Akintayo Akintunde moved from Nigeria to Maryland ten years ago. He studied Criminal Justice at the University of Baltimore. While in school full-time in 2011, he was also working full-time at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Jessup as a correctional officer. He is passionate about the Criminal Justice System, which is why he traveled to Amsterdam, Brussels, and London, to compare the Criminal Justice system in those countries to the system in the United States.
Akintayo joined the Metropolitan Police Department on May 2, 2016. He decided to be a police officer because he wants to engage more with the community. He loves to develop community partnerships with the police department and he is grateful for who he is and what he will become. He is hoping to build more trust between the police department and the residents of D.C. He promised to continue to be part of the solution and not the problem.
Tatiana Benard recently moved to the D.C. area from Chicago, IL. She studied Psychology and Criminal Justice at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and started a career in the Criminal Justice field working at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, IL.
Tatiana’s time spent working for the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) has cultivated a passion and drive for the field of policing and increasing community involvement. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys taking her dog, Roscoe, on the many trails around DC. She also loves DIY projects, and tries (and fails plenty) at Pinterest crafts at least once a week. Tatiana is looking forward to working with the Metropolitan Police Department and Georgetown University to cultivate a better tomorrow for us all.
Rufus (Sean) Bickersteth
Rufus (Sean) Bickersteth was born in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up in Detroit, Michigan, where he attended Livonia Clarenceville High School. Sean played one year of college football at the University of West Alabama. He then transferred to Jacksonville State University where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.
Sean is a co-founder of Calhoun County Elite, a non-profit organization to help the youth of Calhoun County, Alabama. He also worked as a volunteer Firefighter in the City of Jacksonville, Alabama. He is currently working on obtaining his master’s degree in Criminology from Jacksonville State University.
Sean joined the Metropolitan Police Department on May 2, 2016. Before joining MPD, he worked on a mayoral campaign as a field organizer for the City of Baltimore. He would also like to work on the Mayor’s security detail or become a high school principal someday.
Salah Czapary has served on projects at locations ranging from a UNESCO World Heritage Site to urban centers in Jordan and Chile, and has coordinated and initiated ongoing community development projects.
Salah is a graduate of the MPD Police Academy and has participated in the Police for Tomorrow Fellowship program through Georgetown University Law Center and the George Washington University Certified Public Manager program. Currently, he serves as the Director of the MPD Strategic Engagement Office.
Tom Flaherty is currently a physical skills, defensive tactics instructor at the Metropolitan Police Academy (MPA) in Washington, D.C. He has been with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) as an employee since September 2016 and as a Reserve Police Officer since April 2002. Prior to joining MPD, Tom was a Vice President of Investments for several investment firms and banks.
Tom became involved with volunteer law enforcement in 1994 when he became an Auxiliary Police Officer in Vienna, Virginia. After the events of 9/11, Tom realized he wanted to be even more involved with helping people in his law enforcement capacity; therefore, he joined the Metropolitan Police Department Reserve Program in 2002.
Outside of MPD, Tom enjoys spending as much time as possible with his family and eating unhealthy food. He is active in the MPD Reserve Corps, patrolling and working with the reserve recruits in a training capacity. Tom has been fortunate in achieving one of his goals in life by becoming an instructor at MPD. He intends to continue his training and education to become one of the finest instructors and educators in all aspects of police training.
Emma Hicks has resided in the Washington, D.C. area for the last three years, after moving to the District from North Carolina. Emma received her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina in both Criminal Justice and Psychology. She then proceeded to continue her studies and received her Master’s in Forensic and Legal Psychology from Marymount University in Arlington, VA.
After graduating, Emma pursued her lifelong goal of a career in law enforcement. Emma joined the Metropolitan Police Department in June of 2016, and she now works as a patrol officer in the Third District. Emma looks forward to seeing what path her career takes, and is excited for the many opportunities the department has to offer. Additionally, a social justice trip to Cambodia sparked a passion to work against human trafficking, and Emma hopes to do so in the future.
