SEARCH Welcomes New Iowa Member

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SEARCH is pleased to announce that Mr. James J. Saunders, Assistant Director, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS), is Iowa's new representative on the SEARCH Membership Group. He was appointed to this post on June 9, 2008, by Governor Chester J. Culver.

Mr. Saunders oversees the Support Operations Bureau of the DCI, which includes these Units: Sex Offender Registry, AFIS/Fingerprint Unit, Records and Identification, Transcription, and Administrative Support. He fills a position formerly held by Mr. Steven Conlon, who retired in late June 2008 after 33 years of service with the DPS, and who was also served as Iowa's governor-appointed representative on the SEARCH Membership for 5 years.

Mr. Saunders graduated from the DPS's 13th Basic Academy in 1987. He then served as a State Trooper in the Iowa State Patrol District 1 Office in Des Moines until transferring to the DCI's Des Moines office. He has been state coordinator for the Iowa Law Enforcement Intelligence Network and Special Agent in Charge to serve as Bureau Chief of the DPS Public Information Bureau.

Mr. Saunders holds a bachelor's degree in Public Administration from William Penn University, Certificate of Public Administration from Drake University, and is a graduate of Northwestern University's School of Police Staff and Command.

"We're pleased to welcome Mr. Saunders to the SEARCH Membership, and look forward to his valuable expertise and participation," said Mr. Ronald P. Hawley, SEARCH Executive Director.

The SEARCH Membership Group, which governs SEARCH, is comprised of one gubernatorial appointee from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as eight at-large appointees selected by SEARCH's Chair. This national body of state-level professionals is widely representative of the various disciplines within the justice system, and many are responsible for operational decisions and policymaking concerning the management of criminal justice information, particularly criminal history information. The Membership Group fosters cooperation and communication among justice system professionals in identifying and implementing solutions to common problems.