Verizon First Responder Advisory Council

Learn best practices and trends to watch from top public safety leaders.

For nearly three decades, Verizon has supported public safety with an unwavering commitment and has been receiving counsel from many of the country's most respected public safety leaders. We formalized this relationship by establishing the Verizon First Responder Council in 2019, and now invite public safety agencies across the nation to take advantage of the Council's knowledge and leadership.

Over the next several months, the Council will host a series of engagements, including events, webinars, meetings and conversations, where the public safety community can interact with leaders like Council Chair William Bratton, former NYPD Commissioner and Chief of the LAPD.

How a 9/11 hero worked to rebuild New York’s fire department

Sal Cassano spent more than four decades in the New York City Fire Department, serving as a crucial leader before, during and after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that took the lives of more than 300 members of the department.

Listen to the podcast

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Council Charter

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The Verizon First Responder Advisory Council Charter

The Verizon First Responder Advisory Council was formed in 2019 to provide strategic input and advice to Verizon’s public safety segment. The Council is made up of highly respected and accomplished leaders who represent all facets of the public safety community, including emergency management, fire, public health and law enforcement.

The Council provides public safety thought leadership to Verizon and to the first responder agencies and communities that Verizon and its partners serve. The Council helps Verizon focus on the most important industry trends, priorities and needs affecting first responders so that Verizon can equip public safety professionals with the reliable, innovative, tailored solutions and technologies necessary to help keep them and our communities safe.

Meet the Council

We invite public safety agencies across the nation to take advantage of the expertise and guidance of the Verizon First Responder Advisory Council through events, webinars, meetings and conversations.

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Chair William J. Bratton

  • Chair, Homeland Security Advisory Council
  • Executive Chairman, Teneo Risk
  • Former Police Commissioner, New York Police Department (NYPD) and Boston Police Department (BPD)
  • Former Chief, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD)

See William J. Bratton's bio

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Susan Benton

  • Victim Assistance Coordinator, Diocese of Venice
  • Former Sheriff of Highlands County, Florida
  • Past President Florida Sheriffs Association
  • Former Lieutenant of Criminal Investigations

See Susan Benton's bio

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David Cagno

  • Senior Vice President, Teneo Risk
  • Former Lieutenant Commander, New York Police Department (NYPD)

See David Cagno's bio

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Salvatore Cassano

  • Senior Managing Director of Consulting and Lobbying Groups, Pitta Bishop & Del Giorno
  • Former Fire Commissioner, Fire Department of New York (FDNY)

See Salvatore Cassano's bio

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Brian Dugan

  • Tampa Chief of Police (Retired)
  • Member, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Police Executive Research Forum, and Board of Directors of the Tampa Police Foundation
  • Former Security Representative, National Hockey League

See Brian Dugan's bio


Kara Kalkbrenner

  • Former Chief Phoenix Fire Department
  • Graduate from the Naval Postgraduate School
  • Adjunct instructor for the Fire Services program at Maricopa County Community Colleges.

See Kara Kalkbrenner's bio

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Sandy Jo MacArthur

  • First Responder Training and Education Consultant
  • Former Assistant Chief, Office of Administrative Services, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD)
  • Former Captain, Civil Rights Integrity Division, LAPD

See Sandy MacArthur's bio

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Edward P. Plaugher

  • Member, Charity Rebuilding NOMADS
  • Former Fire Chief, Arlington County, VA
  • Former Deputy Fire Chief, Fairfax County, VA
  • Former Assistant Executive Director, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)

See Edward Plaugher's bio

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Charles H. Ramsey

  • Public Safety Advisor, U.S. Conference of Mayors
  • Former Commissioner, Philadelphia Police Department
  • Former Chief, Metropolitan (Washington, DC) Police Department

See Charles Ramsey's bio

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Ellis M. Stanley Sr.

  • Managing Partner, Ellis Stanley Partners
  • Chair, Global Board of Directors, International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM)
  • Former Director, Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency
  • Former General Manager, Emergency Preparedness Department, City of Los Angeles

See Ellis Stanley's bio

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Karen P. Tandy

  • Vice Chair, Homeland Security Advisory Council and Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking
  • Chairwoman, Board of Directors, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  • Former Administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Former U.S. Associate Deputy Attorney General
  • Former Chairwoman, Board of Directors, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

See Karen Tandy's bio

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J. Scott Thomson

  • Past President, Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
  • Former Chief of Police, Camden County, NJ
  • Former President, PERF

John Scott Thomson was sworn in as Chief of the Camden County Police Department on May 1, 2013. Prior to that, he served as Chief of the former Camden Police Department since 2008. Chief Thomson began his law enforcement career in 1992. He holds a master's degree in education from Seton Hall University and a bachelor's degree in sociology from Rutgers University.

During his career, Chief Thomson ascended through the ranks of the Camden Police Department. In 2011, he received the Gary P. Hayes Memorial Award from the PERF for Innovation and Leadership in Policing.

He served on the New Jersey Supreme Court Special Committee on Discovery in Criminal and Quasi-Criminal Matters, and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Committees for Officer Involved Shooting Responses, Conducted Energy Devices and Body Worn Cameras. In 2017, he received the H. Norman Schwarzkopf Award for Policing Excellence from the New Jersey Public Safety Accreditation Coalition.

Chief Thomson provided testimony for the President’s Task Force Report on 21st Century Policing on using community policing to reduce crime. He served as the Chairman of the Philadelphia/Camden High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Chief Thomson sits on the Board of Advisors for the New York University School of Law Center on the Administration of Criminal Law, the American Law Institute Principles of the Law—Police Investigations, the U.S. Attorney General Global Advisory Committee on Law Enforcement Use-of-Force Investigations Task Team, and the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. He is the Co-Chair of The Policing Project at New York University Law School, an Executive Fellow for the Police Foundation in Washington, DC, and a member of the Harvard University Law Enforcement Summit Executive Leadership Group.

Chief Thomson is the Past President of the PERF in Washington, DC.

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