Tag Archive for: NWTC

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to an esteemed group of experts, the instructors and presenters of the 2022 Writers’ Police Academy.

Nicole Crocker

Detective Nichole Crocker

Nichole is presently assigned as a detective with the Oconto Police Department. She is also a Wisconsin Department of Justice certified instructor. Class – Emergency Vehicle Operations (EVOC)

Jason Feucht

Lt. Jason Feucht

Jason currently serves as a patrol lieutenant for the Fox Crossing Police Department. In his time at the police department Jason has also worked as a patrol officer, drug investigator, and detective. Class – Use of Force Virtual Reality Simulator

Nicole Fumelle

Nicole Fumelle, NWTC Adjunct Instructor

Nicole has 15 years experience in corrections, having worked at the Brown County Sheriff’s Office attaining the level of Corporal. Nicole also was responsible for training jail staff, and she’s worked as an adjunct instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Class – Arrest and Booking Process

jerry johnson

Lt. Jerry Johnson (ret.)

Jerry is an adjunct instructor at NWTC and is certified by the Wisconsin Department of Justice to instruct Firearms, EVOC,  Vehicle Contacts, Officer Wellness, DAAT, Scenarios, and Tactical Response. Class – Emergency Vehicle Operations (EVOC)

Dave Jones

Dave Jones, Chief of Police (ret.)

Dave recently retired as the Chief of Police for the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay Police Department, an NCAA Division 1 State University. He oversaw all Police Operations and Emergency Management for its four campuses (Green Bay, Manitowoc, Marinette and Sheboygan). Class – Firearms

brian jordon

Patrol Sergeant Brian Jordan

Brian is a 25-year law enforcement veteran and currently a Patrol Sergeant, Field Training Officer and Training Unit member with the Green Bay Police Department. Class – Forced Entry/Room Clearing

Officer Ron King

Ron is a police officer for the Oneida Police Department and is presently assigned as a detective. He is a Wisconsin Department of Justice certified instructor in Vehicle Contacts, and Firearms. Class – Tribal Policing

k9 deputy turbo

Oconto County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit

All K-9s within the unit are dual purpose tracking and narcotics detection police service dogs, and each is trained in handler protection, obedience, criminal apprehension, and tracking including evidentiary scent work. Class – K-9 Operations

Kurt Kitzman

Lt. Kurt Litzman

Kurt is presently assigned as a patrol lieutenant with the Shawano County Sheriff’s Office. He is a Wisconsin Department of Justice certified instructor in Defensive and Arrest Tactics (DAAT), EVOC, and Firearms. Class – Emergency Vehicle Operations (EVOC)

Mike Knetzger

Patrol Sergeant Mike Knetzger

Mike Knetzger, a certified use of force analyst for the Force Science Research Center and recipient of the J. Edgar Hoover Memorial Award, is a 28-year law enforcement veteran and currently a patrol sergeant with the City of Green Bay. Class – Body Cameras

Jonathon Ladwig

Jonathon Ladwig – Fire Training Coordinator and Instructor

Jonathon is presently the Fire Training Coordinator and Instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.  Jonathon is also the fire chief for Little River Fire Department. Class – Vehicle Extrication

Jon Nejedlo

OfficerJon Nejedlo

Jon is a Police Officer for the City of Green Bay Police Department who’s served 19 years as a Patrol Officer. He is currently assigned to the Operations Department as the Range Master. Class – Forced Entry/Room Clearing

Matt Ninham

Matt Ninham -Criminal Justice Instructor

Matt is an Oneida Tribal Member and grew up on the Oneida Indian Reservation. He was an Oneida Police Officer for 16 years and retired in 2016. Matt is currently a full-time Criminal Justice Instructor at NWTC, and a part time officer with the Hortonville Police Department. Class – Vehicle Contacts

Kevin Rathburn

Municipal Judge Kevin Rathburn

Kevin became a full-time faculty member at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in 2000 after serving as an adjunct instructor for nine years. Prior to that, he served for ten years as an Assistant District Attorney for Brown County in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Class – Court Process

Jeff Steeber

Jeff Steeber – Criminal Justice Instructor

Jeff is a full-time criminal justice instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC). Prior to employment at NWTC, Jeff spent 15 years as an officer for the Fox Valley Metro Police Department. Class – Defensive and Arrest Tactics

Jeremy Stover

Jeremy Stover – Public Safety Officer

Jeremy is a public safety officer for Ashwaubenon Public Safety Department, where officers assume three roles during each 24-hour shift—EMT, law enforcement officer, and firefighter. Jeremy is certified in all three. Class – Firearms

Justin Uitenbroek

Justin Uitenbroek – Fire Science Instructor

is a full-time Fire Science Instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Justin also works as a paramedic in Clintonville, Wi., and a firefighter for Fox Crossing, Wi. Class – Vehicle Extrication

Angel Van Noie

Angel Van Noie – Academy Instructor

Angel is 20-year veteran police officer of the Hobart-Lawrence Police Department. During that time, Angel worked patrol and served as a School Resource Officer in the West De Pere School District. Class – Defensive and Arrest Tactics

erik walters

Erik Walters – Public Safety Training Complex Specialist

Erik is the Public Safety Training Complex Specialist at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.  In that role, Erik oversees all the public safety training facilities and equipment at 4 different locations. Class – Use of Force Virtual Reality Simulator

Marco Conelli

Marco Conelli – NYPD Detective (ret.)

A twenty year veteran detective of the NYPD, Marco Conelli’s diverse career is highlighted by his work as an undercover where he was plugged into many investigations for the Organized Crime Control Bureau. Class – Guilty Until Proven Innocent


Joe LeFevre, PhD – Academy Instructor

Joe is a full-time police academy instructor in WI. His instructional focus is on investigations, forensic skills, and officer fitness/wellness. Prior to teaching Joe was a police officer, and had spent a few years involved with a volunteer fire department. Class –  These People Breaking Bad Were Not Walter White

rick mcmahan

Rick McMahan – Detective, Kentucky Attorney General’s Office

Rick spent over a quarter of a century as a Special Agent for the ATF. During his career, Rick investigated a wide range of crimes from violent militant extremists to outlaw motorcycle gangs to murder for hire plots. Currently, he serves as a Detective for the Kentucky Attorney General’s office. Class – Armed in America

Special Guest Presenters

Dr. Katherine Ramsland

Dr. Katherine Ramsland 

Special Presentation – Conversations with the B.T.K. Killer, Dennis Rader

Dr. Ramsland teaches forensic psychology at DeSales University in Pennsylvania, where she is the Assistant Provost. She has appeared on more than 200 crime documentaries and magazine shows, is an executive producer of Murder House Flip, and has consulted for CSI, Bones, and The Alienist. The author of more than 1,500 articles and 69 books, including The Forensic Science of CSI, The Forensic Psychology of Criminal Minds, How to Catch a Killer, The Psychology of Death Investigations, and Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, The BTK Killer, she was co-executive producer for the Wolf Entertainment/A&E documentary based on the years she spent talking with Rader. Dr. Ramsland consults on death investigations, pens a blog for Psychology Today, and is writing a fiction series based on a female forensic psychologist.

Steven Spingola – “The Spingola Files: An Evening with Steven Spingola”

Steven Spingola

Special Presentation – The Spingola Files: An Evening with Steven Spingola

Known to his colleagues as “the sleuth with the proof,” Spingola is an investigator for Cold Justice, a popular Oxygen Channel true crime program. During a 2014 episode in Vigo County, Indiana, Spingola and another investigator obtained a confession in a decades-old cold case. During an intense interrogation, suspect Clint Mackey broke down and stated, “I went back, grabbed the knife and killed her.

Steven Spingola is an investigator with a national reputation for excellence. He is a 2001 graduate of the FBI National Academy, and he holds two master’s degrees. Steven is a death investigation expert, a police-related shooting reconstruction specialist, and is formally trained as a criminal investigative analyst (profiling).

Prior to his retirement as a lieutenant of detectives with the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), Spingola supervised all major categories of criminal investigations, including stints in the Homicide Unit, Vice Control Division, Sensitive Crimes Unit, and Violent Crimes Division. He further served as the lead investigator for the Critical Incident Unit, a group that probes police related shootings, use-of-force incidents, and other significant events. As a detective, Spingola spent several years conducting death investigations for a homicide unit with one of the highest clearance rates in the country.

Steve has authored several books: Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes 1 & 2; Predators of the Parkway: A Former Homicide Detective Explores the Colonial Parkway Murders, and Staggered Paths: Strange Deaths in the Badger State.

2022 Guest of Honor, Robert Dugoni

robert dugoni

Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed New York TimesWall Street Journal, Washington Postand #1 Amazon bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite police series set in Seattle, which has sold more than 8 million books worldwide. He is also the author of The Charles Jenkins espionage series, the David Sloane legal thriller series, and  several stand-alone novels including The 7th Canon, Damage Control, and the literary novels, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell – Suspense Magazine’s 2018 Book of the Year, for which Dugoni’s narration won an AudioFile Earphones Award and the critically acclaimed, The World Played Chess; as well as the nonfiction exposé The Cyanide Canary, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year. Several of his novels have been optioned for movies and television series. Dugoni is the recipient of the Nancy Pearl Award for Fiction and a three-time winner of the Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award for best novel set in the Pacific Northwest. He has also been a finalist for many other awards including the International Thriller Award, the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, the Silver Falchion Award for mystery, and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award.

Robert Dugoni’s books are sold in more than twenty-five countries and have been translated into more than thirty languages.



