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2019 Annual Meeting Marks 50th Anniversary of SEARCH; Celebrates Leaders and Champions from Past 5 Decades

SEARCH held its 2019 Annual Meeting July 22 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Washington, DC—and the highlight of the abbreviated, one-day meeting was a commemoration of SEARCH’s 50th Anniversary.

The meeting agenda also featured:

  • Elections for five open seats on the 15-member SEARCH Board of Directors.
  • Recognition of Members and Staff for special achievements and years of service.
  • Sessions that covered legislative activities of Congress and an active Member roundtable where the entire Membership discussed issues and challenges that face state criminal history record information managers.

The afternoon featured a two-hour workshop to commemorate the historic foundation and ongoing work and achievements of SEARCH. Speaking were:

  • Owen Greenspan, who provided a historical background and foundation of the organization. Mr. Greenspan is a former SEARCH Member representing the State of New York; he is also a former SEARCH Vice Chair and retired in 2014 after 19 years as SEARCH Director of Law and Policy. He then facilitated a dialogue with two sets of speakers who over the years had made significant contributions to the creation and continued operations of SEARCH.
  • The first panel featured reminiscences of Mr. Richard “Pete” Velde, who as Administrator of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration championed Project SEARCH, the forerunner of SEARCH; and Mr. Paul Wormeli, the first project director of Project SEARCH. Both were deeply involved in the creation and early years of SEARCH.
  • The second panel featured conversations with longtime SEARCH Member Dr. Al Blumstein, who is Professor Emeritus at the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management, Carnegie-Mellon University; Mr. Robert Belair, an internationally recognized privacy expert who had served as SEARCH General Counsel for 37 years; and Ms. Kelly Harbitter, who retired in 2015 as SEARCH Deputy Executive Director following 25 years of service.

It was also announced that on July 18, 2019, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) had introduced H.Res. 503 in the House of Representatives to recognize and honor the 50th anniversary of SEARCH. Rep. Matsui represents the district in Sacramento, California, where SEARCH is headquartered.

That evening, SEARCH held a reception to recognize the organization’s pioneers, leaders and champions from the past five decades.  The SEARCH Board of Directors selected 33 individuals to honor—many of whom were at the reception to accept their award from SEARCH Vice Chair Maj. Brandon Gray. The honorees were:

SEARCH Membership Group Chairs

  • Orville J. (Bud) Hawkins (1969–1974)*
  • Gary D. McAlvey (1974–1980; 1984–1988)*
  • Robert J. Bradley (1980–1984)
  • Gary L. Bush (1988–1992)*
  • Francis J. Carney, Jr. (1992–1996)
  • Major James Martin (1996–1998)
  • Kenneth E. Bischoff (1998–2002)
  • Gerald E. Wethington (2002–2004)
  • Francis X. “Paco” Aumand III (2004–2010; 2012–2014)
  • Thomas Turner (2010–2012)
  • Bradley Truitt (2014–2018)
  • Leslie Moore (2018–present)

SEARCH Executive Directors

  • O.J. Hawkins (1974–1978)*
  • Steven Kolodney (1978–1983)
  • Gary R. Cooper (1983–2003)
  • Ronald P. Hawley (2003–2012)
  • Scott M. Came (2013–2017)
  • David J. Roberts (2017–present)

Other Leaders (Federal Agency Officials; SEARCH Members and Staff)

  • Richard W. “Pete” Velde (Administrator, Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, ret.)
  • Paul Wormeli (Founder and Staff, Project SEARCH)
  • Robert Marx (Founder and Staff, Project SEARCH)*
  • Carol Kaplan (U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, ret.)
  • Steven Schlesinger (U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics)*
  • Liane Moriyama (former SEARCH Member-HI, ret.)
  • Owen M. Greenspan (former SEARCH Member-NY, Vice Chair and Staff, ret.)
  • Alfred Blumstein (At-Large Member)
  • Judge Thomas Stovall Jr., At-Large Member*
  • George Trubow (At-Large Member)*
  • Robert Wessels (At-Large Member)
  • Charles Friel (Member Emeritus)
  • Hugh Collins (Member Emeritus)
  • Robert R. Belair (Former SEARCH General Counsel)
  • Kelly Harbitter (SEARCH staff, ret.)
  • Paul Woodard (SEARCH staff, ret.)

