President's Message

JulioThe Southeast Chapter just wrapped up their 49th Training Conference on June 8th, 2023, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and it was during this conference I was selected to become the president for the next year.  I am honored to hold this position and follow in the footsteps of the many great past presidents that have served before me.  My number one priority will be to organize a great team to help put together the 72nd International Conference, which we are co-hosting in Orlando, Florida, from August 25th to the 30th, 2023. 

Our 49th conference was the second one we have hosted since the "end" of the Covid pandemic that kept us all apart for way too long.  Our now-past president, Mark Carter, and the 2nd Vice President, Rocco Pugliese, presided over a fantastic conference in which we had just over 200 attendees.  We all know that it takes a lot of hard work by a lot of people to organize and execute a successful conference, and we are very fortunate to have a great chapter with many people that collectively have a variety of skills that, when put together, results in an awesome team! 

In addition to a lot of hard work, it also takes a lot of money to run a successful conference, and we were very fortunate to have generous partners in both the business world and governmental agencies that provide training grants.  We are incredibly grateful to the Virginia State Police HEAT Program and the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council for their generous grants that allowed many members to attend, contribute and learn at the conference that otherwise may not have been able to attend.  The HEAT program was also able to assist with additional financial support for our conference. 

Our conference agenda was packed, and we offered a two-track setup following a basic and advanced class agenda.  We are now compiling the attendees' feedback on how they liked the change, but the initial feedback during the conference was positive.  We were able to offer classes as varied as how to utilize social media to develop leads and suspects to officer mental health awareness as well as retirement planning.  We are looking forward to the next conference in which we have an additional day of training available to be able to offer additional training courses.

This year we were also proud to have had a basic auto theft class to patrol officers in the region.  This class would not have been possible without the generous support of the HEAT Program and GEICO.  The idea for this class started before the Covid Pandemic, and we had hoped to offer the class during our conference in June 2020, which clearly did not happen.  I would be remiss if I did not recognize Mr. Joe Asplen with putting together the original concept and securing the first round of funding.  The class was a condensed class that was intended to provide some insight into current trends and an introduction to more advanced theft methods.  Topics included rental car theft, motorcycle and ATV theft, and vehicle identification.  In total, we had 75 patrol officers attend the class.  We were very fortunate to have the following instructors to teach the class: Sgt Steve Sunderland and Detective Brian Bell from the Baltimore County MD Police Department, Detective Mike Valentin from the Anne Arundel County MD Police Department, and Detective Dave Wells from the Montgomery County MD Police Department.  The instructors were also supported by First Sergeant Peter Lazear from the Virginia State Police HEAT Program, Graham Stolle, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney at the City of Norfolk, Bill Talbert, NICB, as well as Sergeant Rick Barber from the Chamblee Georgia Police Department. 

We have a lot of work ahead of us as we work through the next year to organize the 72nd IAATI/SERC Conference, but we look forward to the challenge.  Many hands make small work out of big tasks, and we have a great group that has started the work to accomplish our primary goals of our constitution, and I paraphrase. 

·       Unite for mutual benefit.

·       Provide for the exchange of information.

·       Cooperate with all parties who are engaged in the prevention and suppression of vehicle crimes.

·       To encourage high professional standards.   

I can't wait to see everyone next year in Orlando!

Julio Valcarcel Jr
President, Southeast Chapter
Maryland State Police (Retired)