Communication, Collaboration and Credibility


June 1, 2014

WIFLE 15th Annual Leadership Training

     WIFLE is pleased to sponsor its 15th Annual Leadership Training at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC, August 25-27, 2014. Register before July 1, 2014, and receive discounted rates. If your agency registers six or more individuals at one time, even further discounts apply. Register today! For further details on the training agenda, awards luncheon, and career day, as well as registration information, see

     While you are visiting the WIFLE website for conference information, don’t forget to sign up for the Julie Y Cross Memorial Golf Tournament® to benefit the WIFLE Scholarship Fund. This year’s Golf Tournament will take place Monday, August 25, 2014, on the new South Golf Course at Andrews Air Force Base. See the flyer for further information and visit the website for additional details.


2014 WIFLE Awards Winners and Scholarship Awardees

     WIFLE is pleased to announce its 2014 awards winners and the recipients of this year’s WIFLE scholarships. The link at the end of this article contains the complete list of the Julie Y Cross and other WIFLE award winners, as well as the scholarship awardees.

     As you know, each year WIFLE awards scholarships to young women working to achieve their dreams of a career in the criminal justice field. All of you have supported this newest generation through your memberships, attending our Leadership Training, and participating in our raffles, silent auctions, golf tournament, and fundraisers. Notifying these young women that they will receive the scholarship is once of the best experiences of the year for me. To help you get to know this year’s scholarship recipients better, I thought I would share a little about each of them.

     Zorie Gomez has worked with at risk youth working to combat gangs, truancy, and teen pregnancy as well as the community in general developing neighborhood watch programs. She is also an intern at the City of Sunny Vail Public Safety Police Department working on the neighborhood watch program and crime prevention.

     Rowan Cornwell, a Northeastern University student, is performing her co-op with the Drug Enforcement Administration where she was tasked with an extensive project to 30 review applications for medical marijuana dispensary applications, some up to 200 pages long. She created summary documents condensing the applications into a format to assist the investigative staff to evaluate each location.

     Erin Norwood, a member of the Organization of Black Students at the University of Chicago, assisted in establishing a volunteer mentoring program at Chicago’s Southside Paul Robeson High School known for its history of violence and gang activity. She served as an informal teaching assistant providing one-on-one help for students struggling to understand the material.

     Mackenzie Boehler volunteered to work for the Detroit Fellows Tutoring Project working with second grade students severely behind in their reading level. Many of her students were so far behind that they struggled with beginning words such as “sat,” “am,” and “ham.” By the end of the semester, her students had greatly improved their reading skills helping them to establish a path to a better future.

     Stacy Lee West had achieved her dream job of becoming a police officer, when she responded to a domestic disturbance. As she approached the door, an individual fired 20 rounds through the door from an SKS assault rifle, striking Officer West three times. She was able to drag herself out of the line of fire and guide responding officers to the suspect’s location. To date, she has had seven surgeries but was left with permanent nerve damage in her hand and damage to her pelvis. These lasting injuries required Stacy to leave her chosen profession at the age of 28. She now attends Polk State College working on a bachelor’s degree so that she can begin a new career in public safety.

     Lena Illig volunteers with the Anchorage Police Department Search and Rescue Team searching for runaways, lost and missing persons; and performing evidence searches and assistance with the occasional suicide. She has also worked as an underage buyer for the Alcohol Control Board, as well as serving on the rape crisis hotline working with domestic violence and sexual assault victims.

     Sarah Nicole Overstreet was selected as the WIFLE Members Only Scholarship Recipient. Her goal is to one day become a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation or Drug Enforcement Administration. She volunteers for Dare to Care, which provide food to families in need, and serves holiday dinners for the needy at her church.

View the Complete List of WIFLE 2014 Award and Scholarship Winners


Cathy Sanz

    Message from the Executive Director

     One of the great things about being the Executive Director is that I am invited to a lot of different lectures and meetings. It is also one of the crazy things about this job. Sometimes I leave an event and think I immediately have to tell people what I learned! Then I take breath, and try to collect these learned pieces of information and link them together before I put the news out. Here are some thoughts I collected about women and retirement.

