PSWA Board of Directors


photo of Michelle Perin-Callahan

Michelle Perin-Callahan, President

Michelle Perin-Calloway is the 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 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.

John Schembra, Vice-President

John Schembra 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.

Nancy Farrar

Nancy Farrar, Founding Member

Nancy Farrar is the treasurer-emeritus of the Public Safety Writers Association and a founding member of the new PSWA. She writes historical research articles for a tourist newspaper. She has been treasurer and auditor-controller for several non-profit organizations through the years. Nancy holds a master’s degree; her thesis was on police marriage and divorce. She has worked in retail most of her life and currently owns her own online store, She also does product and management consulting for other retail establishments. She is currently in the research phase of a writing project about railroad police.

Marilyn Meredith, Newsletter Editor

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. Visit her website and blog.

Tim Dees

Tim Dees, Secretary

Tim Dees is the Secretary of the PSWA Board of Directors, a writer, editor, trainer, and former law enforcement officer. After 15 years as a police officer with the Reno Police Department and elsewhere in Northern Nevada, Tim taught criminal justice as a full-time professor and instructor at colleges in Wisconsin, West Virginia, Georgia, and Oregon. He was also a regional training coordinator for the Oregon Dept. of Public Safety Standards & Training, providing in-service training to 65 criminal justice agencies in central and eastern Oregon. Tim has written more than 400 articles for nearly every national law enforcement publication in the United States. In 2005, Tim became the first editor-in-chief for, moving to the same position for at the beginning of 2008. He now writes on applications of technology in law enforcement from his home in SE Washington state.

Mike Black

Mike Black, Conference Chair

Michael A. Black is the Conference Chair for PSWA, and author of 20 books and over 100 short stories and articles. He has a BA in English from Northern Illinois University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He was a police officer in the south suburbs of Chicago for over thirty years and worked in various capacities in police work including patrol supervisor, SWAT team leader, investigations, and tactical operations.

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 also written two novels with television star Richard Belzer of Law & Order SUV. His hobbies include martial arts, running, and weightlifting.

In addition to his own novels, Black is currently writing novels in a highly popular Mack Bolan, the Executioner series. His latest novels are Sleeping Dragons and Chimes at Midnight.

Mysti Berry

Mysti Berry, Web Wrangler

Mysti Berry wrangles the website for PSWA and is the treasurer. She has a Masters in Writing from the University of San Francisco, and has been published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and other anthologies. She is an active member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and other writers organizations.

Mysti was invited to read at Bloody Scotland, and is in search of an agent for her work in progress.

She earns the money to support her writing habit by tech writing for software companies in San Francisco, and has settled into “a little redwood box” of a house on the southwest edge of town with her husband, graphic novelist Dale Berry and three black rescue cats. You can visit her at

photo of Thonie Hevron

Thonie Hevron, Member-at-Large

Thonie Hevron is one of two new members-at-large with PSWA. Thonie uses her law enforcement experience to write suspense novels based on the lives behind the badge. Retired, she lives with her husband in the historic Northern California town of Petaluma. On her blog, ( Thonie brings real police stories to accurately portray the law enforcement character. On Friday’s Writer’s Notes, she hosts authors discussing craft and lifestyle topics. Thonie’s two police procedural thrillers, By Force or Fear and Intent to Hold placed in the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA) Writing Contest in 2012 and 2014. With Malice Aforethought, the third book, ranked in the 2016 PSWA Writers Contest and the East Texas Writers Guild 2015 First Chapter Award. With Malice Aforethought won best published novel at the PSWA 2018 Writing Contest. All the Nick and Meredith Mysteries are available on Amazon. Hevron recently signed with Aakenbaaken & Kent, who will republish her books and the upcoming Felon with a Firearm, later in 2018. For further information, go to

photo of Scott Decker

Scott Decker, Member-at-Large

Scott Decker is one of two new members-at-large with 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.