Dennis DeBacco Joins SEARCH Law and Policy Team

  Back  See more recent articles

SEARCH is pleased to announce that Mr. Dennis A. DeBacco will join our team as a Justice Information Services Specialist in the Law and Policy Program, effective February 2, 2009.

In this position, Mr. DeBacco will research and write about issues that impact criminal justice information management and policy; organize conferences and workshops; establish and support task forces; conduct surveys on pertinent issues; and provide technical assistance to justice agencies.

One of Mr. DeBacco's first projects will be to oversee the collection and analysis of data from a survey of state repositories of criminal history records. SEARCH has undertaken this biennial survey since 1989. The last such survey, which presents a snapshot of state criminal history record systems as of 2006, is available online. Mr. DeBacco will be able to apply his experience as head of Nevada's criminal history records repository to this task.

"Dennis comes to us with more than 26 years of public safety, law enforcement and justice-related experience," said Mr. Owen Greenspan, SEARCH Director of Law and Policy. "He has been a long-time supporter of SEARCH as Nevada's gubernatorial appointee to the SEARCH Membership Group. We welcome Dennis as a great addition to the SEARCH team."

Mr. DeBacco was appointed to the SEARCH Membership Group by then-Governor Bob Miller in 1994 and served until 2002. He was elected to the SEARCH Board of Directors and served on the Law and Policy Program Advisory Committee.

Prior to joining SEARCH, Mr. DeBacco was Deputy Administrator for the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child and Family Services, where he was responsible for providing administrative and operational direction of the Division's Support Services Bureau with a $193 million annual budget.

Repository Experience
Among his other positions with the State of Nevada, Mr. DeBacco was Bureau Manager of the Nevada Highway Patrol's Bureau of Records and Identification Services for 16 years. During this time, he was the state's principal architect in designing, implementing and directing Nevada's central repository for criminal history records and related criminal justice information systems, crime statistics and fingerprint search services.

While serving in that capacity, he was appointed by the U.S. Attorney General to the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact Council. He also served as Nevada's Control Terminal Officer (CTO) to the National Crime Information Center/National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NCIC/NLETS), and as the state's representative to the Western Identification Network (WIN), a multistate automated fingerprint identification system. He served as Chairman of WIN for 4 years and as a Board Member for more than 12 years.

He also served on the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board as the Western States' Regional Chairman. Among his many professional affiliations, he also served as the Nevada Supreme Court appointee to a committee studying the adoption of standardized forms for domestic violence protection orders, and as an appointee to a state Sexual Assault Prevention Task Force.

Earlier in his career, as a member of the FBI NCIC training staff, Mr. DeBacco served as an instructor at the FBI's National Academy and at agencies throughout the United States. He earned an associate's degree in Criminology from Mt. Aloysius College and a bachelor's degree in Justice Administration from The American University in Washington, D.C.