     Recently, I read an interesting statistic on women and retirement. It claimed that 80% of men die married and 80% of women die single. This information, along with all the other information I am exposed too, really made me stop and think about our futures. If the law of averages says most of us married women will become widows sometime in the future, the question is: will I have enough in savings to get me to the end? For me, I think the answer is yes. You see, I am fortunate to fall under the old Civil Service retirement system which will provide me enough to live on even if I become single. However, I wonder if those under the FERS system can say they will be so lucky.

     The FERS retirement system has three legs: a pension, a TSP account, and social security; resulting in a retirement that should approximate the old system. The FERS system requires that participants really work on their TSP accounts. You have to save, and you have to be a bit on the aggressive side in your selections to build income. However, in a recent conference call I participated in with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), OPM told us that, generally, women and people of color are not putting enough away in their TSP accounts, and when they do, they are not aggressive enough in their investment planning. So here are a couple of questions for you to ponder. If you had to contribute 5.5% of your pay, to your FERS pension would you be able to do it, or would you need to reduce your TSP contribution to do so? If your spouse is also a federal employee and he/she was to die, could you live on survivor benefits and the reminder of your spouse’s TSP account? If the answer is yes, that is Fantastic! If the answer is no, or I do not know, then there is work to be done.     


Greetings from the Women of ASIS International

By Lisa Dolan, CPP, Chair of Women in Security

Women in Security (WIS) is an active, high visibility working group of ASIS International, the preeminent organization of security professionals with more than 38,000 members worldwide.  Within ASIS International, WIS advocates for the advancement of women in the security industry, including participation and leadership of women within the organization.

As Chair of WIS, I am amazed at the extent of our shared common interests: Just as WIFLE promotes and supports women in the federal law enforcement arena, WIS aims to advance women in the security industry. 

How does WIS support, inspire, and promote women in security?   We accomplish our mission by providing outstanding networking opportunities, including monthly forums where industry leaders share their insight into timely security related topics.  In addition, we offer specialty programming designed to address issues relevant to our members, including leadership, career development, and work/life balance.

WIS also encourages women to seek professional recognition by taking full advantage of ASIS International’s three board certification programs, including the CPP (Certified Protection Professional), PCI (Professional Certified Investigator), and PSP (Physical Security Professional).  Not only are these certifications highly regarded in the security industry, they provide immediate validation of one’s experience and breadth of knowledge.  

Becoming board certified can be particularly valuable for law enforcement personnel who are considering a transition into the competitive private sector.  As stated by ASIS President Richard E. Widup, Jr., CPP, who has 27 years of law enforcement experience, “For government, military, and law enforcement professionals, ASIS certification provides a way to build on previous security experience, develop a proactive orientation, build a professional network, and when the time comes, to successfully transition to a second career.” 

On behalf of WIS, I would like to extend an invitation to the members of WIFLE to learn more about WIS by visiting, where you can read our newsletters, and by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter.  To learn how you can become board certified as a CPP, PCI, or PSP, visit

WIS looks forward to strengthening our alliance with WIFLE as both organizations continue to support women in our respective industries.


Ellen Pierson
Past WIFLE Award Recipient Ellen Pierson Continues to Ride to Honor Fallen Law Enforcement Officers

     “Deputy Shane Robbins, Polk County Sheriff¹s Office, Lakeland, FL,” read the inscription on Ellen Pierson’s bracelet, in honor of the 15-year law enforcement veteran who was killed in a single-vehicle crash April 26, 2013. Pierson, ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent, rode her bicycle 1,000 miles down the East coast to bring that bracelet to Washington, D.C., for National Police Week 2014.

     Each year, Pierson and approximately 600 riders from the Law Enforcement United (LEU) organization etch the name of a fallen officer on their bracelets, then trek long distances to join the week’s festivities around the Nation’s capital in honor of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

     “The bracelet is presented to the family at the end of the ride,” Pierson said. “It’s a small gesture, but it lets the family know we will never forget their loved one’s sacrifice.”

