Protecting people is my nature and I have had the good fortune to lead the design and development of a number of state-of-the-art interactive training programs for law enforcement, emergency response and special operations personnel. Collectively, these programs have been integrated into state-mandated training and certification programs in over 27 states with international adoptions ranging throughout Europe, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, South Africa and Australia. Agency and academy adoptions include the FBI National Academy, the National Fire Academy, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, and the International Fire Safety Training Association. They are in use by the Armed Forces of the United States as well as several friendly nations.
Interactive training highlights include: Hazardous Materials: Managing the Incident, a comprehensive hazmat emergency response program. SafetyOn, an interactive firearms tactical and safety training program, and Propane Emergencies, the National-level NPGA online safety program.
I was very honored to be selected to develop the three-level national Homeland Security Certification exam for the American College of Forensic Examiners, as well as the Masters Program in Homeland Security for the Universitá Telematica Guiglio Marconi in Rome, Italy.
In a departure from the norm of public safety and homeland security, I led the development of an interactive literacy training program designed to address a specific range of cognitive learning disabilities in children. The program was based on a cognitive analysis program initially developed to screen candidates for US bomber crews. Developing interactive education for K-12 kids, especially those who face reading challenges, demands a great deal of innovation. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the SmartSOFT team and bring this project to life.
What I have learned, and seen put to great effect in Afghanistan, is the power of modern educational tools to shape behaviors. In that context a specific goal was to reduce individual succeptibility to the recruitment efforts of violent extremists. Working alongside Col. Billy Shaw and his network of Harvard University psychology experts we leveraged the power of a Special Forces Academy to affcet behavior not only within the student body, but throughout the surrounding communities. The results in some cases were profound, impacting what is known as Green on Blue events. What I can share of that is simply that American lives were saved.
The power of that approach can and must be drawn upon to address the divisiveness that is tearing this nation apart across lines of race, gender, religion and politics. In a time when we should be joined arm-in-arm to face the problems that threaten all of us, a frighting portion of us spends our time, as do some of our children, on making each other's lives miserable -- seemingly for pure entertainment. We bully, we abuse, we drive kids to run away, to drop out of school, to cut themselves. In the worst cases, we drive them to take their own lives. While most notable among school kids, this problem exists across all ages and professions. I spent a good piece of time working on a program to identify at-risk corrections officers as part of a state-wide suicide prevention initiative in California.
From cyberstalking to terrorizing the hallways and parking lots of our home towns, the greatest risk to the safety of American citizens is, most tragically, other Americans. Education that delivers sophisticated, effective behavioral shaping knowledge is a vital key to turning that tide.