Southwestern College Panel Discussion to Include Retired GTMO General, Local Law Enforcement Officials | Southwestern College Professional Studies

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Southwestern College Panel Discussion to Include Retired GTMO General, Local Law Enforcement Officials

Southwestern College Panel Discussion to Include Retired GTMO General, Local Law Enforcement Officials

To kick off the celebration of its 20th anniversary, Southwestern College – Professional Studies is hosting a panel discussion on October 15th conducted by recognized law enforcement officials. Southwestern instructor Lionel Santiago, with the Orlando Police Department, Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter, Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams and Major General Michael Lenhert will take part in a two-hour discussion on the topic of the paradigm shift from law enforcement to law enforcement intelligence.

Master Police Officer Lionel Santiago joined Southwestern College in 2012 as the lead affiliate faculty of the Criminal Justice and Security Management Program. He has served for the Orlando Police Department since 1999. His roles with the OPD have included patrol officer, neighborhood teams, and bike patrol, working in the Criminal Investigations Division and in Chief's Staff in the Internal Affairs Unit.  He currently serves as a law enforcement recruiter. Previously, Santiago served eight years as an infantryman in the United States Army and Florida National Guard.

Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter served 23 years with the Wichita Police Department where he was named Officer of The Year in 2007 for his lead role in a multi-agency task force that saw to the arrest and imprisonment of dozens of gang members. According to Easter, it was the death of his younger brother, who was shot in the line of duty in 1996, that served as his inspiration in his successful run for Sedgwick County sheriff in 2012.

Retired Wichita Chief of Police Norman Williams began his 39-year law enforcement career as a Wichita patrol officer in 1975. In 2000, he was appointed as chief of police for the state’s largest police department. Notably under his administration was the capture of serial killer Dennis Rader, known as “BTK,” who alluded authorities and terrified the city for more than 30 years. Williams also played a lead role in the 2007 multi-agency task force that put numerous gang members behind bars.

Major General Michael Lehnert (retired) is perhaps most notable for his role at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Originally placed in charge of 13 refugee camps, in 2002 he oversaw its transformation into a detention facility for suspected members of Al Qaeda and Taliban. Disagreeing with the tactics used there, he has publicly expressed his opinion that the facility needs to be shut down. The general left Guantanamo Bay in 2003 and deployed to the CENTCOM Theater and took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom where he served as commander for Marine Logistics Command. He returned to the United States in 2005 and assumed command of Marine Corps Installations West. His many decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal with one oak leave cluster, Legion of Merit Award with Gold Star and Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters.  

The panel discussion will take place at the Hyatt Regency Wichita Wednesday, October 15th from 9 a.m. to noon. It is open to the public and members of law enforcement. RSVPs to are encouraged as seating will be limited.

General Lenhert will also give two lectures to the public and military members during his trip to Wichita. He will be available for interviews Wednesday, October 15th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. They can be set up with the media contact.