Featured Instructors

– DAY 1 –
Cynthia M. Otto
DVM, PhD Biosketch 

Dr. Otto is a tenured associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. As a board certified specialist in Veterinary Emergency Medicine she served as an attending clinician in the Penn Vet Emergency Service between 1991 and 2014. During that time she had a special interest in sepsis, trauma and disaster medicine. As a result of her deployment with PA-TF1 (a Federal Urban Search and Rescue Team) to hurricane Floyd and 9/11, she initiated an AKC-CHF funded longitudinal study of search dogs that worked at 9/11 and was inspired to create to the Penn Vet Working Dog Center (www.PennVetWDC.org).  Her experience with these amazing canine athletes motivated her to become a board certified specialist in Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (DACVMR-canine) and a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist. She currently serves as the executive director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center where she oversees the fitness and medical care of the detection dogs in the program and provides rehabilitation and conditioning for police and other working dogs.  She has published over 60 peer reviewed articles, numerous book chapters and is an internationally recognized speaker in both emergency medicine and working dog medicine. She was named Pennsylvania’s 2002 “Veterinarian of the Year” and received an Alumni Recognition Award in 2006 and the OSU Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2008 from the Ohio State University and a top 20 finalist in AVMF’s America’s Favorite Veterinarian.

– DAY 2 –

Sean Riley

Sean Riley is the Founder and President of Safe Call Now, a confidential, comprehensive, 24-hour crisis referral service for public safety employees, all emergency services personnel and their family members nationwide. Safe Call Now was started in 2009 after legislation was passed guaranteeing confidentiality nationwide for all who call the Safe Call Now crisis line that is staffed by current and former first responders.

Sean played baseball for San Diego State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration. He started his law enforcement career as a San Diego County Deputy Sheriff in 1987 and later relocated to Washington State in 1990. Sean spent over 16 years with the Kirkland Police Department. His many accomplishments include being a member of the International Homicide Investigator’s Association, Homicide and Sexual Assault Detective, Interview and Interrogation Specialist, D.A.R.E. Officer, Gang Officer and Certified Training Officer. Riley is also credited with solving one of the first ever elder abuse homicide cases in the nation.

Sean’s prominent career in law enforcement ended in 2005 when he could no longer hide his “secret” behind the badge. Sean threw away his almost 20-year stellar police career due to alcohol and drug addiction and was headed towards suicide to become just another unknown statistic. In addition to attending college for substance abuse counseling, Sean worked as a supervisor at a local treatment center where he witnessed many public safety  employees coming in and out of treatment. Riley decided to do something about it. From his own experience, he knew that first responders wanted to come forward to help, but due to the stigma attached, they would not. Admitting to a substance abuse or mental health problem is perceived as a sign of weakness and could result in the termination from a noble career. By creating a safe and confidential place to reach out for help, first responders are now coming forward in droves from around the nation to  better their lives, better their families and better their careers.

Recognized as a dynamic national keynote speaker, Sean travels throughout the country to share his inspirational story. Coupled with cutting edge, interactive training, Riley hits those once thought of as “taboo” or “controversial” topics head-on.


– DAY 3 –
Lieutenant Devin A. Chase

Devin served as a police officer in the Los Angeles area of Southern California from 1982 until he retired in December of 2014 as a lieutenant.  During his career he worked a variety of assignments; specializing in patrol, field training and narcotics. 

Devin has ten years of experience working as a detective, detective sergeant and commander in the Vice & Narcotics Division and he spent over 18 years working patrol as an officer, field training officer, sergeant and area commander.  Devin has been recognized as an expert in both state and federal courts in a number of areas related to drugs, drug influence and drug distribution.

Since 1991 Devin has been developing and teaching a wide variety of narcotic related topics ranging from influence to cartel operations and many drug specific topics.  Devin has trained and consulted extensively throughout the United States on various narcotics related topics for Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, including the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.  Additionally he has taught law enforcement officers in a number of other countries including Mexico and Colombia.  Devin is a staff instructor for the California Narcotic Officers Association. 

In 2005 Devin was awarded the Narcotics’ Officer of the Year for both Los Angeles County and for the State of California.


– DAY 4 –

SAS Robert Pennal

SAS Pennal started his 30 year law enforcement career employed as a Deputy Sheriff with the Merced County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) and an Officer with the California Highway Patrol (CHP).  He then worked for the for the Office of the Attorney General, California Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (CA DOJ/BNE),

During his 24 years with BNE, his last 22 years were assigned to clandestine laboratory investigations.  SAS Pennal retired as the Task Force Commander (TFC) of the Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), Fresno Methamphetamine Task Force (FMTF).  SAS Pennal has been involved in the investigation of over 700 laboratories.  The majority involved   the large scale manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine by Mexican National Drug Trafficking Organization (MNDTO).  SAS Pennal is a recognized international expert in the manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine and evolving drug trends. 

SAS Pennal is a three time CNOA Region 7  “Narcotic Officer of the Year” and on December 12, 2002, SAS Pennal was awarded the national “Outstanding Task Force Commander of the year” by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Office of the President.  In May of 2009, SAS Pennal was awarded the national “Domestic Impact” award at the National Methamphetamine and Pharmaceutical Initiative National Strategy Conference. 

SAS Pennal was hired by the Western States Information Network (WSIN) as a Law Enforcement Coordinator for Region 3.   SAS Pennal continues to respond to crime scenes and attends intelligence meeting regarding both narcotic and current crime trends.  SAS Pennal currently lectures at conferences throughout the United States and internationally. He was was also a speaker at the 2008 Global Methamphetamine Conference, Prague, Czech Republic and lectures at the California Narcotics Canine Association conference.