TODD LARSON is the Director of the What You Do Matters (WYDM) Institute focused on training criminal justice personnel across the United States. Prior to this role, he was the Associate Vice President of Workplace and Public Safety for a large Arizona Hospital System and was responsible for Security, Emergency Management, Central Communications, Access Control, Military Partnership, Simulations Training Center, Trauma Outreach, Injury Prevention, and the Forensic Nursing Program across six hospitals and over 100 other locations.
Prior to working in Healthcare, Todd retired from the Scottsdale (AZ) Police Department after 22 years of service. He spent the majority of his career investigating felony crimes within the Special Investigations Section, Violent Crimes Unit, Federal DEA Phoenix Task Force and served over ten years on the Scottsdale Police Department SWAT Team as an operator, sniper, and team leader. Todd has authored numerous court orders and warrants as well as serving as an instructor for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), The Scottsdale Police Department, and The Arizona Narcotics Officers Association (ANOA) Annual Conferences.
Todd is a graduate of The Advisory Board’s High Performing Leadership Fellowship, The Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command, and is a Certified Force Science Specialist. Todd has authored several published articles involving police training, tourniquet research, TBI research, and healthcare technology. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Northern Arizona University, a Master’s Degree in Leadership with Emphasis on Crisis Management and Disaster Preparedness from Grand Canyon University, and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Grand Canyon University.
ADENA BERNSTEIN is an Assistant Attorney General and the Fentanyl Coordinator with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. She is a career prosecutor having worked with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for twenty years. In addition to working with agencies throughout the state to combat the fentanyl crisis, Ms. Bernstein also works with local and federal agencies to extradite fugitives from abroad. Ms. Bernstein received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Arizona State University and her Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh.
Ms. Bernstein is the grandchild of two Holocaust survivors. She has published a book describing how her grandmother survived the Holocaust which now has an accompanying Educator’s Guide for teachers. Ms. Bernstein serves on the board for the Arizona Jewish Historical Society and a founding member of 3GAZ, a group of grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. Her grandmother often spoke to her about her experiences during the Holocaust, which had a profound impact on her life. She continues to honor her grandmother’s life by speaking all over the world about her grandmother’s survival and lessons learned from the Holocaust.
JON ELIASON is the Homicide Bureau Chief at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. He is a career prosecutor and has conducted numerous jury trials. Mr. Eliason received a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University and his Juris Doctor from Temple Law School. Mr. Eliason serves on the Commission on Victims in the Courts, the Governor’s Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women, and the Forensic Academy.
Mr. Eliason has received numerous awards and accommodations for his work. He has been recognized by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, and numerous cities throughout Arizona for his work and dedication as a prosecutor. Mr. Eliason is a frequent lecturer at schools, police departments, and legal conferences, and teaches for the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys’ Advisory Council, the National District Attorneys Association, and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.
JASON KALISH has spent his entire career as a prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
Jason graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1993 with honors, earning a degree in criminology. He then attended the University of Arizona College of Law with the specific intent of becoming a prosecutor. During law school Mr. Kalish served as an Honors Intern with the FBI and worked in various capacities at the Pima County Attorney’s Office. He was sworn in as a lawyer on October 18, 1997 and as a Deputy Maricopa County Attorney two days later.
Jason has prosecuted gang members and repeat offenders in the Gang/ROP bureau. He has served as a supervisor in other bureaus, including Charging/Grand Jury, Preliminary Hearings and Juvenile Crimes. Following the supervisory stints, he returned to trial work and spent nearly ten years prosecuting homicides, first in the Family Violence Bureau and then the Homicide Bureau (later renamed the Capital Litigation Bureau). He is currently the Bureau Chief of the White Collar, Cyber Crime Bureau. Jason was named APAAC Prosecutor of the Year in 2014 for his role as lead counsel in the retrial of the Buddhist Temple murders which occurred in 1991.
Jason has always enjoyed teaching and was named the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Trainer of the Year in 2003. He was formerly the Bureau Chief of the Training Bureau and has taught nationwide on a variety of topics. He is married and enjoys reading, travelling, and spending time with his family.
