Innovative Strategies for Public Safety
Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. (JSS) is a minority-owned business that specializes in crime and public policy issues, with an emphasis on law enforcement. JSS has conducted applied research for over 23 years. Dr. Craig D. Uchida is the President and Founder of JSS where he oversees contracts and grants with cities, counties, criminal justice agencies, foundations, and foreign nations. He is a nationally known expert in policing and has conducted numerous studies with law enforcement agencies across the country.
JSS serves as the Research Partner for a number of law enforcement agencies and community-based organizations across the country. JSS is currently the Research Partner for the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) on its Crime Gun Intelligence Center program. JSS has worked extensively with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) as its Research Partner for over 11 years. Currently, JSS is working with LAPD’s homicide detectives to improve the solvability of its cases. In addition, JSS is assisting the LAPD with the transition from the UCR data collection system to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) through a BJS grant.
Other JSS work includes a partnership with the Miami-Dade County government to reduce crime in the southern part of the county through collective efficacy; a partnership with the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office to enhance the capabilities of the Crime Strategies Unit; and JSS provides training and technical assistance on body-worn cameras to law enforcement agencies through a contract with the Bureau of Justice Assistance. JSS has worked with more than 75 police agencies across the country since its inception in 1997. The larger departments include Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Colorado Springs, Dallas, Fairfax County (VA), Honolulu, Jersey City, Kansas City (MO), Los Angeles, Long Beach, City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, Minneapolis, Nashville, Newark, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC. Medium-size departments include Cambridge (MA), Concord (CA), Fort Lauderdale (FL), Hialeah (FL), Hollywood (FL), Inglewood (CA), Little Rock, Miami Gardens (FL), Redlands (CA), Salt Lake City, and the US Virgin Islands. Small departments include Everett (MA), Hoover (AL), Somerville (MA), Spartanburg (SC), and Westwood (MA).
Dr. Craig D. Uchida, Ph.D.
Dr. Craig D. Uchida is the President and Founder of Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. (JSS), a consulting firm that specializes in criminal justice, law enforcement, homeland security, children and youth violence, public health, and public policy. At JSS he oversees contracts and grants with cities, counties, criminal justice agencies, foundations, and foreign nations.
As an educator, Dr. Uchida has taught courses at the Naval Post-Graduate School’s Program in Homeland Security in Monterey, CA and was a professor at the University of Maryland. He was the Senior Advisor to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service where he revised the entire training curriculum for this 7,300-officer department.
As a public policy administrator, Dr. Uchida was a senior executive within the US Department of Justice. He is the former Assistant Director for Grants Administration and Senior Policy Adviser for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office). As the Assistant Director for Grants Administration he and his staff were responsible for developing and implementing the grant making process, making grant awards, and grant monitoring. When he left the COPS Office he had provided $3.4 billion to over 9,000 law enforcement agencies for over 65,000 officers. His efforts at the COPS Office resulted in two major US Department of Justice Awards – the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award in 1995 and the JustWorks Award for innovation in government in 1997.
As a criminologist, Dr. Uchida has studied violent crime, policing, and a variety of programs in the criminal justice system. He is the author of numerous journal articles, government publications, and monographs. He is the co-editor of two books on drug enforcement and police innovation and is co-author of a book that assessed the security of the Nation's dams, published by the National Academy of Sciences. His most recent book is, Community, Crime Control, and Collective Efficacy: Neighborhoods and Crime in Miami. His most recent journal articles include studies of body-worn cameras (in Criminology), focused deterrence (in Police Quarterly), and use of force (in the Criminal Justice Policy Review). His research and policy interests include police use of force, body-worn cameras, data-driven policing, crime analysis in policing and prosecutor offices, and technology in criminal justice.
Recently, Dr. Uchida conducted research and evaluations in the Los Angeles, Denver, and Baltimore Police Departments. Dr. Uchida received his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University at Albany and holds two Masters degrees, one in Criminal Justice and one in American History.
Dr. Shellie E. Solomon, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Shellie E. Solomon is the Chief Executive Officer of Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. (JSS), a consulting firm that specializes in issues related to criminal justice, children and youth violence, public health, and public policy. Dr. Solomon often leads efforts to aid law enforcement agencies with adopting technologies and also using “big data.”
