments, and lawmakers with policy recommendations for best practices to enhance accountability, build trust, and improve public and officer safety. The recommendations are adaptable to every department, in every community across the nation. The goals are to advance policing practices that respect and protect human life and ensure safety for all.
Before joining The Leadership Conference, Lynda served as a trial attorney in the Special Litigation Section in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, where she conducted pattern-or-practice investigations of law enforcement agencies and enforced consent decrees to ensure constitutional, bias-free policing. Prior to the Civil Rights Division, Lynda worked at the ACLU national office and the ACLU of New Jersey challenging discriminatory police practices in communities of color.
In her role as a civil rights attorney and policing expert, Lynda has worked collaboratively with communities and police officials across the country. She has testified before Congress on best practices in policing and for congressional briefings to promote a new era of public safety and advance 21st century best practice in policing. In addition to authoring the New Era of Public Safety, Lynda is the co-author of The War on Marijuana in Black and White, a national study documenting racial disparities in marijuana arrests.
Lynda graduated summa cum laude from Hunter College and cum laude from Fordham Law School. After law school, she served as a law clerk to Judge John Gleeson in the Eastern District of New York.
Marcia K. Thompson is an attorney and law enforcement practitioner with over 20 years working in the criminal justice field. As a Vice President within our Law Enforcement Consulting practice, she provides oversight, management and technical assistance on various law enforcement assessments, training, and reviews. Marcia has served as a law enforcement administrator within the Department of Safety at the University of Chicago Police Department, where she oversaw professional standards, accreditation, compliance, training, records management, recruitment, field training, in‐service training, leadership development, succession planning, community engagement, youth outreach and the community advisory committee in support of the universities transparency and inclusion initiative. Marcia is a Virginia Supreme Court certified mediator as well as a collaborative problem‐solver, change management facilitator and equal employment opportunity (EEO) and civil rights professional. For many years, Marcia has served as a federal fact finder, EEO counselor, trained EEO investigator, and hearing officer, providing neutral hearings and drafting administrative appellate determinations.
MARCIA J. THOMPSON
Jonathan M. Smith was appointed executive director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs on July 1, 2016. Immediately prior to joining the Committee, Mr. Smith was the Associate Dean of Experiential and Clinical Programs at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law.
Mr. Smith was the Chief of the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice from 2010 to 2015. The Section was responsible for pattern or practice investigations of civil rights violations by law enforcement, correctional, juvenile justice, and mental health and developmental disability agencies. Under his leadership, the Section conducted the civil investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department following the death of Michael Brown.
Prior to his government services, Mr. Smith was the executive director of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, the Public Justice Center in Baltimore, Maryland, and the D.C. Prisoners’ Legal Services Project. In each of these positions, in addition to providing program leadership, he has handled individual, class action and impact litigation, engaged in legislative advocacy and in institutional reform efforts. He started his career as an associate to Virginia civil rights lawyer Victor Glasberg.