SRLEEA BOARD of GOVERNORS LEADERSHIP

Board of Governors, Chair
Chief Jacob Molitor
Meskwaki Nation Police Department, IA.

Chief Jacob Molitor joined the Meskwaki Nation Police Department (MNPD) of Tama, Iowa in 2012 and was promoted to Chief of Police in May 2019. He is proud to be the only Chief of Police in the department’s history who started as a patrol officer and was promoted from within. Chief Molitor followed in his uncle’s footsteps by entering into the public safety profession. His uncle James “Jim” Chan served a combined 34 dedicated years in three different agencies: the Pope County Sheriff’s Office (MN), Minnesota State Patrol, and the Glenwood Police Department (MN).

Chief Molitor obtained his Associate in Applied Science Degree in Law Enforcement from Alexandria Technical & Community College in Minnesota and his Bachelor of Science Degree in Law Enforcement from Minnesota State University, Mankato. While employed with the Meskwaki Nation Police Department, he graduated with his Master of Science Degree in Public Safety Executive Leadership from Saint Cloud State University, located in his hometown in Minnesota.

Upon his promotion to Chief of Police, his top priorities were to implement department cultural trainings; provide bi-annual education on the “use of force” to council members and others within tribal operations; improve partnerships with surrounding agencies; and increase communication, transparency, and accountability for the public. The department collects numerous statistics to best allocate resources; monitor employee performance and expectations; and measure outcomes as a method to increase public trust and confidence. 

In February 2020, Chief Molitor’s team became the first known police department to collect de-escalation statistics. The agency collects those statistics using their own defined metrics. Their process of documenting and recognizing de-escalated situations assists with community support, officer safety alerts, and the praise of officers. The department maintains trust with the community by going the extra mile to do the little things such as vehicle unlocks, jump-starts, and checking in on the elderly. His team provides these services in accordance with their community policing and problem solving approach.

Chief Molitor has been consistently supported by the Meskwaki Nation and has been able to advance his leadership skills through training and experience. He has attended leadership training such as International Association of Chiefs of Police conferences, the United States Indian Police Academy Chief of Police Command School through the Bureau of Indian Affairs-Office of Justice Services, FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development training, and the Department of Homeland Security Leadership Academy. Additionally, Chief Molitor is a member of the Iowa Police Chiefs Association and the Iowa Juvenile Justice Advisory Council. 

Chief Molitor’s agency prides itself on being innovative, respectful, supportive, and well trained. If he had to choose, the most important training sought by Chief Molitor would be interviewing, de-escalation, crisis intervention, and leadership related training because they revolve around effective communication. He believes that our most important assets are our people and that we need to invest in their futures. 

Highlighting positive community interactions and building the reputation of his agency are very important to Chief Molitor. In 2020, he implemented an “officer of the year” award program to reward officers and increase productivity. Chief Molitor regularly seeks and applies for grant opportunities to improve operations and service to the community. He introduced brand identity to the police department through a grant purchase of a large outdoor-lighted sign and electronic message board located by the road outside the department. 

Chief Molitor understands the importance for agencies around the country to reflect the demographic of the communities that they serve. To reach this goal, he believes that we must maintain our hiring standards, but appeal to the youth and concentrate on our efforts in schools. He feels that it must be a priority to devote time to youth by attending formal programs, lunch, recess, and beyond. These efforts will inspire the next generation of public safety professionals.

“It is a privilege to serve the proud Meskwaki Nation as their Chief of Police,” stated Chief Molitor. “It is an honor to serve as the Chairman of the Small & Rural Law Enforcement Executive’s Association. My entire team and supporters deserve credit for this incredible accomplishment. I am proud to represent this noble profession and am eager to seek opportunities to learn and develop.”

Board of Governors, Vice-Chair,
Honorable Sheriff Vanessa Crawford
Office of the Sheriff, City of Petersburg, VA.

On December 15, 2005, The Honorable Vanessa Reese Crawford was sworn in as the first female Sheriff for the City of Petersburg. Sheriff Crawford was born and raised in the city of Petersburg. She was re-elected on November 3, 2009, and started her 2nd term as Sheriff, January 1, 2010. She ran unopposed for the office of Sheriff in 2013 and began her 3rd term in January 2014. On January 1, 2018, Sheriff Crawford began her 4th term as Sheriff in the city of Petersburg.

She was the First Female to run an all-male facility in the Virginia Department of Corrections, Retired with over 28 years of service.

From 2014 until 2017, Sheriff Crawford was the only African American Female Sheriff in the United States and the only Sheriff in the Commonwealth of Virginia to attain the certification by the Department of Justice as a PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) Auditor

Sheriff Crawford was elected as President of the Virginia Correctional Association from 2016-2018 and unanimously elected by all Sheriffs in Virginia as President of the Virginia Sheriff’s Association from 2017-2018. She is the past President of the Virginia Sheriff’s Institute.

Sheriff Crawford is married to Leon, a retired military officer and they have 5 children, Latricia, Roderick, Cornell, II, Leon, and Courtney and 14 Grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. Her mother is retired educator Esther T. Reese (deceased in 2000).

Sheriff Crawford has been active and recognized in her community and throughout the state of Virginia:

  • Named “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” by YOVASO (Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety) 2013
  • Selected as Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen Law Firm Hometown Hero
  • Elected to serve on the Board of Feed More, Richmond, Va. 2013-2018
  • Received Medal of Merit for the National Sheriff’s Association “Sheriff of the Year” Award-2014, 2015, 2017
  • Appointed by the Governor of Virginia, The Honorable Terry McAuliffe, to serve on the Criminal Justice Services Board July 2014; Reappointed in July 2017
  • Selected for the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Virginia Correctional Association-201
  • Honored in the General Assembly-House of Delegates in 2018 with Joint resolution, HJ 274, in her honor and for her service.
  • Trustee at Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Petersburg, Va.
  • Liaison for Security Ministry at Good Shepherd Baptist Church, Petersburg, Va.
  • President of the Petersburg High School Boosters Club
  • Past President of the Petersburg Kiwanis Luncheon Club
  • Formerly a Member and Vice-Chair of the Petersburg School Board-2001-2005 (Resigned because elected Sheriff in 2005)
  • Vice-Chair of the Petersburg Task Force on Domestic Violence- 2017-present
  • Served 4 terms as President of the Petersburg-Dinwiddie Crime Solvers Board
  • Recognized by Petersburg Citizens as one of Petersburg “Superstars” August 2017
  • Organizing Petersburg Task Force on Domestic Violence Training Institute-October, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Organized the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event. A Men’s March Against Domestic Violence, April 2017 April 2018
  • Organized first Autism Walk in the City of Petersburg, June 2018
  • Formerly honored with 2 resolutions in her honor for her dedication and community service from the House of Delegates, HJ 332 and by the Senate, Senate Joint Bill 182.
  • Featured in “O” Oprah Magazine as one of “12 Most Politically Unusual” in this country in 2012
  • Awarded the Sojourner Truth Award from the Petersburg Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc., May 2018
  • Appointed to Governor of Virginia’s, Ralph Northam’s Transition Team, 2018
  • Achieved certification through the VSI Certification Program thus VSI Certified (VSIC). March 2018
  • Profiled by FOX TV, WRLH, in honor of Black Women’s History Month-April 2018
  • Awarded the MAGNUS Leadership Award from the National Command & Staff College and the Criminal Justice
  • Commission for Credible Leadership Development June 2017
  • Is a certified auditor for the American Correctional Association
  • Received the Social Justice Transformer Award from the Community Transformers Foundation, November 2019

Sheriff Crawford believes the scripture “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.