Outside of work, Emma likes to row on the Potomac, attend shows at the 9:30 club, and take her dog Remy to the dog park.
Paris Hughes joined the academy on February 21, 2017. Before life in the Police Academy, he worked at “Courses at Andrews” on Andrews Air Force Base, MD. It was on this golf course that he met government officials and former President of the United States, Barack Obama, on numerous occasions.
When Paris was not working at the golf course, he was helping his neighbors with dog walking/sitting services, which gave him the opportunity to share his love for pets on a daily basis. Paris has also had the opportunity to participate in the “Voices Straight from the Source” program at the College Board in Washington, D.C.
Paris enjoys listening to almost all genres of music, creating voice-over videography, photography, writing poetry, reading, and exercising. Paris wishes to emphasize the importance of generation building for the youth in Washington D.C., and also hopes to educate the people of D.C. about the importance of political awareness.
Shania Hughes moved to the D.C. Metro area from Norwalk, CT. She studied Sociology with a concentration in Criminal Justice and Public Health at Southern Connecticut State University along with obtaining her Paralegal Certification from the University of Connecticut. Before joining the Metropolitan Police Department’s Freedom of Information Department in 2016, Shania was a government contract employee with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Shania often volunteers with #HashtagLunchbagDC and #HappyPeriod, volunteer organizations that assemble and pass out lunch bags and hygiene kits to the homeless in Washington, DC. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family/ friends, shopping, reading, bartending and traveling. Shania’s long term goals are to grow personally and professionally within the Metropolitan Police Department.
Renae Lee is a native Washingtonian. She studied political science and human resources development at Bowie State University and proceeded to work in the human resources arena. She joined Metropolitan Police Department, Internal Affairs Bureau, EEO Investigations Division as an EEO Investigator in January 2017.
Renae has previously held positions as Employee Relations Specialist, Human Resources Specialist, and Civil Rights Specialist. She is passionate about civil and human rights. In her free time, she enjoys riding her bicycle, spending time with family, and attending church. She also loves community outreach projects, especially pouring into the lives of the disadvantaged who are searching for a new way of living.
Ricardo Perez is originally from Carazo, Nicaragua, and moved to the United States in the year 2000. He graduated from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. with a dual diploma in academics and art. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in New Genres Art from The San Francisco Art Institute in 2008. He has received several awards for his commitment to the arts and his artwork has been displayed at SOMArts Cultural Center, Mission 17, The Garage, Red Ink Studios, The Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and The Arts Council of Metropolitan Memorial UMC.
Ricardo joined the Metropolitan Police Department as a Recruit Officer in 2016 and was assigned to the Sixth District as a Patrol Officer upon graduation from the police academy. The MPD motto of “We Are Here to Help” deeply resonates with him and has inspired his pursuit of a career in law enforcement. He is committed to learning and education, making a difference in the lives of others, and developing innovative and holistic policing strategies.
Ricardo is a passionate soccer player and martial arts practitioner. He coordinates and plays in several soccer leagues in DC. He also is trained in multiple combat disciplines such as Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Boxing. Ricardo is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Ashley Rinaldi moved to the District of Columbia from South Florida in August of 2016, to join the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). She currently serves as a victim specialist, providing support and resources to victims of violent crime. Prior to coming to MPD, Ashley was a victim advocate for a non-profit organization, the Center for Independent Living Options, serving people with disabilities who were victims of violent crime. Ashley has a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Florida Atlantic University.
Ashley is a Florida certified 911 Emergency Dispatcher and has ten years of experience dispatching at the City of Stuart Police Department. During her service there, she served as an Assistant Team Leader for the Communications Department and also aided in rewriting the training program. Due to her own family being affected by homicide, Ashley has devoted her professional endeavors to serving victims and empowering survivors.
