FBI NA Affiliates 

James D. Franklin, FBI NA # 141

Jim Franklin has just retired from the Minnesota Sheriffs Association after serving 14 years as the associations Executive Director.  His career spans 50 years of public safety service specializing in law enforcement, fire and emergency service operations.  His law enforcement career started in 1967 with the City of Maple Plain and then Orono, Minnesota police departments.  In 1979 Jim asked to create a new entity called the West Hennepin Public Safety Department and managed contract services for five local fire departments.  He has also served as the Director of Public Safety for the City of Mankato where he directed the Police, Fire, Joint Services and Emergency Management functions for the City. 

Franklin was appointed as the MN State Director of Emergency Services during the administration of Governor Arnie Carlson.  During that time Franklin established the MN Community Right to Know Act; Emergency Response Commission; MN Incident Management System, MN Duty Officer System; development of the current Hazardous Materials Response Team program and recodification of the current Chapter 12 Emergency Management statutes in the State of MN.  Jim has accomplished both state and federal recognition as a certified peace officer, fire fighter and emergency manager. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the FBI Executive Development Program, the US Fire Academy, the National Emergency Management Institute, the National Inter-Agency Counter Drug Institute, the American Institute of Banking.  He also has served as the Executive Directors, President and Legislative Committee of the National Sheriffs Association.

He has also served 13 years as an elected school board member for the Orono School District.  Jim is a Wisconsin native, playing football at Lambeau Field in Green Bay back in the days of Vince Lombardi.  In his spare time, he enjoys raising horses, farming and fishing.

Chief Joe Cardella, FBI NA # 142

Chief Joe Cardella is a 42 year law enforcement professional who recently retired as the Chief Criminal Deputy of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office for the last 18 years.  St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) has a compliment of over 400 personnel and is situated in the metro New Orleans, Louisiana area.  Joe began his career in 1973 and worked through the ranks in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and New Orleans Police Department from cadet to detective Lieutenant before attending the FBI National Academy in 1985.  In 1987, Joe joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he conducted investigations as a special agent assigned to the Foreign Counter-Intelligence Unit and Organized Crime Squad.  Joe transferred into the Inspector General’s Offices of the U.S. Department of Energy and completed 10 years of Federal law enforcement service as the Resident Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Office, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  During his Federal Law Enforcement career, Joe successfully investigated sensitive cases involving La Cosa Nostra (LCM) crime families, major drug diversion cases and threats to national energy strategies.  In 1996, Sheriff Greg Champagne appointed Joe as second in command of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office where he manages its day to day operations. Joe has reorganized St. Charles Parish’s 911 Communications Operations whereby Sheriff’s Deputies operate the center and dispatch Fire, EMS and Police as a Consolidated Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) over a radio system owned and managed by the SCSO.  Joe has also created a development team to research active shooter events and related phenomena resulting in a dynamic holistic program called Integrated Multilayered Planning for Active Shooter Events (IMPASE).  A recent IMPASE exercise involved over 800 Federal, State and local first responders, school administrators, students and faculty.  Joe is a graduate of Loyola University with a B.A. in Criminal Justice, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, U.S. Department of Personnel Management and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS). He has completed advanced instruction at Louisiana State University and the University of Virginia while lecturing at Law Enforcement venues nationally.

Chief Gary Benthin, FBI NA $# 167

Chief (Retired) Gary Benthin served as a law enforcement officer for 32 years; 22 of those years as chief of police on two departments. Before becoming a police chief he received a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from Western Carolina University and graduated from the North Carolina Police Executive Development Program at the University of North Carolina. Chief Benthin is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has twice graduated from Criminal Justice Instructor schools. Chief Benthin has strong expertise in law enforcement administration, leadership and training. Under his direction as chief, drug investigators with the Eden Police Department conducted an undercover operation that resulted in the seizure of more than $1.3 million in cash, two tractor-trailers, 21 cars and trucks and eight guns.  This was, at the time, North Carolina’s largest and most successful drug investigation ever.  Among the items seized were a tractor-trailer that was intercepted while heading to Mexico with nearly $900,000 in cash. In addition, warehouses used in the transportation of drugs were identified during the investigation after undercover officers posing as drug dealers were able to infiltrate the operation.  The investigation, which began in March 2007 and ended in July 2008, began in Eden but spread to Virginia, Texas, California, Georgia and Mexico and included several agencies, including the SBI, federal agencies and several county and local agencies.  By law, the Eden Police Department was able to keep $468,000 of the seized assets. 

