Since 2014, Karen has been giving a voice to the thousands of officers in the field who can’t or won’t speak out. She has interviewed hundreds of law enforcement officers and their families to gain insight into the field, trauma, stress, and both physical and emotional survival. Karen is a national speaker, author, columnist and advocate. Her books Hearts Beneath the Badge and The Price They Pay are used in citizen’s academies throughout the country and endorsed by law enforcement leadership. Her articles can be found on Calibre Press, PoliceOne, LawOfficer and Law Enforcement Today. Married to a police officer for sixteen years, Karen understands today’s challenges and puts her knowledge to work on behalf of the entire profession. Karen has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Eckerd College. She’s a member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), the International Public Safety Association (IPSA), and the Public Safety Writers Association.
Steven Casstevens is the Chief of Police with the Buffalo Grove, IL Police Department. He retired in 2011 as an Assistant Chief with the Hoffman Estates, IL Police Department, where he served for nearly 30 years. Steve is a Past President of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP). He is also Vice President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and will serve as the Association’s President in 2019. He serves on the Executive Committee of “Fight Crime-Invest in Kids” as well as their National Leadership Council. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.
He has authored numerous articles for Police Chief Magazine, Command Magazine and Law and Order. He has been the recipient of numerous local, state, and national awards, including the two highest awards in the nation for highway safety: In 1997 he was the national law enforcement recipient of the “J. Stannard Baker Award” from the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for lifetime achievement in highway safety. In 2004 he received the National Public Service Award from NHTSA for his contributions and achievements in traffic and highway safety in Illinois and throughout the nation. In 2015 he received the ILACP Highway Safety Leadership Award.
Steve is a graduate of the 51st class of Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff & Command (1991), the Executive Management Program and a member of the 216th session of the FBI National Academy (2004). He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Management from Judson University, and is a Certified Police Chief through the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.
Doug Wyllie is Editor at Large for PoliceOne, providing police training content on a wide range of topics and trends affecting the law enforcement community. Doug is the 2014 Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column, and has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips. Doug hosts the PoliceOne Podcast, Policing Matters, and is the host for PoliceOne Video interviews. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).
Heidi’s husband, Jesse James Peterson, died by suicide on October 20, 2016 after 17 years of service. Since Jesse’s passing, the relationship with the blue line has crumbled and disappeared. Her goal is to prevent any families from feeling the isolation and stigmatization caused by suicide.
Steven is a 20-year veteran of Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office where he completed numerous assignments including patrol, street crimes, drug task force, beach/marine unit, sex offender unit, gang intelligence unit, and criminal investigations as a polygrapher. During his time with the Sheriff’s Office Steven also spent seven years assigned as a Task Force Officer for the US Marshal’s Violent Fugitive Task Force based in Pensacola, FL.
While serving a warrant with the task force Steven was shot numerous times, including once in the face. As a result of his actions, Steven was awarded the Congressional Badge of Bravery, United States Marshal’s Purple Heart, and the Medal of Valor from Santa Rosa County. Steven has since retired from the sheriff’s office and is now a full-time Training Coordinator/Instructor for the police academy located on the Northwest Florida State College. Steve is a member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA).
Jeffrey M. McGill
Jeff began his law enforcement career in the military, serving as a Security Police Officer. Following four years of military service, he entered civilian law enforcement at the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office where he stayed full-time for 15 years. Jeff had numerous assignments including patrol, street crimes, beach/marine unit, investigations, sex offender unit, and gang intelligence. During his time with the Sheriff’s Office Jeff also spent six years assigned as a Task Force Officer for the US Marshal’s Violent Fugitive Task Force based in Pensacola, FL. Jeff is now a full-time Training Coordinator/Instructor for the police academy located at Northwest Florida State College.
Jeff earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology from Troy University and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University. He is currently a PhD student at Nova Southeastern University. Jeff is a member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA).