LEAPS – Intro

LEAPS – Intro Leaders from government and industry convened on…

August 17, 2022

LEAPS – Intro

Leaders from government and industry convened on May 10, 2022, at the National Press Club for AFCEA Bethesda’s 14th annual Law Enforcement and Public (LEAPS) Technology Forum. The theme of this year’s program, Creating Opportunities out of Crisis: Improving the Nation’s Security Through Digital Technology and Innovation, afforded attendees an opportunity to talk about current challenges, share information from the field, and compare notes about lessons learned during tumultuous times.


The COVID-19 era has presented new challenges to law enforcement and public safety professionals. Criminal organizations exploited pandemic relief efforts at a time when law enforcement and public safety agencies were expanding capabilities for working and accessing information remotely, securely, and reliably.

Amid the turmoil, law enforcement and public safety agencies continued to manage data stored on-premises and in the cloud, including information flowing from state, local, and federal law enforcement networks. Regardless of data’s origin, law enforcement must authenticate it and make it accessible – in compliance with security policy and regulations.


“Just because the world seemed to shut down during the pandemic doesn’t mean that the threats went away,” said Mark Tanner, a member of AFCEA Bethesda’s Advisory Board. “Rather, they accelerated.”


As the government’s modern digital transformation continues, law enforcement organizations are meeting IT challenges by investing in security solutions and frameworks to secure infrastructure and data from sophisticated cyberattacks.


Kathy Cowles, President of AFCEA Bethesda’s Board of Directors, opened this year’s program, followed by a color guard presentation and singing of the national anthem by members of the United States Capital Police’s Ceremonial Division. A $1,000 donation to the US Capital Police Memorial Fund was made on behalf of the color guard.


The event saw an impressive array of speakers and contributors, including:


  • Darrin Jones- Executive Assistant Director, S&T Branch, FBI- Opening Keynote
  • Carole House- Director for Cybersecurity & Secure Digital Innovation, White House National Security Council- Opening Panel
  • Steve D’Antuono- Assistant Director in Charge, Washington Field Office, FBI- Opening Panel
  • Roy Dotson- Special Agent in Charge (Acting), USSS National Pandemic Fraud Recovery Coordinator, United States Secret Service- Opening Panel
  • Matthew Emrich- Associate Director, Fraud Detection and National Security, USCIS- Opening Panel
  • Tom Chittum- Acting Deputy Director, ATF- Afternoon Keynote
  • Billy Bob Brown – Executive Assistant Director (EAD) for Emergency Communications, CISA- Closing Panel
  • Christine Finnelle – CTO, USMS- Closing Panel
  • Kevin Cox – Deputy CIO, DOJ- Closing Panel
  • Peter Alex – Supervisory IT Specialist – Enterprise Mobile Development, FBI- Closing Panel
  • Melinda Rodgers- Deputy Assistant Attorney General/CIO- DOJ


Thought Leadership