*posthumous honoree

Mr. Owen Greenspan with Mr. Paul Wormeli at the 50th Anniversary commemoration workshop.

Mr. Owen Greenspan with Mr. Pete Velde and Mr. Paul Wormeli.

Dr. Al Blumstein and Ms. Kelly Harbitter.

Past Chairs of the SEARCH Membership Group who helped celebrate SEARCH’s 50th Anniversary were (from left) Mr. Ken Bischoff, Mr. Gerry Wethington, Mr. Francis (Paco) Aumand, Capt. Tom Turner, and Mr. Brad Truitt.

The SEARCH Board recognized 33 individuals with plaques that salute their “significant contributions, enduring commitment and exceptional leadership” that helped build, nurture and sustain SEARCH in the course of its 50-year history.

SEARCH Vice Chair, Major Brandon Gray, handed out recognition plaques to these 50th Anniversary honorees:

Vice Chair Brandon Gray with Mr. Ken Bischoff

Vice Chair Gray with Mr. Gerry Wethington

Vice Chair Gray with Mr. Paco Aumand

Vice Chair Gray with Capt. Tom Turner

Vice Chair Gray with Mr. Brad Truitt

Vice Chair Gray with Ms. Carol Kaplan

Vice Chair Gray with Mr. Owen Greenspan

Vice Chair Gray with Dr. Al Blumstein

Vice Chair Gray with Mr. Bob Wessels

Vice Chair Gray with Dr. Hugh Collins

Vice Chair Gray with Mr. Robert Belair

Vice Chair Gray with Ms. Kelly Harbitter

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Karen Lissy

Ms. Karen Lissy is a Justice Information Services Specialist for the Law and Policy Program of SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. In this position, she provides assistance to state and local justice and public safety agencies to collect, curate, and use National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data and computerized criminal history record (CCH/CHRI) information for policy analysis and development.

She also guides justice and related organizations in how to craft and implement laws, policies, practices, and technology applications to effectively collect and use CCH and related justice/public safety data; address legal, policy, and regulatory issues associated with CCH data; better manage and operate criminal justice information and identification systems; and develop security and privacy policies that protect justice information sharing systems.

Ms. Lissy has nearly two decades of research and data analysis experience, having led projects and tasks in support of two agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (the Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Institute of Justice), as well as the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, and multiple foundations, including Ford, Annie E. Casey, and Hewlett. Prior to joining SEARCH in October 2020, Ms. Lissy served as a Social Science Researcher at RTI International, as a regional Crime Analyst for the Redmond (WA) Police Department, and as Director of a research program with the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. Beginning in 2012, Ms. Lissy’s work has focused on improving data in law enforcement to answer policy questions and improve community/police relations.

Ms. Lissy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University, and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Michael Mackay

Mr. Michael Mackay is an Information Sharing Developer for SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. As part of the Software and Data Engineering Program (SDEP) team, he plans, develops, implements, and deploys information sharing systems on behalf of SEARCH clients in local, state, tribal, and Federal government settings. He also provides programming, configuration, and testing assistance, and consults on implementation architecture and design with clients. 

Mr. Mackay supports justice, public safety, and homeland security information sharing nationwide through SDEP services that include software architecture and systems design, application development, deployment and support, data management services, and direct technical assistance and training. These services offer capabilities that include federated query, authentication access/control, subscription/notification, process/workflow automation, data analysis, and more. 

Prior to joining SEARCH in 2021, Mr. Mackay worked as a Software Engineering Intern for TDM Business Toole Suite, where he provided software development support using Java frameworks, implemented relational database models using MySQL, and designed GUI components using NetBeans. 

Mr. Mackay will work in an Agile development environment, a methodology that SEARCH embraces that focuses on incremental development and delivery, collaboration in a team approach, and rapid and flexible response to change throughout the development cycle. 

Mr. Mackay earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics and Statistics from Stony Brook University, New York.