At JSS, she has co-lead projects on geospatial predictive policing, police early warning system, child support parenting time, gang intervention, mortgage fraud and collective efficacy. Throughout her career at JSS, Dr. Solomon has worked in over 50 law enforcement agencies including Miami State Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles Police Department, San Francisco DA’s Office, Austin Police Department, Spartanburg Police Department, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Trinidad and Tobago.
Prior to JSS, Dr. Solomon was a Senior Policy Analyst at the COPS Office, serving as a point person for coordinating over 10,000 grants for small and rural agencies.
Ms. Solomon received her PhD. in governance from the University of Maastricht, Netherlands, a United Nations University through the UNU Merit Program (Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute).
Christine Connor, M.S.
Research Program Director
Ms. Christine Connor has worked with Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. since 2010 and currently serves as a Research Program Director. Throughout her career at JSS, Ms. Connor has helped to lead and manage projects on implementing body worn camera programs, geospatial predictive policing, gang intervention, mortgage fraud and collective efficacy. As part of these efforts, she provides training and technical assistance to law enforcement agencies through the use of data-driven approaches as well as advanced spatial analyses. In addition, Ms. Connor has extensive experience in grant management - including the development and submission of proposals, award administration, and closeout processes.
Ms. Connor received her master’s degree in Criminal Justice specializing in Public Administration from Florida International University. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish from Loyola University of Maryland.
Dr. Marc L. Swatt, Ph.D.
Project Director and Senior Research Statistician
Dr. Marc L. Swatt joined Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. (JSS) in 2012 and currently serves as a Senior Research Associate and Statistician. Dr. Swatt’s primary interests include criminological theory, quantitative analysis, and neighborhood crime prevention.
At JSS, Dr. Swatt has been involved with the preparation of proposals and research plans, collecting and analyzing data, and producing research reports and journal articles across a number of funded initiatives. These projects include research on collective efficacy, geospatial predictive models, crime prevention, police technology, police strategy, prosecutor innovation, emergency response, and other topics. Further, these projects include evaluation studies of a police early intervention system, a police body worn camera initiative, a hotspot and habitual offender crime prevention program, a Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC) and acoustic firearm detection system, a “pulling-levers” program, a Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) initiative, a court-based program for increasing parenting time for non-custodial parents, among others.
Dr. Swatt has extensive experience with a number of statistical methods and has published or written reports using a number of models, including generalized linear models, hierarchical linear models, structural equation models, item response theory models, time series analysis, data mining, survival analysis, missing data analysis, counterfactual models, and crime mapping and spatial analysis. Dr. Swatt has been involved with collecting, analyzing, geocoding, and mapping large databases, such as calls for service, police report data, and arrest data across multiple municipalities, including Los Angeles, Miami, Jacksonville, Omaha, Denver, San Francisco, and San Antonio.
Dr. Swatt earned a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2003. Prior to joining JSS, Dr. Swatt taught criminological theory, research methods, and statistics at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Northeastern University. He currently resides in Omaha with his wife René and their two children, Gabriel and Zachary.
Kyle Anderson, M.S.
Data Scientist I
Kyle Anderson is a Data Scientist I with Justice & Security Strategies Inc. During his tenure with JSS, Kyle has worked on research grants involving the Los Angeles Crime Gun Intelligence Center, evaluation of historical homicide data at the LAPD’s Homicide Library, evaluation of body-worn cameras and procedural justice, and LAPD’s transition to the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Kyle’s research interests include evidence-based policing, technology, and predictive analytics. Kyle holds a Master of Science degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from California State University, Long Beach.
Eliza Macuch, B.A.
Eliza Macuch is a Data Scientist for Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. (JSS). During her time with JSS, Eliza has worked on collective efficacy projects with the in Bedford VA Police
Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Jacksonville, and Michigan State
University. During her work with the Small, Rural, and Tribal Body Worn Camera grant, Eliza
cleaned, interpreted, and accurately analyzed data and information to identify relevant trends.
Eliza has worked with various analytical programs including MS Office, Tableau, ArcMap, Qualtrics, and Adobe programs. Eliza’s research interests include collective efficacy, predictive analytics and crime mapping. Eliza holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island.
Alyssa Blanco, M.S.
Alyssa Blanco is a Research Assistant at Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. (JSS). During her time with JSS, Alyssa has worked on grants involving the LAPD Homicide Library’s analysis of Murder Books and expanding body worn camera technology to law enforcement agencies in small, rural, and tribal areas. Her work on these projects have primarily consisted of data collection and background research.
