PSWA Board of Directors


Michelle Perin 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.


Nancy Farrar is the treasurer 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 Olsen, PSWA President, aka "The Queen"

Marilyn Olsen is the coordinator of the PSWA writing competition and was our President for many years.  For 15 years, she  was publisher and principal writer for Indiana’s Finest, an 80-page quarterly magazine about the Indiana State Police. During that time, she published more than 400 articles about law enforcement. She is the author of two published books, Gangsters, Gunfire and Political Intrigue, the Story of the Indiana State Police and Women Who Risk: Profiles of 11 Women Who Do Extreme Sports. She is co-author of two medical books, Living with Chronic Heartburn and Living with Chronic Sinusitis and is co-editor of CopTales 2000, an anthology of 37 police stories. She has also been a newspaper reporter and freelance writer for a number of magazines, the national director of public relations for a retirement community development company and co-owner of her own PR and graphic design business. She is a marketing consultant, freelance editor, immediate past president of the Washington Press Association and a ceramic artist. She and her husband live in Bellingham, Washington.


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, PSWA Director

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.


Michael A. Black is the author of 20 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 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 the martial arts, running, and weight lifting.

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.


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.


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

Mysti’s first novella was acquired by a publisher who went broken. She’s sent it back out to find a home. Her first novel, By The Numbers, is going through yet another revision.

She earns the money to support her writing habit by working 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