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Mon, Feb 22


SFJ Forum Series

Diversity in Law Enforcement

Part of the SFJ Forum series leading to the SFJ Symposium for Conscious Law Enforcement and Inclusive Practices.

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Diversity in Law Enforcement
Diversity in Law Enforcement

Time and Location

Feb 22, 2021, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EST

SFJ Forum Series

About the Event

RSVP and Join us for this Free Forum sponsored by Strategies for Justice

If this is your first event with SFJ, make sure to check your Junkbox for the confirmation and reminder email. 

The topic of today is Diversity in Law Enforcement

Each guest panelists are representative of a Law Enforcement organization that looks at providing equity within and outside of law enforcement.  Our panelist will be:

We will discuss what challenges are faced in the police force as a result of your race, gender, and/or sexual orientation? But most importantly, what needs to change in order for those challenges to be addressed. Each panelist will provide what their organization does to address the need for recruitment, retention, and promotion in law enforcement. 

Moderated by Iris Richardson, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Penn State University Police and Public Safety

Don't miss this free opportunity to engage and have an open dialogue. 


Kathy Caldwell a native Chicagoan and grew up in the Lakeview area and currently resides in Roscoe Village. She is a Chicago Police Officer and has been in her position for the past 26 years and finds working with the community a rewarding experience. Kathy is very active in the LGBTQ community and is the treasurer of the Lesbian and Gay Police Association – Gay Officer’s Action League (LGPA-GOAL). She participated as an umpire for the Gay Games VI in Sydney Australia and was responsible for security on behalf of LGPA-GOAL Chicago for the Gay Games VII, as well as having competed in softball. She also was on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Gay Games VII, in which she was a Liaison between the Chicago Police Department, the city, and the Gay Games. She helped coordinate the volunteer security that LGPA Goal Chicago provided for the Gay Games VII. She has attended every Gay Games since that time and has volunteered or participated.  She also is a member of the International Association Women’s Police in which she is the coordinator of Region 6, which pertains to correlating and disseminating information between six States Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio for this IAWP. She has attended several Police conferences for both organizations and has traveled to many different countries.

Kathy has played a variety of sports including volleyball, softball, bowling, ruby, and cycling. From these activities, Kathy was the sports coordinator for the Women Police Association, captain of the Women’s Police volleyball and softball teams, member of the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association, and of the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA).  Previously, Kathy held the position of President of the Women’s Sport Association Bowling League for seven years. Kathy and the President of LGPA-GOAL Jamie have also taken the lead in organizing a team LGPA-GOAL and members to ride in the AIDS ride for five consecutive years. Kathy and the LGPA-GOAL organization also held the 14th Annual Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Transgender Conference of International Criminal Justice Professionals in Chicago (2010) which was a great success and was voted the number one conference under this platform.

Academically, Kathy Caldwell received her A.S. with a background in Technical skills, B.A. in Liberal Arts with a minor in Sociology from Northeastern Illinois University, and has completed her M.B.A. in Education from DePaul University.

Sonia Quiñones has 27 years of experience in law enforcement and over 16 years of experience in executive leadership that includes selecting, mentoring, placing, and training future law enforcement executives for success.

Sonia Quiñones is the Chief of Police for the City of Hallandale Beach.  Her career with the agency began in 1993; she has held the positions of officer, sergeant, captain, and major.

Chief Quiñones’ professional background includes time as a DEA Task Force Agent, conducting wiretap investigations, money laundering and narcotics investigations, and undercover work. Her incident command experience spans from natural disasters to immigrant landings.  Her communications expertise includes hundreds of media interactions as her agency’s Public Information Officer (PIO).  She can advise on all stages of law enforcement operations, administration, training, accreditation, and grant management.   Chief Quiñones offers a 360° perspective of law enforcement agency management with expertise in investigative services, uniformed patrol, training, and administrative operations.

Chief Quiñones’ education and training include the prestigious Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy; a ten-week executive-level training offered to only 1% of law enforcement executives.  She is a graduate of the PERF Senior Management Institute for Police training, she has also graduated from the FDLE Senior Leadership and Executive Leadership Programs, the FBI/LEEDA Command Institute, and the FBI LEEDS training.  Chief Quiñones holds bachelor's and master’s degree in public administration from Barry University; a portion of her master thesis on “Health and Wellness in Law Enforcement” is published with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

Chief Quiñones remains professionally affiliated with the FBINAA, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA), the Broward County Chiefs of Police Association, the National Association of Women in Law Enforcement (NAWLEE), and the Police Unity Tour.

Chief Quiñones has been recognized as an inspiration to women by several South Florida organizations such as the South Florida Business Women’s Association, the Girls Scouts of South Florida, the American Society for Public Administrators, South Florida Chapter, and she is also the recipient of the NAWLEE/Motorola Woman Law Enforcement Executive of the Year award. Chief Quiñones shares her inspiration and knowledge to ensure future generations are inspired to lead.

Lynda R. Williams is currently the Professor of the Practice at Middle Tennessee State University in the Department of Criminal Justice Administration; with this appointment in 2017, she became the first individual bestowed this title in recognition of the breadth and depth of her knowledge and expertise in the field of criminal justice and executive security.

In her role within the Department of Criminal Justice Administration, Ms. Williams’ curriculum subject matter includes foreign/domestic terrorism studies, criminal justice processes, community, and public service engagement, and executive law enforcement leadership speaker symposiums.

Prior to joining the faculty of Middle Tennessee State University, Ms. Williams led an accomplished career as a veteran of the United States Secret Service, from 1988 until she retired, as the Deputy Assistant Director in 2017.

As President of NOBLE, Ms. Williams is focused on achieving the organization’s goals through a three-pillar platform on police reform, gun violence, and voter engagement.

Iris Richardson was born and raised in Philadelphia. She earned a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology at Penn State Berks and a master’s degree in counseling in higher education/student affairs from West Chester University. Richardson has worked at Penn State for the past 9 ½ years working in various positions in Residence Life/Student Affairs. In March, Richardson accepted a new position as Penn State University Police and Public Safety’s first director of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In this newly added position, Richardson will be committed to developing overall diversity, equity, and inclusion programming for UPPS while also serving the Penn State community, she will serve the department’s employees and Penn State community at 22 campuses.

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