Susan M. Webber-Brown is a 26 year law enforcement professional recently retired from the Butte County District Attorney's Office. Sue was assigned to the Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force (BINTF) for the past 18 years as a Detective/Agent. Additionally, Sue was a reserve officer with the Oroville Police Department from 1985 to 1988.
Sue Webber-Brown was responsible for the investigation of major narcotic cases and child endangerment. Sue participated in more than 2300 investigations and conducted interviews of more than 1200 suspects. Butte County’s DEC Program, the first of its kind in the United States, which Sue developed, implemented and administered, has rescued over 2300 Butte County children from environments where drugs were used, sold, or manufactured. Sue is a recognized expert in California and Arizona courts and has testified before Congress in the field of child endangerment due to drugs.
Sue is a lifetime member of the California Narcotics Officers Association (CNOA), and is a former Secretary for Region II. She is a past member of the California District Attorney's Investigators Association, and the California Peace Officers Association.
The DEC Program involves a coordinated effort between BINTF, the Butte County District Attorney's Office, and the Butte County Children’s Services Division. Butte County's DEC Program has led to changes in policy for the California Department of Justice with regards to the manner in which children at the scene of clandestine laboratories are treated. Sue was appointed by the Governor's Office of Criminal Justice Planning (OCJP) to an Ad Hoc Study Group on drug endangered children and co-wrote a training guide disseminated statewide. Sue is a board member of the California DEC Alliance and past board member of the National DEC Alliance. Sue has been published in the National FBI Academy Magazine and Washington State Narcotic Officers Association magazine. Sue has provided DEC training to more than 36,000 professionals from various disciplines including, but not limited to, Child Protective Services, fire/hazmat specialists, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and health practitioners from California, as well as 26 other states. Sue and the DEC Program have been featured in the LA Times, Sacramento Bee, Washington Post, National FBI Academy Magazine, People Magazine and numerous other publications and was featured on FOX television, NBC and appeared on the Montel William’s show.
Sue has been a trainer for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in Washington D.C.; California State University, Chico; California State University, Davis; California Department of Social Services; OCJP; CNOA; California Department of Justice (DOJ) Advanced Training Center, DOJ Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement; National Interagency Civil-Military Institute; National
Alliance for Drug Endangered Children and the United States Attorney’s Office, just to name a few. Sue also co-wrote the first 8 hour curriculum on DEC which is certified by the California Peace Officer Standards and Trainings (POST).
In 2000, Sue received the “California Victim Services and Restitution Award” from the Governor and the “Law Enforcement Leadership Award” from the California Attorney General for recognition of her work with drug endangered children. Sue was selected as the 2003 “Investigator of the Year” by the California District Attorney’s Investigators Association. Shortly after, Sue received a resolution by the Butte County Board of Supervisors for her dedication and commitment to drug endangered children. On May 25, 2004, Sue received the “Award of Distinction” from the California Peace Officers’ Association “for an ongoing operational activity that performs a great service to the community”. On November 13, 2005, Region VIII of the California Narcotics Officer’s Association presented Sue with an award for “Narcotics Officer of the Year”. In 2007, Sue received the “Open Arms Award” from the University of Kentucky and Butte College’s “Outstanding Alumni of the Year”. In December, 2007, Sue met with President George W. Bush at the Capital in DC where she was honored for her work with the DEC program.
In 2008-2009, as a private DEC consultant, Sue worked with POST to develop a 2-hour DEC training video. The video is required Advanced Officer Training for all California law enforcement officers. She also worked with the California Department of Justice, Crime and Violence Prevention Unit, to develop a 45-minute DEC training and public awareness video entitled “Rescue the Children: Making a Case for DEC”.
Currently, Sue is a private consultant working as the Executive Director of the Drug Endangered Children Training and Advocacy Center which was established under a state grant (California Emergency Management Agency) to train all multi-jurisdictional drug task forces (MJDTF) within the state.
Mitch Brown is a 37 year law enforcement professional who recently retired after eight years as a Chief of Police for the City of Oroville, California. During his law enforcement career, he has worked at the city level for small, medium and large departments, as well as holding positions at the state level. He is the former Assistant Chief, California Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, where he served for more than 20 years. Mitch is a nationally recognized expert in the field of drug enforcement, Drug Endangered Children (DEC) and Indian Country. In 1995, Mitch researched and wrote his Master’s Thesis on “Child Endangerment and the Environmental Health Hazards caused by Clandestine Methamphetamine Laboratories.” In 1996 he was appointed by the California Governor’s Office of Criminal Justice Planning to an advisory board for the DEC Program. He also served as an advisory board member for the California DEC Resource Center. Mitch co-authored and contributed to many articles on DEC including the first Multi-Agency guidebook “Linking Drugs with Child Endangerment” which was published by the California Governor’s Office in 1998,1999 and 2000. Additionally, he served as a consultant on six DOJ educational and training video’s related to drug manufacturing, drugs and DEC. In 2008 and 2009, Mitch served as a consultant on two videos for the California Peace Officer’s Standards and Training (POST) Commission on “Law Enforcement in Indian Country” and “Drug Endangered Children”.
For more than 30 years Mitch has been a law enforcement trainer. His assignments have included being a full-time DOJ academy instructor/program manager, local academy instructor, field training officer, and a national speaker. He also possesses a Junior College and High School Teaching Credential in the field of Police Science, Administration of Justice and teaches a Criminology class.