Chief Randy Watt, FBI NA # 191

Chief Randy Watt is the Chief of Ogden Police Department in Utah.   Randy holds a Master of Strategic Studies Degree from the U.S. Army War College, a M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelor of Police Science degree from Weber State College, and is a graduate of Session 191 of the F.B.I. National Academy.  Randy retired from the Ogden Police Department, Ogden, Utah, in October of 2011.  At the time of retirement he was serving as Assistant Chief of Police, with thirty-two years of service in a multitude of assignments and at all levels of supervision and leadership. 

Chief Watt is a recipient of various medals and commendations, including the department’s Medal of Valor (twice awarded).  A long-time member of the Ogden/Metro S.W.A.T. Team, Chief Watt has extensive experience in tactical operations, ranging from high-risk warrant service to hostage rescues.  Chief Watt is a nationally recognized expert in the field of law enforcement special operations and counter-terrorism.  He is involved with projects supporting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).  He is an expert witness on Law Enforcement use of force and counter-terrorism. 

He is a lead instructor for the National Tactical Officers Association (N.T.O.A.) in a variety of S.W.A.T. Leadership and Terrorism courses, and is a regular presenter at the N.T.O.A. Conference, as well as at various state S.W.A.T. Association conferences and training events.  He is the past author of the “On Leadership” column for the N.T.O.A’s Tactical Edge magazine.  Prior to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, then-Lieutenant Watt, was co-chair of the Tactical Response Sub-Committee and spent three years studying terrorism, writing the tactical response plan for protection of the Olympic Games, and conducting security assessments for Olympic venues.  Chief Watt has taught hostage rescue tactics and techniques to foreign military and police units and is a consultant to myriad local, state and federal tactical units.  He is an instructor at Gunsite Academy in Paulden, AZ.  Randy is also a Colonel in the Utah Army National Guard, currently assigned to the Joint Forces HQ.  From June, 2011, to December, 2013, he was the Commander of the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), commanding 2200 Special Forces soldiers located across 9 states. 

With 32-years of active duty and reserve Special Forces experience, he is a graduate of numerous Special Operations courses and schools, and is a Master Parachutist and Military Free-Fall Parachutist.  Leadership schools include the Infantry Officer’s Basic/Advanced Courses, Combined Arms Service and Support School, Command and General Staff Officer’s Course, and the resident U.S. Army War College.    Colonel Watt’s combat service includes year-long tours of Afghanistan, 2001-2002, Iraq, 2006-2007, and Iraq again in 2010 through 2011.  All assignments were at leadership levels of counter-terrorism units.  As a result of his service, he received the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device for valor in combat, three Bronze Star Medals for meritorious service in combat, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the G.W.O.T. Expeditionary and Service Medals, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal with three stars, and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award.  He was featured in the March, 2003, ABC television special Profiles From the Front Lines, and the August, 2003, issue of Men’s Health magazine.  He is the author of “One Warrior’s Creed.”

Charles “Sid” Heal, FBI NA # 200

Charles “Sid” Heal is a retired Commander from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department with nearly 33 years of service in law enforcement, nearly half of which has been spent in units charged with handling law enforcement special and emergency operations.  At various times during his career he has served as an operations officer, watch commander, unit commander, incident commander, consultant and trainer in a myriad of law enforcement tactical operations, and is a court recognized expert in law enforcement special operations and emergency management.  As a collateral assignment, Sid was in charge of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s internationally recognized technology exploration program.  This program seeks to identify, develop, exploit and integrate new technologies for law enforcement.  The focus of effort for this program is on intervening with nonlethal options. Sid has earned three college degrees and is a graduate of the California Peace Officer’s Standards and Training, Center for Leadership Development, Command College, and the FBI National Academy.  He is the author of Sound Doctrine:  A Tactical Primer, and An Illustrated Guide to Tactical Diagramming, as well as more than 120 articles on law enforcement issues and has appeared on numerous television newscasts and documentaries and been quoted in many periodicals and newspapers.  Additionally, he has been a featured speaker at numerous conferences in Canada, Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Israel, Brazil and Argentina, as well as throughout the United States.  In addition to his career in law enforcement, Sid recently retired from the Marine Corps Reserve after 35 years, with service in more than 20 countries and four combat tours.  As a result of both these careers, he has been personally present for the operations involving the 1992 coup d’état in Thailand, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, as well as the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in 2001 and a host of other disasters, natural and manmade.  He is the author of Sound Doctrine: A Tactical Primer and Field Command, as well as more than 165 articles on law enforcement issues.

Kevan Dugan, FBI NA # 213

Kevan Dugan served 29 years with the Pennsylvania State Police assigned to Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Undercover Unit, Underwater Search Team and the Special Emergency Response Team. He served 17 years with the Special Emergency Response Team, serving as an operator, team leader, coordinator, and lastly as a Division Director responsible for both East and West SERTs, and the Canine and Hazardous Device and Explosive Units. He is a member of the NTOA, PATOA and CATO and was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the PATOA (Pennsylvania Tactical Officers Association) after his retirement. He is a graduate of the FBINAA, Session 213 and is a certified Force Science Analyst. He currently serves as a Western Region Director for the NTOA.

