John Schembra is the president of the PSWA. He is the award-winning author of five novels and several police procedure articles, and is currently working on his sixth book. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and a Masters Degree in Public Administration. John was a police officer for the Pleasant Hill PD, retiring as a Sergeant after 30 years. During his service, he worked as patrol, patrol supervisor, SWAT Team member, Investigator, and Training Manager. He was also the Lead EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operations Course) instructor for the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department for 27 years.
His first book, M.P., A Novel of Vietnam, chronicles the tour of duty of a young Military Policeman in Vietnam and was based in part on his personal experiences during his time as an MP there. The Vince Torelli series is about a homicide inspector with the San Francisco PD, and his book, Sin Eater, is a murder thriller with supernatural overtones.
John is a member of several writers groups, though his favorite group by far is the PSWA.
Scott Decker is the Vice President of the PSWA. Scott published his first book, Recounting the Anthrax Attacks —Terror, the Amerithrax Task Force, and the Evolution of Forensics in the FBI, in 2018. Recounting chronicles the investigation of the 2001 deadly mailing of anthrax and has won awards for science, memoir and true crime.
Scott joined the FBI as a Special Agent and was assigned to the Boston Division’s Bank Robbery Task Force. In 1997, he joined the FBI’s new Hazardous Materials Response Unit. The day after 9/11, he led a team to Ground Zero and established a command post at the edge of the destruction.
Current projects include writing a foreword for a new edition of the 1886 tome, Professional Criminals, by Thomas Byrnes. Scott contributes to Knife Magazine and is working on a second book about terrorism. He fixes an obsession with custom cars and horsepower by touring the Mojave Desert in a supercharged Mustang GT.
A detailed bio will be coming soon.
Marilyn Meredith is the Newsletter Chairman for the PSWA annual conference and the editor of the quarterly newsletter. She is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award-winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Bears With Us and Raging Water from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novels are No Bells and Angel Lost, the third and forth from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Central Coast chapter, and the Mystery Writers of America. She is often a speaker at writers events and conferences.
Michael Black is the conference chair of the PSWA.
He is the author of 36 books and over 100 short stories and articles. He has a BA in English from Northern Illinois University and a MFA in fiction writing from Columbia CollegeChicago. A retired police officer in the south suburbs of Chicago, he worked for over thirty years in various capacities including patrol supervisor, SWAT team leader, investigations and tactical
operations. In 2010 he was awarded the Cook County Medal of Merit by Cook County SheriffTom Dart. His Ron Shade series featuring the Chicago-based kickboxing private eye, has won several awards, as has his police procedural series featuring Frank Leal and Olivia Hart. He has written two novels with television star Richard Belzer and is writing The Executioner series under the name Don Pendleton. He also writes westerns under the name A.W. Hart (Gunslinger: Killer’s Choice and Gunslinger: Killer’s Brand) His current books are an Executioner novel (Cold Fury), the two aforementioned Gunslinger westerns, and Legends of the West under his own name. His novel Fatal Prescription won the Best Original Novel Scribe award in 2108. His hobbies include martial arts, weight lifting, and animal rescue.
Barbara M. Hodges is the Chair of the PSWA Writing Competition. She is the author or co-author of sixteen books. She lives in Nipomo, CA. Barbara shares her life with her husband Jeff and two rescue basset hounds, Heidi and Monty. Barbara is very involved with basset hound rescue and you will find a rescued basset hound in all her fiction books.
Barbara also hosts a monthly show on Blog Talk Radio titled, Books and Entertainment Radio’s No Limits with Barbara M. Hodges. On No Limits she interviews people involved in the fields of writing. Her show airs live, the third Tuesday of each month. When she isn’t writing, hosting, being a wife or mothering her hounds, she enjoys creating jewelry, watching the Kansas City Chiefs and rooting for her favorite NACAR driver, Daniel Suarez. Barbara is the vice-president for her local chapter of Sisters In Crime.
Bob has been a volunteer search and rescue dog handler for nearly 20 years, responding to everything from routine missing person cases to homicides to the horrific 2014 mudslide in Oso, Washington in which 43 people were killed. His current partner Ruger, an eight-year-old Golden Retriever, is certified for forensic-level human remains detection and works both active and cold homicide cases.
Bob retired from the Washington State Patrol in 2015 having served as the agency’s lead public information officer. He was previously the public information officer for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, having served in that role during the 9/11 attacks, the 6.8 Nisqually Earthquake and a major airline crash.
Joe LeFevre is the Technology Chair. He holds both a B.S. and M.S. in Criminal Justice along with a Ph.D. in Public Safety Administration. Joe currently is a full-time instructor at the Public Safety Training Center in Appleton, WI. His instructional focus is in investigations, forensic skills, along with officer fitness/wellness. Prior to teaching Joe was an officer along with having spent a few years in the fire service.
Joe has written for PoliceOne.com, Law Officer Magazine, Evidence Technology Magazine, and others. His peer-reviewed has been published in the Society of Automotive Engineers Journal. In addition, under the pen name RJ Beam he has a slowly growing series of mystery novels.
Michelle Perin-Callahan is the Past President of the PSWA. She spent seven and a half years as a police telecommunications operator with the City of Phoenix (AZ) Police Department following service in the U.S. Navy. She holds a master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Indiana State University and has been published in numerous law enforcement publications including Law Enforcement Technology, Law & Order and Police magazine. She writes two monthly columns for Officer.com. Michelle has done volunteer work as an advocate for sexual assault victims and veterans, and is a volunteer firefighter and EMT in the small Oregon town where she lives. She rides a Triumph America with the Patriot Guard honoring those who have served our nation. She currently works at Jasper Mountain, a psychiatric residential treatment facility for severely traumatized children.