     Riders from LEU participated in memorial rides starting at three different locations along the East Coast this year in honor of National Police Week, culminating in a ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Names of the other fallen officers honored by LEU riders include federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including some from Department of Homeland Security components.

     “I do this for the survivors of the officers who have fallen,” said Scott Kirby, unit chief for Deployment and Transformation under ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Law Enforcement Systems and Analysis Division. “It’s really all about the support for the families.”  Kirby participated in the ride for the first time this year, trekking 250 miles with approximately 300 fellow LEU riders from Chesapeake, Virginia, to the Lincoln Memorial. He biked alongside several survivors and called their stories heartbreaking and motivational.

     “I love doing this ride, and I love that we’re able to honor our fallen officers by participating in this event,” added Pierson, who trekked an average of 100 miles a day from Boston, MA to Reading, PA. She also rode the Ohio and Chesapeake Canal trail from Cumberland, MD, into D.C. with a separate group in honor of fallen canine police officers for the first time. “I’ve always loved cycling, and I feel it’s important to pay back to others who’ve lost a loved one in the line of duty,” Pierson said. “We can never replace them, but we need to let people know that we will never forget their sacrifice.”


Excelsior College, a WIFLE Partner

By Gretchen Fleming, JD, MS
         Program Director, MSCJ

     As I read a recent newspaper article that's headline read "Women now in 2 of 3 Gurnee [IL] police leadership posts," I was struck in by the fact that this was headline news.  At the same time, I felt joy and pride for these women who have worked so hard to be respected by their peers and superiors to be recognized and promoted.  

     There are many fields in which woman are strong contributing members but are not viewed as an equal to their male counterpart, law enforcement being among them.  It is astounding to me that there are still police departments who make a practice, if not policy, of not hiring woman as full-time police officers.  It does not seem to matter that woman are more qualified, both in terms of written tests scores and physical ability, than their male competitors.  There is still a mentality in the field that woman are not strong enough, physically or emotionally, to handle the job.  It is refreshing to see that the Gurnee department has seen fit to create a culture of equality and hiring and promoting the best person for the position.

     The U.S. Department of Justice Statistics show women account for roughly 13 percent of sworn police officers.  It is encouraging to see the numbers increasing, even if the rate is slow.  Woman have a long way to go before they reach equality in a number of fields, criminal justice and law enforcement are among the chief offenders.  It is worth mentioning that the officer recently promoted in Gurnee had been an officer with the department since 1992 and holds a Masters Degree in Psychology.  Is the advanced degree what helped set her apart from her peers and set her up for the promotion?  Do women in law enforcement need that edge in order to be a competitor, or does everyone?

     A final thought, as mentioned in the article, women see things differently than men and bring a different perspective to the table.  It would be a mistake in the pursuit of being treated equally to alter our thinking to said equality and compromise what makes women special.  Woman have a unique way of looking at people and situations and, in many cases, that point of view can lead to a faster, less aggressive resolution to a problem.  I would encourage all women in law enforcement to set their sights high and work toward advancement as capable, competent women, not as women simply trying to fit into a man's world.  Excelsior College, WIFLE educational partner, can help.  For further information, please visit the special WIFLE page or our site at


Caregiving Presents Workplace Challenges for Women:
Enrollment in the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) May Help

     In today’s world, many women find themselves facing the consequences of an aging population and for good reason. The profile of the average U.S. caregiver will be familiar to many: a 49-year-old woman who works outside the home and spends nearly 20 hours per week providing unpaid care to her mother for nearly five years.1
Given these competing responsibilities, it’s no wonder caregivers are absent from work more often than their non-caregiving counterparts, missing between eight and 12 work days per year.2 As caregiving duties intensify (as dementia worsens, for example), even more time at work may be lost. Nearly 70% of those who provide 21 or more hours per week of hands-on care report having to make accommodations in their work schedules, such as arriving late or leaving early and cutting back on hours, as well as changing jobs or leaving the workforce entirely.1