Sheriff Eric Severson, FBI NA # 219

Eric Severson serves the citizens of Waukesha County as Sheriff having served as a law enforcement officer for 32 years. Sheriff Severson maintains executive oversight of all activities of the office to include sworn operations, jail, work-release and administrative functions. Sheriff Severson has served in the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office for over 30 years beginning in 1987; 25 of those years having been spent in supervisory and command positions throughout the department. In addition to patrol command assignments, Sheriff Severson has commanded the department’s Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Unit, Tactical Enforcement Unit (SWAT), K9 Unit and was the founder and first President of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Canine Handler Association (WLECHA). 

Sheriff Severson holds two bachelor’s degrees from UW-Platteville in both Criminal Justice and Technical Communication. He holds a Minor in Business Administration. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Class 219, as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Drug Unit Commander Academy. Sheriff Severson also graduated from the National Sheriffs’ Institute in Aurora Colorado. 

Eric Severson currently is a member and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Sheriffs’ Association. He is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), and is the longest tenured member of the Wisconsin HIDTA Board of Directors. Sheriff Severson is a member of the FBI National Academy Association, the Badger State Sheriffs’ Association (serving on the legislative committee), and the Wisconsin Sheriffs’ and Deputy Sheriffs’ Association. In 2015, Sheriff Severson was appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to serve on the Supreme Court of Wisconsin Appointment Selection Committee.

Christopher Hoina, FBI NA # 222 

Christopher Hoina, Sr. (ret. Cary PD) is an alumnus of the FBI National Academy, he received his Master’s degree from NC State University and his Bachelor’s at Shaw University.


He is the co-founder of the Institute for Credible Leadership Development and serves on the executive board for the International Academy of Public Safety.  Chris is also the co-founder of the North Carolina Public Safety Leadership Academy at Wake Tech.  Chris has served as Faculty and Director of Criminal Justice studies at Campbell University in Research Triangle Park. 


He has 25 years of law enforcement experience; from patrol officer to team commander.  During his tenure as a police officer he served as supervisor within the following commands: Training, Patrol Operations, Criminal Investigations, Juvenile Investigations, School Resource Officers, Crisis Negotiation, Community Services, Crime Prevention, D.A.R.E., and Crisis Intervention.

Chris has an extensive teaching record in both classroom and on-line.  He has taught at the Justice Academy, Community College, and University level.  He has taught a variety of topics to include Hazardous Materials, Bias Based Profiling, Hate Crimes, Crisis Intervention, Juvenile Minority Sensitivity, Juvenile Investigations, Crisis Negotiations, Crime Scene Investigations, Crime Prevention, School Resource Officer and Implicit Bias.  For the past several years his focus has been on leadership development and self-improvement for criminal justice professionals. 

Chris is the co-author of the book the Moral Compass for Law Enforcement Professionals, and the essay titled Virtues of Magnanimous Officers. 

Don Kester, FBI NA # 254

We are pleased to announce the hiring of Capt. Don Kester (ret) as the NTOA’s new Director of Training and Education.  Don served over twenty-three and a half years with the Pima County (Tucson, AZ.) Sheriff’s Department, retiring in 2015.  While with the Sheriff’s Department he served in many assignments to include; Training Director, patrol district commander, Special Operations, Tactical Response, and Staff Services Section Commander, as well as the Support Operations and Criminal Investigations Division Commander. 

Don’s SWAT experience spans the majority of his career, having served as a trainer, SWAT Team operator, team leader, team sergeant, and SWAT Commander.  He is certified as a chemical agents, FSDD, and less lethal Instructor, as well as a Master Taser Instructor. He is also a firearms, defensive tactics, and use of force instructor and instructs many other specialties such as Rapid Deployment, Warrant Service, Hostage Rescue, TEMS, Incident Command, and Leadership, and has authored several articles on such topics. 

Don has served as a use of force consultant/expert in cases in Superior and Federal Court, and he has served on the Law and Legal and Defensive Tactics subject matter expert committees for Arizona POST.  He served as a delegate to the International Law Enforcement Forum (ILEF) for Minimal Force Options as well as on the Advisory Council for the Office of Law Enforcement Technology Commercialization (OLETC) and as a member of the SWAT Technical Support Working Group (TSWG).  Don was the Less Lethal Section Chairperson for the NTOA from 2001 until 2008 and then served seven years as a member of the NTOA Board of Directors.  He has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Arizona and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.