Mitch is the current chairman of the California Alliance for Drug Endangered Children and a member of the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children where he is co-chair of the First Responder group. Mitch is an active member of numerous community groups which include members from treatment, drug and alcohol programs, behavioral health, public health, probation, and parole, youth groups, rescue mission and Indian Country. During Mitch’s career, he has been the recipient of numerous awards for his community service work, including the Governor’s “Victims Services and Restitution Award” that he and his wife, Sue Webber-Brown, were presented for their work with the DEC Program. That same year the California Attorney General presented Mitch and Sue the “Leadership Award” on behalf of the DEC Resource Center.
When Ron Belser began working at his father’s gas station at the age of fourteen, there was no doubt that his work in life would be focused around helping families affected by narcotics and alcohol. Ron learned an early lesson in life working at the gas station, which bordered one of the toughest neighborhoods in Oroville. Daily, Ron would see young disheveled children follow their parent(s) into the store and watch as the parent(s) would spend money on alcohol and meet with their drug dealers in the parking lot. By the age of fifteen, Ron began compiling information through conversations with other customers on drug dealers who infested areas like south Oroville. Ron would relay detailed information to local law enforcement, which included the true names of drug dealers who hid behind street names. On one occasion, Ron provided the name and ruined the alibi of a person who committed a gruesome double homicide over a “drug debt” in south Oroville. This person would later be convicted of murder and pass in prison due to medical complications.
In the late eighties through the early nineties, Ron completed all of the Administration of Justice classes offered by Butte College and would later go on to earn his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice Management from Union Institute and University.
In the late nineties, Ron and his wife Toni fostered children who were detained during narcotic raids and social services investigations. Ron was always moved emotionally by the smell, dirty clothing, and medical issues of the children placed in his home. One image that will always remain with Ron is the black bath water left in the tub after the children’s first bath.
Ron left the family business in 2001 and was hired by the City of Oroville as a Community Services Officer. Ron enjoyed the position because it enabled him time to speak at elementary schools about the dangers of drugs. While working one day, Ron sat in on a Drug Endangered Training Course taught by Sue Webber-Brown. Ron enjoyed the training and found that he related to this training because of his experience with fostering drug endangered children. Ron would only hold this position for a short time before entering and graduating at the Butte College Police Academy.
In 2002, Ron would accept a position as police officer with the Town of Paradise. As a patrolman, Ron continued to speak at elementary schools regarding the dangers of drugs. Ron began to work closely with Children Services and would assist them during referral checks to assure children’s safety and would investigate criminal activity related to these calls.
As Ron gained experience, he would investigate narcotic related cases and use his Drug Endangered Children training to arrest and successfully prosecute parents and detain drug endangered children.
In 2006, Ron was assigned to the Paradise Police Field Training Program. Ron continues to train new officers on how to investigate and properly document Drug Endangered Children cases.
In November, 2007, Ron was assigned to the Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force. He would continue to work closely with Children Services to investigate narcotic related and non-narcotic related referrals which would lead to search warrants, probation searches and parole searches. These cases were focused on saving children who live in drug homes and environments which cause injury and/or death. To date, Ron has investigated and participated in over thirty drug endangered children investigations.
Ron continued to receive training for Drug Endangered Children and in 2009 was able to organize a Drug Endangered Children training course for the Paradise Police Department. Ron continues to focus his work on saving Drug Endangered Children.
Christine Smith has a Master’s in Social Work from California State University Long Beach. Christine has worked for Orange County Children & Family Services for 20 years. She has experience in a variety of Children & Family Service programs including: Emergency Response Child Abuse Investigations, Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Program, CAST-Child Abuse Services Team-Forensic Child Sexual Abuse Investigations, Dependency Investigations, FaCT- Building Family Resource Centers, Best Known Practices, FGDM-Family Group Decision Making, Quality Assurance, TDM-Team Decision Making and Adoptions.
Christine has 15 years’ experience as a consultant and trainer for Social Services and law enforcement in the areas of: DEC, Forensic Interviewing, and Child Abuse Investigation Techniques. Christine is also certified in FGDM, TDM and Mediation.
Erin Sweet attended Chico State earning a degree in Sociology. While attending school, she worked at the Catalyst Women’s Shelter in various positions. Erin worked at Glenn County Children’s Services from July, 1997 through June, 1998, moving to Butte County Children’s Services in July, 1998. She has worked as an investigating social worker in Butte County for twelve years and as the Drug Endangered Children social worker since January, 2002.
Deputy District Tom Manning has been a prosecutor for the past 23 years with the San Diego District Attorney’s Office. DDA Manning’s assignments have included general felony trials, the Major Narcotics Unit, the Drug Cartel Homicide Task Force, the Drug and Gang Task Force and the North San Diego County Gang Unit. Tom is currently the Chief of the Major Narcotics Unit.
During the course of his career, Deputy DA Manning has tried over 150 jury trials. Tom was the first County Drug Endangered Children Coordinator and is a past State Chair for the Drug Endangered Children’s Program. Tom is also a tri-chair for the San Diego County Methamphetamine Strike Force. He is a regular instructor for the California Narcotic Officer’s Association (CNOA), California District Attorneys Association (CDAA), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Basic Drug School and the California Gang Investigators Association, and he is a Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) certified instructor. Tom has taught classes relating to DEC prosecutions throughout California, the United States and Canada. He is also an adjunct professor at Mira Costa Community College and a member of the Crime and Substance Abuse Commission for the City of Vista.
Tom was the CNOA Region IV Prosecutor of the Year in 2000 and the San Diego County Prosecutor of the Year in 2009.
Jeff Laguero is a Deputy District Attorney for Stanislaus County. He graduated from Santa Clara School of Law in 1997, and has 15 years of law enforcement experience prior to becoming a Deputy District Attorney in 2005. As a criminal prosecutor and former police officer, public safety is one of Jeff's primary concerns. He is very involved with programs that work to enhance public safety, and support a cooperative relationship between public safety officers and the community.