     In addition, the obligations faced by working caregivers can take their toll in other ways. Caregivers in every age group score themselves lower in emotional and physical health than their non-caregiving colleagues, and the deficits are especially pronounced for working caregivers under the age of 44.3 Their reported anxiety, depression, and injuries result in an inability to concentrate and greater conflict with supervisors. In short, caregiving can affect the bottom line. The associated decrease in productivity among full-time workers is estimated to cost the U.S. economy $33.6 billion dollars, with a cost per full-time employed caregiver of $2,110.1                 


Judge Diane Humetewa

Diane Humetewa, First Native American Woman Federal Court Judge

In May, the United States Senate confirmed the appointment of Diane Humetewa, the first Native American woman federal judge in U.S. history and only the third Native American to ever hold such a position.  Judge Humetewa, a Hopi, is formerly a U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, and has also been a prosecutor and judge for the Hopi tribe.  She will serve on the federal court bench in Arizona.

Judge Humetewa was the WIFLE Keynote Speaker at its 2009 Annual Leadership Training, and, recipient of the 2009 WIFLE President’s Award.


Read Article, Indian Country  |  USA Today


Peter Jeffrey

The Joke’s on You – Applicant!

By Peter J. Jeffrey, Esq., Member
The Jeffrey Law Group, PLLC, The Federal Employee’s Law Firm ®

As American public opinion shifts dramatically toward support for the legalization of marijuana, the Federal government remains constant in its view that marijuana use is grounds to find an applicant unsuitable for Federal employment.  See for example 5 CFR §731.202 (b)(6).  This change in public opinion is best reflected in Colorado and Washington, which have passed referendums legalizing marijuana for recreational use.   (See  Marijuana is still a Schedule (Sch.) 1 controlled substance subject to federal criminal prosecution.   Because the use of marijuana is still considered a federal crime, using marijuana – even if you are a citizen of or visiting Colorado or Washington – is still a suitability concern, as well as a security concern.  In fact, the Department of Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) has previously denied security clearance applicants’ access to classified information, where applicants have admitted to using medically prescribed marijuana in California, a state where medical marijuana has been legalized.  See ISCR Case No. 10-08217 (Oct. 24, 2011); ISCR Case No. 08-08257 (Sept. 10, 2009).  

The growing cultural (and legal) acceptance or recreational marijuana use is now having an adverse affect on the Federal government’s ability to recruit “suitable” applicants for employment.  As the FBI Director James Comey recently admitted in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the Bureau is “grappling with the question right now” of how to amend the agency’s marijuana policies, which excludes from consideration anyone who has smoked marijuana in the previous three years.  While speaking to the White Collar Crime Institute, Director Comey told delegates: “I have to hire a great workforce to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview.” And when asked by a conference attendee about a friend who had shied away from applying to the Bureau because of the policy, Director Comey advised that  “He should go ahead and apply,” despite the marijuana use. (See  However, when confronted about his comments at a Senate Judiciary Committee, Director Comey said he was only "trying to be both serious and funny" and the FBI will continue to rule out candidates who have smoked marijuana in the last three years.  (See 

So the joke’s on you applicant.  If you want a career in Federal law enforcement, just pass on the grass.

The information contained in this article is of a general nature and is subject to change; it is not meant to serve as legal advice in any particular situation. For specific legal advice, the authors recommend you consult a licensed attorney who is knowledgeable about the area of law in question.


June Werdlow Rogers

Ban the Other B Word?

By June Werdlow Rogers, PhD
Retired DEA Special Agent in Charge

     “You say I’m a B#!ch like it’s a bad thing” adorns popular bumper stickers and t-shirts marketed to women.  Purchasers of such memorabilia display this form of name-calling like a badge of honor.  Although flaunting such a bold phrase may make a woman seem self-assured, insecurities may actually be present.  In fact it’s to be expected being called such a disrespectful term would result in questioning one’s leadership - and new research suggests that such introspection arising from leadership intimidation starts early.

     When I heard about a national campaign to empower girls to be leaders I was immediately intrigued.  Owing to the recognition that a girl’s confidence can be deflated if called “bossy,” advocates are calling for the word to be banned.[1]  If only it were that simple.

