User Group Committee
Director Sam Pennica, City-County Bureau of Identification, Raleigh, NC
Sam Pennica is currently the Director of the City-County Bureau of Identification. His law enforcement career began in 1971 as a fingerprint technician with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, D.C. In 1973 he became a Special Agent with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. During his career with the SBI he experienced a number of assignments which included working in the crime laboratory as a forensic latent impression analyst; field operations, as a criminal investigator; security detail for both Governors James B. Hunt and James G. Martin and director of the SBI Training Academy After his retirement from the SBI in 1999, Director Pennica joined the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, Smithfield, North Carolina, as the Lieutenant in-charge of the Major Crimes Unit. In 2000, he became the Lieutenant in-charge of the Homicide Unit for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Fayetteville, North Carolina, later becoming the Chief of Detectives achieving the rank of Major. In August 2005, he was appointed Director of the City-County Bureau of Identification, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Director Pennica holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services, with a major in Administration of Justice, from Thomas A. Edison State College. He is also a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Administrative Officers Management Program and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Regional Command College. Director Pennica is a member of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors and the International Association for Identification. Additionally, he is the Past President of the Society of Former SBI Agents, Past President of the North Carolina Division of the International Association for Identification, and is an executive board member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Law Enforcement Executive Development Association. Director Pennica also serves on advisory boards for the ECPI College of Technology and the North Carolina Program for Forensic Sciences. Director Pennica has earned 24 career commendations, along with achieving the FBI-LEEDA Trilogy Leadership Award.
East Coast Vice President
Melissa Southern, Forensic Photographer, City-County Bureau of Identification, Raleigh, NC
Melissa Southern, an award-winning photographer and presenter, is employed as a forensic photographer in Wake County, N.C. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology and an Associate’s Degree in Photography. She is the first and only International Association for Identification (IAI) certified forensic photographer in North Carolina. She was recently appointed to the Randolph Community College Technology Advisory Committee. Melissa’s photographs have appeared in the Smithsonian Institute’s Guide to the National Museum of Natural History, Nature Photographer Magazine and various other publications. She has photographed in countries around the globe, including Ireland, England, France and Mexico, and has presented at Recreational Equipment Inc., the City of Orlando and Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina.
West Coast Vice President
Daniel Desjardins, Chandler Police Department (AZ)
Daniel Desjardins has more than 28 years in law enforcement, of which the last 16.5 years have been in forensics processing crime scenes. He has a BS in Justice Studies and a MA in Administration with a leadership emphasis. As a Crime Scene Supervisor, he assigns and evaluates the work of others on his team while ensuring compliance with department policies, procedures, rules, and regulations. He reads and reviews crime scene technician's reports and work methods, evaluates case handling and results, performs administrative duties, and makes court appearances to offer testimony. Desjardins has also attended numerous training programs during his career.
Other positions held by Desjardins include:
- Crime Scene Supervisor at Mesa Police Department (AZ)
- Crime Scene Unit Technician at Mesa Police Department (AZ)
- Detention Officer at Mesa Police Department (AZ)
- Sergeant, Plant Security at Allied-Signal Aerospace (AZ)
- Security Officer for Pedus Security Services (AZ)
- Military Police Officer for U.S. Army Reserves (AZ)
- Military Police Officer for U.S. Army (CA)
Desjardins' professional affiliations include:
- International Association for Identification (2001-Present, active member)
- International Crime Scene Investigators Association (2010-Present, active member)
- Arizona Identification Council (1998-Present, active member)
- Arizona Homicide Investigator’s Association (2010-Present, active member)
- Fraternal Order of Police Associates (2003-Present, President)
- National Association of Field Training Officers (1999-2000, former member)
Product Chair: LiveScan Plus / Digital PhotoManager / Inmate Tracking
Detective Thomas Stephens, New York City Police Department (NY)
Detective Stephens has served the NYPD and the City of New York as an officer for 24 years. Presently, he is a Project Leader for the technological development and implementation of arrest processing, and other classified systems. He holds a bachelor's degree in Security Management from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration from John Jay. Detective Stephens was a first responder to the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001. During his career with the NYPD, he has served in a number of assignments, including Narcotic Major Case, Narcotic Homicide Task Force, Organized Crime Trade Waste Commission, Money Laundering Unit (El Dorado Task Force),
U.S. Customs and the IRS - the Joint Federal Firearms Task Force with NYPD and ATF. Detective Stephens has successfully completed in excess of 650 narcotic cases and 60 firearm cases. He has participated in over 125 successful search warrant investigations, 10 wire taps, and 18 homicide investigations that led to successful prosecutions.
Product Chair: NIST Manager Plus , Biometrics, Facial Recognition, & Mobile ID
Luci Stone, Criminal Biometrics Specialist, JNET, Pennsylvania Justice Network
Stone has a BA in Film from Denison University and a MA in Communications from Penn State University. She worked for several years in the private sector and held various positions in Corporate Communications. As a Communications Specialist, Stone serves as the statewide administrator of the JNET Facial Recognition Investigative Search Application and Watchlist and participates in the training and rollout of the application. She also runs images through the Investigative Search Application for agencies without access to the application. Stone and Harry Giordano, along with a team of criminal justice practitioners, were instrumental in the development of the JNET Facial Recognition Investigative Search Application.