Alyssa has worked with analytical programs, such as Microsoft Excel and SPSS. Alyssa’s research interests include policing and community-police relations. Alyssa is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the California State University of Long Beach and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a Certificate in Criminal Justice from Morgan State University.
Samantha Hock, M.A.
Samantha Hock is a graduate from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at St John’s University in Queens, NY. With a background in psychology and criminal justice, she currently works as a Research Associate for Justice & Security Strategies, Inc., a contractor for LAPD. Recent research she has worked on is body-worn camera implementation research, video analytic applications for law enforcement, and homicide clearance rates in Los Angeles County.
Sean Kato, B.S.
Sean Kato is a Research Associate with Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. Sean graduated from the University of Redlands with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. While working as a contractor for Justice & Security Strategies, Inc., Sean has worked on research grants related to the reduction of homicide clearance rates, the implementation of body-worn cameras, the National Prosecutors’ Consortium, and LAPD’s transition to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Sean intends to continue his education and research in data analytics.
Heleana Melendez, M.S.
Heleana Melendez is a Research Assistant with Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. While working as a contractor for Justice & Security Strategies, Inc., Heleana has worked on research grants related to homicide clearance rates and the National Prosecutors’ Consortium. Heleana is a graduate student at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice from California State University, Long Beach, with a background in psychology. Heleana’s research interests include cryptomarkets, crime analysis, and organized crime.
Jennifer Schmitz, M.S.
Jennifer Schmitz is a Research Associate for Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. (JSS). Throughout her time with JSS, Jennifer has worked on grants involving the implementation of body-worn cameras in small, rural, and tribal agencies and collective efficacy projects in Jacksonville, FL and Bedford, VA. Her work on both projects mainly involved data collection and background research.
Jennifer has worked with mapping software for several years including ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro, and ArcGIS Online. She also has experience working with SPSS and Excel for conducting data analysis. Jennifer’s research interests include the spatial characteristics of crimes, the journey to crime, and eyewitness testimony. Jennifer holds a Master of Science in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Psychology from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY.
Avery Agosto, B.A.
Avery Agosto is a Research Assistant for Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. (JSS). During her tenure with JSS, Avery has worked on grants involving the LAPD Homicide Library’s analysis of Murder Books and expanding body worn camera technology to law enforcement agencies in small, rural and tribal (SRT) areas. During her work with the LAPD Homicide Library, Avery has focused on analyzing and tagging Murder Books. The research Avery has completed will help determine predictors of homicide clearances and convictions and will assist in creating a new algorithm to assist investigations in the field.
Avery has worked extensively with Microsoft Excel and has experience in several coding languages including C++, MATLAB, Python, and R. Avery’s research interests include crime analysis, criminal profiling, and predictive analytics. Avery is currently a student at the University of California, Los Angeles pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science with a Specialization in Computing.
Ambar Herrera Alméstica
Ambar is a Research Assistant with Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. (JSS) Ambar graduated from Florida. International University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice. During their time at JSS, Ambar has worked on the Baltimore PD’s Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC) Program evaluation, The City of Jacksonville’s Community Based Crime Reduction (CBCR) Program, The City of Jacksonville’s Cure Violence Program, and worked a bit on the Small, Rural Tribal Body-Worn Camera grant. Ambar’s tasks include data analysis, cleaning, extracting and creating interactive visuals among other needs. Ambar has worked with analytical programs such as, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, Qualtrics, and Tableau; which they just became certified on. In addition, Ambar is currently learning the SQL coding language system. Ambar’s background in sales assists them with building comparative analysis and identifying trends within data. Outside of JSS, Ambar participated as a coxswain on Ithaca College Men’s Crew Team and won 3 rd place at the New York State Championship Regatta in 2016. Ambar’s research interests include criminal profiling, cybersecurity breaches, and organized crime.
Scott Lew, B.A.
Scott Lew is a Research Assistant for Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. (JSS). During his tenure with JSS, Scott has worked on grants involving the National Prosecutor’s Consortium, the LAPD Homicide Library’s analysis of Murder Books, assesment of the Denver Police Department’s Crime Gun Intelligence Center, and evaluation of the LAPD’s Body-Worn Cameras program. Scott’s research interests include criminal prosecution, policing, and wrongful convictions. Scott is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science and Economics with a Concentration in Policy Studies from Grinnell College, IA.