TRAVIS MEADOWS began his career with AZDPS in 2005 as a Highway Patrol Trooper in the Metro East District. He worked in Metro East for 9.5 years before transferring to the Criminal Investigations Division in 2014. While working in the Criminal Investigations Division, Travis was assigned to the Central Intelligence Unit and worked as a detective at the Arizona Counter Terrorism Intelligence Center in Phoenix. In 2017 Travis transferred to the Operational Training Section where he served as the Annual Trooper Training Coordinator and the LMS Administrator. In 2021, he was promoted to Sergeant and currently supervises the Professional Development Unit and the Operational Training Section.
Travis is an AZPOST General Instructor, Firearms Instructor, Patrol Rifle Instructor, and Physical Fitness Instructor. He is also a Master Instructor for the General Instructor program at AZPOST. He has taught various courses at the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy, Phoenix Regional Police Academy, and the AZDPS State Trooper Academy. In addition to instructing for AZDPS and AZPOST; Travis is also an Adjunct Instructor for Arizona Christian University, Rio Salado College, and Redemption Seminary, where teaches courses in Criminal Justice Studies, Christian Studies, and Biblical Theology.
Travis holds a Bachelor’s degree from Vanguard University, a Master’s degree from Grand Canyon University, a Master’s in Divinity degree from Liberty University, and a Doctorate in Ministry in Spiritual Formation from Liberty University.
DAVID MOORE is a Lieutenant with the Phoenix Police Department where he has served since 1996. He has significant experience working Patrol in several precincts around the City of Phoenix, Bicycle Patrol Officer, Investigator and Supervisor with the Professional Standards Bureau, Tactical Training and Firearms Instructor, Advanced Training Lieutenant, Motor Lieutenant, and the Vehicular Homicide Unit.
Lieutenant Moore has extensive experience developing and instructing a wide range of police related training programs. He is a graduate of Wayland Baptist University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and holds a Masters Degree from Northern Arizona University in Executive Police Leadership.
Currently, Lieutenant Moore is assigned to the Phoenix Police Department’s Cactus Park Precinct.
CHRIS OLSON is the Police Chief of The University of Arizona Police Department. Prior to this role he was a commander with the Oro Valley Police Department where he has worked since 2001. He has 30 years of law enforcement experience and is currently serving as the agency’s Support Services Commander where he oversees the department’s Investigations Bureau, Community Services Bureau, and Communications Bureau.
Commander Olson has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Park University; an M.Ed. in Human Relations from Northern Arizona University; is a graduate of the 244th Session of the FBI National Academy; and a graduate of the 331st Class of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.
ELIZABETH BURTON ORTIZ has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, a Master of Arts in Political Science, and a Juris Doctor. After graduating from law school, Ms. Ortiz clerked at the Arizona Court of Appeals. Ms. Ortiz then joined the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, in Phoenix, Arizona, where she prosecuted cases for 16 years. During that time, Ms. Ortiz served as a Bureau Chief in Juvenile, Pretrial, Charging, and Appeals. In 2009, Ms. Ortiz joined the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys’ Advisory Council (APAAC) as the Senior Staff Attorney and was subsequently named Executive Director. In addition to her APAAC duties, Ms. Ortiz is co-chair of the Arizona Governor’s Commission to Prevent Intimate Partner and Gender-Based Violence and chair of the State Bar of Arizona Public Lawyers Executive Council. She serves as a board member for the National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators, the National District Attorney’s Association, the Arizona Forensic Science Academy, the Arizona Supreme Court’s Commission of Victims in Court, the State Bar of Arizona Board of Legal Specialization, the State Bar of Arizona Criminal Justice Executive Council, and the State Bar of Arizona Professionalism Advisory Council. Further, Ms. Ortiz is co-chair of the National District Attorney’s Association Training & Education Committee, and chair of the National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators Training Committee. Ms. Ortiz teaches extensively throughout Arizona, the United States, and in Mexico on a wide variety of trial advocacy and ethics topics for organizations including the American Bar Association, the Office of the New York Attorney General, the Alliance Partnership Program, the National Crime Victims Law Institute Conference, and for prosecutor conferences in Arkansas, Idaho, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Additionally, she serves as a facilitator across the country for the Lessons From the Holocaust: What You Do Matters course. In 2022, Ms. Ortiz was recognized by the State Bar of Arizona with the Michael Cudahy Criminal Justice Award.
