Juneau hosts annual crime conference

First year conference open to public on select days
Mark Thompson, Western Region Sales Manager for SureFire, left, talks with Investigator Richard Finney of the Department of Public Safety's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and other state peace officers about their rifle sound suppressors at the Juneau Gun Club on Wednesday. A handful of gun vendors showed and demonstrated their weapons for members attending the Alaska Peace Officer Association's 2012 Crime Conference.

Law enforcement officers got a break from the daily grind this week to learn new tricks and meet new friends at the annual Crime Conference that kicked off Tuesday at Centennial Hall.


Training and networking: “That’s really the focus,” of the conference, said Steve Hall, an Alaska Wildlife Trooper and president of the Capital City Chapter of the Alaska Peace Officers Association.

APOA hosts the conference each year in different cities. Last year it was held in Anchorage, and next year it will be held in Kenai, Hall said.

Some of this year’s 120 registered attendees — who came from police departments as far away as Fairbanks, Anchorage, Seward and Unalaska — sat in on classes to learn more about forensic interviews, outdoor crime scene digital photography and active shooter and tactical response.

Others listened to a former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) supervisor talk about the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound outside Waco, Texas.

But on Friday, all will have a chance to learn a little about lie detection. The general public is welcome to pay $40 to attend a lecture by the conference’s keynote speaker, Janine Driver, also known as the “Lyin’ Tamer.”

“It’s worth 40 dollars,” Juneau Police Department Lt. Kris Sell said.

A retired ATF federal law enforcement officer, Driver is a body language expert who offers her expertise on detecting deception on network news shows. She’s appeared on NBC’s Today Show, FOX News and CNN’s Larry King Live, as well as the Dr. Oz Show and The Rachael Ray Show, according to Driver’s website.

It’s the first time the conference has opened its doors to the general public, Sell said. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

It was also the first time the conference provided a gun range for law enforcement officers to test fire new pistols, rifles and handguns. Wednesday was dubbed “Range Day” at the Juneau Gun Club.

Local vendors such as Taku Tactical turned out to show off new products as did out-of-state vendors such as Surefire, Glock, Kimber America and Sig-Sauer.

The conference wraps up Friday with Driver’s lecture, which begins at 8 a.m.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.


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