I admit, I was not aware of the Writers’ Police Academy until Longmire author Craig Johnson posted the upcoming event on his Facebook page. My curiosity led me to check out the WPA website, and I was hooked. As an aside, it is my dream to become a successful crime/mystery author. I grew up in a law enforcement family, and my role models as a boy were deputies and state troopers. More lacking in my repertoire is actual hands-on training in police procedures and methods, so the prospect of just such an experience was exciting, to say the least.

During the registration process, I had some choices to make, including the purchase of souvenir items, meal selection for the closing banquet, and an optional entry in the “Golden Donut Short Story Contest” (more on that later). The registration sells out quickly, I might add, as well as the block of rooms reserved by the conference, so procrastinators may come up short!

Ry Brooks

The real challenge came when my wife noticed I had signed up for the 2017 WPA conference.

“You’re doing WHAT?”, she asked.

“I’m going to the Writers’ Police Academy in Green Bay, Wisconsin.”

“Umm hmm.”

“No, seriously. It’s a great way to learn the details of police procedure. Also, I might get to drive a police car in emergency scenarios. Every kid’s dream!”

“So, is it a course on writing?” She was confused.

“No, not exactly. It’s a learning environment for authors to help them inject more reality into their writing.”

“Shouldn’t you get established as a writer first?”

“What’s the fun in that?”

I was registered for the conference, had requested my preferences from among the most popular workshops, and had just one thing left to do. The “Golden Donut” short story contest entries are strictly limited to exactly 200 words, not 199 or 201. My first draft was exactly 200 words, counting contractions, and it was a great story (in my mind) but for one thing – I had somehow overlooked the requirement that the subject of the story had to follow a specific provided photograph. That first effort thus was deemed a practice run, so I wrote a couple more for submission that fully met the contest rules. Truth be told, I had some concern that my fledgling foray into mystery writing might prove an embarrassment. It was comforting, however, that the identities of the submissions are kept anonymous from the judges, so if my entries were bad, I would be anonymously awful.

The first day of the conference opened with a choice of workshops, the Kooky Cop Carnival or Drones!, and I chose the latter. I later heard I’d missed some comic moments involving famous authors’ hijinks in the other workshop. Never mind, the drone presentation was awesome!

Opening ceremonies included a blessing and wonderful ceremonial dances from the Oneida nation representatives.

Oneida Nation dancers

The conference hotel, along with many of the training facilities, are situated on Oneida native lands and many of the instructors are associated with the Oneida Nation police. Host Lee Lofland opened the conference with introductions and orientation, and we were treated to writer Lisa Klink (Star Trek), who related how she went from a wanna-be script writer to having her work produced on screen.

Day two began in earnest on the campus of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, with an exciting traffic stop takedown and wounded officer extraction demonstrated by the police instructors. After things calmed down, I proceeded to the Blood Spatter Analysis workshop (shades of “Dexter”!) — and discovered most of what I “knew” was wrong!

Bloodstain pattern investigation workshop #2017WPA

This was to be a recurring theme, and that is part of why the WPA began. We were able to participate in a realistic simulation that graphically demonstrated the way blood droplets can indicate height of the assailant, the type of weapon, even whether an attacker was right or left handed.

Bloodstain pattern session. Dexter-style

I noticed some, if not all, of the invited presenters were also participants in the WPA workshops. Many of them are published writers themselves with years of experience, but the lesson is, what you think you know may not be what you should know. I heard over and over, from conference attendees and seasoned authors, “Wow, I wish I’d known that before I wrote…”.

Over the course of the Academy, I had the chance to learn the history of police firearms, techniques of fingerprint analysis, and arson investigation scenarios, including a live demonstration fire set deliberately and surreptitiously. I got to fulfill the fantasy of driving Pursuit Intervention Technique maneuvers and received hands-on training in emergency driving situations and arrest takedown techniques.

PIT Maneuver – #2017WPA

In fact, I enjoyed being a passenger in the PIT target vehicle so much, I volunteered for extra rounds. If there was a ride at Disney World like that, it would have a five-hour waiting line.

One evening, we heard from master interrogator Paul Bishop. You guessed it, most of what we see and read of police interrogation is less than accurate. Following that was a sobering presentation of officer-down scenarios and the equipment used in those situations.

Our last full day culminated in the banquet and “An Evening With Craig Johnson”. I have had the privilege of hearing Mr. Johnson speak before, and it is always entertaining, humorous and thought-provoking. Frankly, I am a big fan of the Longmire Mystery novels and the opportunity to meet authors such as Craig Johnson and Tami Hoag was a big draw for me.

Craig Johnson and Tami Hoag

Oh, yes, I almost forgot. My “Cinderella story” as a first-time participant in the Writers’ Police Academy wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the results of the “Golden Donut” short story competition. No, it wasn’t a Hollywood ending — I didn’t win the top prize. I got Third Place, which was a Pulitzer, far as I’m concerned. See, even if you haven’t been to the WPA before, you can have beginner’s luck! That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.