HEIDI PERLMAN has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology – Applied Behavioral Analysis from Binghamton University and her Juris Doctor from Wake Forest School of Law. Ms. Perlman has spent her entire career as a prosecutor with the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Ms. Perlman currently focuses on homicide prosecutions, but over the course of her career, has prosecuted a variety of violent crimes, property crimes, drug offenses, and driving while impaired crimes. Ms. Perlman is a graduate of the Community Building Initiative’s Leaders Under 40 program and volunteers to lecture high school and middle school students about the criminal justice system. Ms. Perlman is one of the founding members of her office’s Diversity and Inclusion Team and currently serves as co-chair of the team.
SHEILA POLK retired at the end of 2022 after serving 22 years as the elected County Attorney for Yavapai County, Arizona. Her career in government public service in Arizona spans 40 years. She graduated from Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in 1982. After completing a clerkship at the Arizona Supreme Court, Ms. Polk worked in the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for 11 years before moving to Prescott in 1994. There, she joined the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office where she specialized in the prosecution of serious felony offenders. She was lead prosecutor in the criminal trial against James Ray, a self-help guru who caused the death of three of his followers in a super-heated rubberized sweat lodge and led the county’s battle against “bath salts” and “spice” with a public nuisance lawsuit against retailers.
Ms. Polk chaired several statewide boards and commissions, including the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys’ Advisory Council (APAAC), the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, the Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership, and the Governor’s Human Trafficking Council. She is a founding member and Chair of MATFORCE, the Yavapai County Substance Abuse Coalition, and assists as faculty for the CWAG Alliance Partnership, a cooperative initiative to strengthen the legal system in Mexico. Ms. Polk has received numerous awards for her work including the national 2023 NDAA Distinguished Chief Prosecutor Award, the 2019 Outstanding Alumni from her law school, and the 2012 Criminal Justice Award from the Arizona State Bar Association. In 2023, she was inducted into the Yavapai County Bar Association’s Hall of Fame.
Ms. Polk is the driving stimulus behind the nationally renowned law enforcement course, What You Do Matters: Lessons from the Holocaust. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum recognized Ms. Polk in 2018 as an “agent of change” at a national tribute dinner in Washington D.C. In 2018, the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys’ Advisory Council awarded Ms. Polk with the Gerda and Kurt Klein Guardian of Freedom Award for her tireless efforts to teach the “Lessons from the Holocaust” to police officers and prosecutors across the nation.
CAPT TIM TOMCZAK, Raleigh Police Department, began his law enforcement career in 1997 as a member of the 69th Raleigh Police Academy. He was promoted to sergeant in 2004 and founded the Raleigh Police Department’s Crash Reconstruction Unit. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 2006 and served in Field Operations, Special Operations, and the Chief’s Office until 2015 when he was promoted to Captain. As a Captain, he served in the Administrative Services division, as the Southwest District Commander, and as the North District Commander. Since 2005, Tim has commanded the RPD’s Negotiation Unit. He earned his bachelor’s degree at UNC-Chapel Hill and his MBA from Pfeiffer University. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Administrative Officers Management Program and PERF’s Senior Management Institute for Police. In May 2021 he graduated from Campbell Law School, passed the Bar Exam in October 2021 and is licensed as an attorney in North Carolina. Tim is the recipient of the NC Conference of District Attorney’s Service Award, the DRE Emeritus Award, a Meritorious Unit Citation, two Lifesaving Awards and the City of Raleigh Employee of the Year Award. He is currently assigned to the Raleigh Police Department’s detective division as the Captain over Violent Crimes.
DIANA TAPIA WILLIAMS is a Commander with the Mesa Police Department where she has served since 2003. During her tenure, Commander Williams has worked assignments in Patrol, Training, Media Relations Office, Organized Crime Unit, Personal Crimes Detective, Chief’s Office, Operations Lieutenant, and Human Resources as the Hiring Lieutenant. She is currently the Commander for the Human Resources Division that is comprised of Hiring, Wellness, Peer, and Career Development. Commander Williams is committed to supporting the next generation of law enforcement professionals through instruction, training, mentorship, and coaching.
Commander Williams was born and raised Tucson, Arizona, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Criminal Justice from the University of Arizona. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix in Administration of Justice and Security. She enjoys traveling with her husband and son.