     I do believe that a society should attempt improvements.  However, the winds of change blow slow; and making progress does not happen overnight.  For example, not only do civil rights groups encourage banning the N word, but in 2007 the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held a funeral for the word hoping that the symbolic burial would cause people to stop using the racial slur that represents hate.[2] 

     Yet not only is the N word still alive, but the negative underlying attitudes have lingered around too.  Consider the case of Robert Copeland, the Wolfeboro New Hampshire Police Chief, who recently resigned under pressure after publically referring to President Barak Obama by the racial epithet.[3]  So some seven years after the burial of the N word, a law enforcement official unapologetically uses the term publically to refer to the President.  Similarly, we can expect that if the B words were really banned, it would not eliminate the underlying attitudes some hold and more importantly would not address encouraging the many traits required in a good leader.

     The Girl Scouts have featured evidence that shows “a third of the girls who do not want to be leaders say it’s because they fear being called bossy or being disliked by their peers.”[4]  Supposedly girls perceived as bossy are disliked and thus don’t have friends.  I get that not calling younger -aged females bossy is designed to improve self-image through socialization (external); but we cannot ignore internal reactions especially for those reaching the women-in-law-enforcement age category.

     Ultimately it still rests with an individual to navigate insults rolled in a “B” word, and to accept the fact that not everyone will like you.  If you are working in a law enforcement position, recognize that you are a leader regardless of whether you are on a management track.  So I suggest that the next time you are called b#!ch or bossy, consider that those words speak more to the person saying them than to the confident leader you strive to be.

     I encourage you to discover more by taking advantage of what WIFLE’s annual leadership training has to offer, held this year in Washington, DC August 25 to 27.  To learn more, please go to  It is not too late to register and, remember, it is not just for women!

[1] “Empowering Girls to Lead by Banning the Word Bossy,”, March 10, 2014, http://abcnews/. Accessed 5/22/14.

[2] “NAACP to hold funeral for ‘N’ word,”, April 30, 2007, http://usatoday/. Accessed 5/24/14.

[3] “Police commissioner in New Hampshire resigns after using racial slur against Obama,” The Washington, May 19, 2014, Accessed 5/24/14.

[4] “National campaign underway to ban “bossy,”, March 11, 2014,  Accessed May 22, 2014.


Saundra K. Harman

10 Ways to Protect Your Personal Information and Your Money

Saundra K. Harman, President Harman and Associates

The news often includes reports about thieves gaining access to sensitive personal information that can be used to commit fraud or steal money, sometimes involving major security breaches at large companies such as retailers.  “These reports may cause some consumers to be skeptical about engaging in even the simplest financial transactions, but that is unrealistic for most people, especially in today’s online and electronic world,” said Michael Benardo, Chief of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC’s) Cyber Fraud and Financial Crimes Section.  “That’s why it’s important to be vigilant about protecting your finances by taking some reasonable precautions.”

While federal laws and industry practices generally limit losses for unauthorized transactions involving bank accounts, debit cards and credit cards, it pays to be proactive.  Here are 10 things you can do to help protect yourself.

1. Know that offers that seem “too good to be true” are probably a fraud.  Crooks often pose as businesses promising or guaranteeing high interest rates, high-paying jobs or other “opportunities,” such as a big prize or lottery winnings for which you must pay taxes or other charges up-front.  Be especially careful if someone pressures you to make a quick decision or if you are asked to send money or provide bank account information before receiving anything.

2. Guard against scams involving fraudulent checks and requests to wire money or send a prepaid card.  A stranger or unfamiliar company might send you a check for more than you are due for an online sale and ask you to deposit the check and wire back the difference.  Or you might be asked to send a prepaid card to the crook.  “If you send a wire transfer or a prepaid card, the money is immediately removed from your account, but the check you deposited may not have cleared.  If that check is counterfeit, your financial institution would likely hold you responsible for the losses,” said Benardo.

