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Blue Line Expo International


July 25, 2021
By Brieanna Charlebois
The first Blue Line Expo International took place in April 2021. Credit: Annex Business Media

Experts from Canada and around the world came together virtually to discuss topics impacting law enforcement today.

On April 22, Blue Line hosted its first ever Blue Line Expo International. The virtual event brought together experts from around the world to speak on various topics impacting law enforcement today. This included de-escalation training, officer wellness and resilience, counter-extremism, organized crime and human trafficking.

It featured keynote speaker Richard Mullender, former lead trainer at Scotland Yard’s National Hostage and Crisis Negotiation Unit, and founder of the Listening Institute, who presented on the topic of ‘Life and Death Listening’. It also showcased four other live sessions and nine on-demand sessions.

De-escalation training

Effective communication in crisis and hostage situations is essential. In his live presentation, Mark Lowther discussed effective skills and tools during crisis and hostage situations.

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Counter-extremism

In his session, Dr. Peter Collins discussed the involuntary celibate (incel) phenomenon and the rise of misogynistic extremism. He covered how the growing online subculture led to violence against women.

Human trafficking

Human trafficking is the second largest criminal enterprise on the planet and is often hiding in plain sight. Julie Clegg, founder and CEO of Human-i Intelligence Services, covered the challenges faced by international law enforcement in the fight against human trafficking today.

Wellness and resilience

The event featured a one-hour panel discussion hosted by Adam Kinakin, which covered various mental health topics including sleep, recovery and performance in law enforcement, Post-Traumatic Growth, EMDR Therapies, Post-COVID Stress and more. Kinakin was joined by experts Dr. Charles H. Samuels, Dr. Robbie Adler-Tapia, Dr. Robert L. Perkins, Sajel Bellon and William (Bill) Rusk.

On-demand sessions

The event also featured nine on-demand sessions.

Michael Schlosser, the director of the University of Illinois Police Training Institute in the United States, presented on non-escalation and de-escalation as force alternatives.

Matthew Kriner, analyst for Thomson Reuters Special Services in the United States, covered challenges for law enforcement in emerging extremist threats, particularly from far-right extremists.

Professor Tore Bjørgo, the director of the Center for Research on Extremism in Denmark, presented on far-right extremism, hate crimes and political violence, with a focus on vigilantism against migrants and minorities.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Dr. John Coyne and Dr. Teagan Westendorf discussed the production and trafficking of heroin and methamphetamine, where in the value chain they occur, and the implications for domestic and international strategic policing to combat drug trafficking by organized crime syndicates across Southeast Asia.

Cheri Oz, special agent at the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Phoenix Field Division joined editor Brieanna Charlebois for a discussion on the opioid epidemic in America, Mexican cartels and the effects of COVID-19, all of which pose new challenges to criminal organizations and their movement of drugs throughout the United States.

Clinical Psychologist Daniel M. Blumberg, Konstantinos Papazoglou, founder/director of ProWellness Inc., and Michael Schlosser, director of the University of Illinois Police Training Institute, discussed integrating police wellness and ethics. Through this discussion, panelists emphasize wellness through physical, cognitive, emotional, social and spiritual health, with a focus on the interconnection between officer wellness and ethical behaviour.

Peel Regional Police Detective Constable Greg O’Connor and York Regional Police Detective Scott Cresswell presented on their efforts to combat the upward trend of high-end vehicle thefts in Ontario using their recent investigation, Project Majestic, which involved the dismantling of one crime group through the combined and coordinated resources of several Greater Toronto Area Police Services, as a case study.

Sherri Martin, the national director of Wellness Services, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) in the United States, presented on how to cultivate a culture of wellness in law enforcement agencies.

Lastly, Psychotherapist and CHAC Speaker Sajel Bellon presented on wellness, resilience and embracing emotion within policing.

A special thank you to all our attendees, sponsors, partners and presenters. If you missed the event, all are available through the Blue Line YouTube channel: BLUE LINE Magazine.