About Rick & Associate Instructors
President & CEO

Richard Whitehead

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Rick started his public service career in the Army in 1977 and in the civilian world as a Baytown TX policeman.  Joining the Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO), Austin TX, in 1986; Rick worked his way up through the ranks as the agency grew from a few hundred to over fifteen hundred personnel.  Command positions included: Homicide, SWAT, White Collar Crime, Computer Forensics, Family Violence, Child Abuse, Intelligence, Crime Lab, 911-Communications, School Resource Officer, Canine (K-9), Lake Patrol, Traffic, Patrol Platoons, and the Field Training Program.   In 1992, Rick formed a (part-time) training and consulting firm and began instructing and consulting on Field Training Programs across the country. Expanding over the years to include investigative and leadership topics, evolving to an international presence.

​After retiring from TCSO, Rick was the CEO of a county wide 911 agency.  Among his accomplishments were the adoptions of a multi-million dollar budget after just one meeting and a dispatcher contract in two.

Rick’s administrative experience includes: directing high profile investigative units, SWAT, managing multi-million dollar budgets, employee compensation programs, and equipment solutions. Incident Command during natural disasters such as the Jarrell tornado, hurricanes Rita and Katrina, and events with influxes of over 60,000 attendees. As a member of the Operations Board for the Combined Transportation Emergency Communications Center (CTECC), Austin TX, he was part of a multi-jurisdictional team which brought to realization a regional digital radio and mobile data system that serves over a million people.

​His technical expertise includes: assessing unit efficiencies, design, review and implementation of training programs, instructor development, and investigative training and consultation. As a mentor and trainer, he created a Field Training Program singularly used by TCSO and widely adopted by agencies across the country.  

​Rick holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences Degree from Midwestern State University focused on Public Administration and Criminal Justice; is a graduate of the FBI National Academy; and the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute Leadership and Command College. He is a Certified Public Manager, and trains on a national level to include the National Incident Management System (NIMS) in Incident Command.​

Achievements:

BS degree from Midwestern State University in Criminal Justice and Public Administration

​Graduate of the FBI National Academy (197);

​Graduate of the Leadership and Command College of Texas (23);

​Certified Public Manager;

​Certified National Incident Management System (NIMS) Instructor;

​Certified National Emergency Number Association (NENA) Center Manager;

Twice Published International Law Enforcement Educator & Trainers Journal (ILEETA);

Regular Instructor for the Law Enforement Management Institue of Texas (LEMIT), and;

Commendations for Outstanding Leadership.


New Detective Academy & Internal Affairs

Laurie Griffith

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Laurie began her law enforcement career in 1991 as a dispatcher for the Arizona Department of Public Safety. After attending the police academy, she worked Highway Patrol in rural Arizona for five years. She became a detective working narcotics, general and special investigations; including identity theft, critical incidents, officer involved shootings, and white-collar crime. 

​Laurie taught courses in identity theft investigations and prevention to sworn and civilian personnel. She transferred to Computer Forensics where she investigated cases involving terrorism, homicide, crimes against children, and identity theft, among other crimes. She taught classes in Computer Forensics, Forensic Software and Internet Safety. 

​Laurie was a volunteer teacher to kindergarten through High School students, adapting her courses to educate and encourage Internet safety. After promoting to Sergeant Laurie was assigned to Professional Standards where she worked internal investigations including high profile and computer related cases. 

​Laurie completed her career while working the Gang Bureau, running squads in Financial Crimes, Computer Forensics, Intel and Production and Training. She used her training and experience working with her Production and Training personnel to develop courses for supervisors and subordinate personnel in communication, interview and interrogation, documentation and reporting, and a variety of additional law enforcement related topics. 

​Laurie has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Digital and Computer Forensics. She has taught for the National White Collar Crime Center, Guidance Software, and was an adjunct professor for the Arizona State Government University and the Maricopa Community College. In 2014, Laurie retired and moved to the Inland Northwest where she lives with her husband. 

*All associates are Independent Contractors


Investigative Interviewing Skills

Jon Bodnar

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Jon began his law enforcement career in 1987 as a Marine Deputy with the Kootenai County ID Sheriff’s Office, in 1988 he moved to Corrections, and in 1993 was promoted to Sergeant. During his tenure, he served as training sergeant, transition team leader for a jail expansion project, and wrote policy and procedure. As a Sergeant, he was also tasked with conducting internal administrative investigations.

In 2004, Jon moved to the Backgrounds as an Investigator where he served until he retired in 2015. Between conducting internal investigations and background investigations Jon honed his investigative skills, conducting thousands of interviews, and has attended various Background and Interview Training courses. 

*All associates are Independent Contractors


Primary International Instructor / FTO/CTO / Communication / Threats

Ray Hilburn

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Ray has been a civilian peace officer, investigator and instructor for over twenty years and served in a variety of diverse assignment including international law enforcement operations in support of American and Coalition military forces throughout the Middle East.

He was recognized for his service to the United States Army in Iraq with two Superior Civilian Service medals and the Commanders Award for Public Service. He received Commendations from the Salvadorian Special Forces in Al Kut, Iraq for assistance and guidance to their mission as well.

*All associates are independent contractors.


FTO / CTO

Christopher Hinckley

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2012 - current    Harker Heights TX Police Dept.

  •  Detective
  •  FTO Coordinator
  •  FTO Instructor

2000 - 2012   Corporate Asset Protection


FTO / Internal Affairs

Danny Canty

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Communications Training Officer

Shelly Barnes

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Background Investigations

Justin Davis


Background Investigations

Jordan Ferguson

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Jordan joined the Milpitas California Police Department in 1985. During his time with Milpitas he was a Field Training Officer, Accident Re-constructionist and Auto Theft Investigator. In 1991 Jordan joined the Idaho State Police for several years before becoming the Chief Criminal Investigator for the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office in Coeur D Alene, ID. He stayed with the prosecutor’s office until he was hired by the Spokane Police Department in 1999. Jordan has worked in patrol and traffic; he was an FTO and part of the Neighborhood Resource Officer division.

​Jordan became a polygraph examiner in 2003 which started his interest in background investigations. In 2009 Jordan became the lead background investigator and was tasked with ensuring the hiring process matched best practices across the country. Jordan has earned the title of Certified Forensic Law Enforcement Polygraph Examiner from the American Association of Police Polygraphists. He is also a certified PCSOT (Post Conviction Sex Offender Treatment) polygraph examiner and a full member of the American Polygraph Association.

​Jordan earned his BS from Lewis and Clark State College and has completed his coursework for his MA in Criminal Justice from Washington State University, Spokane. He has been able to focus on the Neuroscience aspect of police work while studying under Dr. Bryan Vila and assisting the S.H.O.T. (Simulated Hazardous Occupational Tasks) Lab, part of the Sleep and Performance Research Center. Jordan is focusing on the relationship between stress and in custody death as well as looking at heart rate variability (HRV) as a possible contribution to the polygraph. Jordan expects to graduate in 2013.

​Jordan has two Special Interest Groups (SIG) available on Leo.gov, NALEBI (The National Association of Law Enforcement Background Investigators) and EDIC (Excited Delirium and In Custody Death).


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