“Also,” he added, “if you are selling something online, be wary of a request by a ‘buyer’ to wire you the money because that may be a ruse to get your bank account information.”

3. Be suspicious about unsolicited e-mails or text messages asking you to click on a link or open an attachment.  Crooks are known to distribute and install malicious software (“malware”) that can capture passwords and PIN numbers.  This information could be used to gain access to your online banking sites.

4. Don’t give out personal information to anyone unless you initiate the contact and know the other party is reputable.  “Crooks pretending to be from legitimate companies or government agencies often contact people asking them to ‘confirm’ or ‘update’ confidential information,” explained Kathryn Weatherby, a fraud examination specialist for the FDIC.  “But your bank, credit card issuer and government agencies would never contact you asking for personal details such as bank account information, credit and debit card numbers, Social Security numbers and passwords.  Presume that any such request by phone, text message, fax, e-mail or letter is fraudulent.”

5. Carefully choose user IDs and passwords for your computers, mobile devices, and online accounts.  For unlocking devices and logging into Web sites and apps, create “strong” IDs and passwords with combinations of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols that are hard to guess, and then change them regularly.

6. Be careful when using social networking sites.  Scammers use social networking sites to gather details about individuals, such as their place or date of birth, a pet’s name, their mother’s maiden name, and other information that can help them figure out passwords — or how to reset them.  Even small tidbits of information can help them steal your identify, such as by answering security questions that control access to accounts.  “Don’t share your ‘page’ or access to your information with anyone you don’t know and trust,” said Benardo.  “Criminals may pretend to be your ‘friend’ to convince you to send money or divulge personal information.”

Fraudsters also have become sophisticated at creating fake social networking sites for financial institutions and other businesses.  For tips on avoiding fraud at social media sites, visit the Internet Crime Complaint Center at

7. Regularly review your transaction history.  Look at your bank statements, credit card bills or other transaction histories – preferably as soon as they arrive – and make sure you had authorized all of the transactions.  Immediately report to your financial institution any suspicious activity, such as an unfamiliar charge.  “Many financial services providers allow you to conveniently check your transaction history on their Web site or through an app or a mobile device,” noted Weatherby.

8. Periodically review your credit reports to make sure someone hasn’t obtained a credit card or a loan in your name.  Ask for a free copy from each of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies (also known as credit bureaus) because their reports may differ, but spread out the requests during the year.  For more information and to order a report, go to or call toll-free 1-877-322-8228.

If you find an unfamiliar account on your report, call the fraud department at the credit reporting agency that produced it.  If the account turns out to be fraudulent, ask for a fraud alert to be placed in your file at all three of the major credit bureaus.  The alert tells lenders and other users of credit reports that you have been a victim of fraud and to verify any new accounts or changes to accounts in your name.

9. Protect your personal financial documents.  Keep bank and credit card statements, tax returns and blank checks in a secure place.  And, shred any sensitive documents instead of throwing them in the trash because thieves look through trash to find this information to commit identity theft or other crimes.

10. Guard your incoming and outgoing mail.  From time to time, your mailbox may contain credit card or bank statements, documents showing confidential information, or checks you are sending.  For incoming mail, try to use a locked mailbox or a mailbox in a secure location.  Put outgoing mail, especially if it contains a check or personal information, in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox or take it to the post office.


View Flyer Here


In This Issue

WIFLE 2014 Leadership Training




WIFLE 2014 Golf Tournament


2014 WIFLE Awards & Scholarship Recipients


Message from the WIFLE Executive Director


Women in Security/ASIS


Annual Ride for the Fallen


Excelsior College, WIFLE Partner


Federal Long Term Care Program, WIFLE Partner


Judge Diane Humetewa, the first Native American woman federal judge in U.S. history


Peter Jeffrey, WIFLE Partner, The Joke's On You Applicant


June Werdlow Rogers, WIFLE Contributor, Ban the Other "B" Word


Saundra K. Harman, WIFLE Partner, Protect Your Money


Marist College, WIFLE Partner































































































































































To discuss an article for publication, contact one of the Editors: Dorene Erhard or Betsy Casey.

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