Product Chair: Digital CrimeScene
Bruce Wiley, Criminal Investigator, Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office (CA)
Bruce Marten Wiley has over 31 years in Law Enforcement and Criminal Investigations. Beginning as a police officer for the city of San Jose, CA. and retiring as a Sergeant after more than 29 years in 2009, he has worked in the field of crime scene investigations for much of his career. From investigating theft, robbery, and burglary cases as a patrol officer, he developed the department’s first specialized evidence units for patrol. These specially trained officers handled major crime scenes and serious vehicle accidents. It is likely that his background in photography was one of the reasons he was selected to work as a Homicide/Crime Scene Investigator, and was later made the Sergeant in charge of the Unit. He spent more than a decade riding the crest of developments in this field: DNA, digital imaging, forensic light sources, RUVIS, etc..
He has led investigations ranging from sex crimes and thefts, to robbery and multiple murders. He was the principle instructor for Crime Scene Investigation at Evergreen Valley College and for the San Jose Police Academy. As a lead instructor of the statewide Field Evidence Technician course, he has taught for agencies throughout the western US. He has provided advanced training courses to Law Enforcement agencies from Washington DC to Juneau, Alaska. He is often called as an expert witness in the areas of Crime Scene Investigation, Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, Wound Identification, Photography, and Crime Scene Reconstruction. In his current assignment as a Criminal Investigator for the Santa Clara County District Attorney, he continues to work on new and ‘cold’ cases for agencies throughout Northern California.
Product Chair: Fusionim, ASPEN-RMS, E-citation
Eric Webb, Pennsylvania JNet
Eric Webb holds a BS Degree in Sociology as well as an Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from York College of Pennsylvania. He was a probation and parole officer in York County, PA, where he developed and administered the department’s new officer orientation program.
Eric has been with the Pennsylvania Justice Network (JNET), where he serves as the County Deployment Coordinator, since 2004. In this capacity, Eric was the liaison between 90 municipal police ASPEN-RMS clients and JNET, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC), the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association (PCPA), the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), the Pennsylvania Local Technology workgroup (LTW), and DataWorks Plus (DWP).
ASPEN-RMS clients in Pennsylvania are currently developing an e-filing exchange with the Pennsylvania courts as well as utilization of the Fusion product for data mining, analysis, and crime mapping.
Lt. Scott Barnett, Collier County Sheriff Office, Florida
has over 34 years in Law Enforcement and Criminal Investigations, specializing in AFIS and livescan management, fingerprint examination, biometrics, and crime scene investigation. When starting out as a patrol officer, he discovered a marijuana off-load of 25.5 tons, the largest on record for the county, and earned the achievement of Rotary Officer of the Year. After serving as a Property Crime Investigator and Supervisor for nearly a decade, Lt. Barnett joined the Bureau of Technical Services, which consists of Property and Evidence Sections and Identification Sections. There he supervised the Narcotics Identification Lab in addition to working in the CrimeScene and Surveillance Equipment units. Scott also pioneered several innovations in the Bureau including AFIS, Digital MugShot, computerized evidence control and barcoding, IAFIS interphase, LiveScan for criminal fingerprint capture, FDLE RAPID-ID pilot, and FBI/FDLE RISC pilot. Besides beta-testing an FDLE pilot program for Officer Rapid Identification and implementing the live program, he has also spoken at the FBI Next Generation Conference in 2010.
Lt. Barnett has been a Florida Certified Police Instructor for the past 32 years, specializing in Crime Scene, Identification, and Fire Arms Instruction. He currently serves on the State Biometric Task Force with FDLE and the AFIS-LiveScan Committee for FDIAI, as well as holding the positions of Rapid Identification Supervisor and Facial Recognition Project Manager of Collier County Sheriff’s Office. As a member of the Underwater Operations unit for 32 years, Scott has aided in investigations and recovered submerged objects from the size of a tooth to an 80-ton vehicle; his unit also assists with the training of other agencies and has assisted DEA, FBI, FHP, INS, NSTB, Coast Guard, DEP, Department of the Interior, and FWC.
Meli Kuryla, Senior ID Technician, City-County Bureau of Identification, Raleigh, NC
Meli Kuryla holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, with a secondary major in Sociology. Meli is employed as a Senior Identification Technician in the Civil ID Unit of the City-County Bureau of Identification in Wake County, NC. Meli has been with CCBI since 2010 and has been promoted three times in those three years. Her duties have ranged from determining if arrestees were repeat offenders, physically fingerprinting and photographing all persons charged with criminal violations, training new employees on methods of identification and verification, assisting other Law Enforcement agencies in identifications, and fingerprinting civilian applicants for jobs, licenses, etc.