Cody Robinson moved from Massachusetts to Alexandria, Virginia, in August of 2016 to begin the police academy for The Metropolitan Police Department. Cody studied sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. While in college, Cody worked as a Police Cadet and a Residential Assistant.
During the summer, Cody worked as a Seasonal Police Officer with the Provincetown Police Department. During his free time Cody enjoys spending time with his girlfriend Helena, playing golf, video games, and watching the New England Patriots. Cody has always looked for places and ways to meet diverse and interesting people, which is why he wanted to start a career in the Nation’s Capital.
Gentry Schaffer moved to D.C. from Austin, TX, after receiving her master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice, and started her professional career as a criminologist with the federal government. Gentry spent two years focusing on sentencing policies and the implications they had on federal offenders before joining MPD as a crime analyst in February of 2017.
Outside of the office, Gentry spends her time attending live music events, volunteering with various local organizations, training for her first triathlon, and traveling internationally. Gentry is passionate about criminal and social justice, and strives to continually engage with and give back to the community, both professionally and personally. Gentry is particularly excited about integrating her ability to view issues at a macro level and turn those observations into transformative policies that benefit police and the community alike.
Daniel Sebastian works for MPD as a crime analyst for the Seventh District. He moved to D.C. in January 2017 from Winston-Salem, NC, where he also worked as a crime analyst. Daniel graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014 with a degree in Environmental Science.
While in college, he worked with the UNC Football team and participated in several Environmental Justice research projects. In his free time, Daniel studies statistics, follows baseball, and helps staff Model UN conferences. He looks forward to working with MPD to develop community and data driven approaches to keeping our communities safe.
Qasim Sheroz moved to Virginia from Long Island, New York. He started his journey to become a police officer with the Metropolitan Police Department in February 2017 and is currently assigned to the Third District. He earned his bachelor’s degree in international criminal justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
During his time in college, Qasim obtained a job with New York Community Bank as a financial services advisor, where he worked for approximately six years. Qasim relished his time at New York Community Bank because it allowed him to develop communication skills, financial literacy, and community service experience.
Once Qasim started his career as a police officer, he was also accepted into the Johns Hopkins University Public Safety Leadership Division, which is where he recently completed his Masters in Organizational Leadership. During his free time, Qasim enjoys watching and playing basketball. He also likes to ride his motorcycle during the warmer months. Thankful for the opportunity to work with the Metropolitan Police Department and is looking forward to an enduring career as a police officer and future Inspector.
Officer Speck joined the Metropolitan Police Department in January 2016, serving as an intern in the Office of the Assistant Chief of the Strategic Services Bureau. He was then offered and accepted a sworn police officer position, beginning the Academy in May of 2016. Following his graduation from the Academy in November of 2016, he was assigned to the First District, where he currently patrols on the midnight tour of duty. Officer Speck is a graduate of George Washington University, where he has bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice. In his free time, Officer Speck enjoys reading, spending time with friends, and visiting local amusement parks. Officer Speck is looking forward to a long, rewarding career with MPD.
Officer Assante Thomas was born in Northwest Washington, D.C. He is currently a police officer for the Metropolitan Police Department, working in the Fifth District. He joined the MPD as a recruit officer on July 25, 2016, after completing four years of undergraduate studies and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Assante enjoys working out and spending time with friends and family. He wishes to become a member of the recruiting division of MPD and provide assistance to undergraduate students, who have an interest in law enforcement, in joining the Metropolitan Police Department.
Shayne Wallace was born in Brooklyn, NY. He moved from New York to Virginia in 2012, when he enlisted in the United States Military. Shayne served three years on active duty status before choosing to join the Metropolitan Police Department. Currently, Shayne is employed as a patrol officer in the Seventh District. Shayne’s career goals include passing the Detective’s Exam and eventually achieving the rank of sergeant. Shayne’s hobbies include, first and foremost, sleep, as well as traveling, sports, watching movies, and a good book.