Skip to main content

Meet the Speakers

Women in Law Enforcement Conference

Meet the Speakers

2024 Women in Law Enforcement Conference Speakers


Asst. Sheriff Sasha Larkin, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Asst. Sheriff Sasha Larkin has served for over 22 years with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department rising through the ranks in various capacities. In her current role she oversees the Homeland Security Division that encompasses the Southern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center, SWAT, Air Support, K-9 and the Intelligence Section. 

Larkin has served in a variety of assignments throughout her career including Patrol, Field Training, Vice, Undercover in the Intelligence Unit, bike officer on the Las Vegas Strip, Internal Affairs, as a Lieutenant in the Gang/Narcotics unit and as part of the Community Engagement team. 

Larkin teaches all over the world and has taught yoga for over 23 years including teaching yoga disciplines globally. 

Special Agent Nicole Lopez, FBI

Long before her career with the FBI, Nicole Lopez was a college athlete. Although she suffered from hearing loss since childhood, Lopez led her Northern Michigan University (NMU) Volleyball team as their setter, using her sharpened eyesight to read players body language instead of hearing their shouted commands. Lopez later enlisted in the Army and was deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. When she attempted to shift to a career change, it led her down a four-year-long journey from the military to the FBI, in the process becoming a rare exception to the bureau’s stringent medical requirements of new agents. 

Initially, Lopez was denied entry because of her hearing loss, and because the agency refused to allow her to test her hearing while wearing her aid, Lopez eventually successfully appealed the FBI’s decision and was admitted to the academy in 2017. Today, Lopez works in the Bemidji Office of the Minneapolis Division of the FBI working Indian Country Crimes. She was recently promoted to Lieutenant Colonel with the U.S. Army Reserve Military Police Corps.  

Mauren “Mo” McGough, National 30x30 Initiative

Maureen Q. McGough is the Chief of Strategic Initiatives for the Policing Project at the New York University School of Law and co-founder of the 30x30 Initiative to improve the representation and experiences of women in policing, which supports over 300 agencies across the country. 

She also is on a detail with the US Department of Justice, focusing on the recruiting crisis and improving law enforcement diversity. Maureen joined the Policing Project from the National Police Foundation, Mowhere she led the non-profit’s technical assistance efforts as Director of National Programs. Maureen spent a decade with the federal government, where she served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Director of the National Institute of Justice, counsel on terrorism prevention to the Deputy Attorney General, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and coordinator for AIDS relief efforts through the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda. 

Maureen is a member of the FBI’s Law Enforcement Education and Training Council and the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing executive board. She is an attorney and earned her J.D. from George Washington University Law School. 

CeCe Moore - Genetic Genealogist 

Throughout the last decade, CeCe Moore has been considered an innovator and pioneer in the use of autosomal DNA to resolve unknown parentage and family mysteries, frequently consulted by DNA testing companies, genealogists, adoptees, law enforcement and the press. 

Learn more

Tonya Rider, Ret., Toledo Police Department and TV Personality 

Tonya Rider has over 27 years of experience in law enforcement, most notably her time spent working as a detective for the Toledo Police Department’s Crimes Against Persons Unit. Rider’s passion to help others took her to the department’s Sexual Assault Unit where she successfully obtained hundreds of sexual assault convictions as well as multiple federal convictions for her work on the Internet Crimes Against Children’s (ICAC) taskforce in conjunction with the United States Secret Service. Since 2009, she has served as a consultant to the State of Ohio Attorney General on sexual assault investigations. 

During her career with the Toledo Police Department, Rider received a Meritorious Service Medal for her work on a high-profile cold case homicide investigation. Rider retired from the Homicide Unit in 2016 and is currently a full-time Forensic Investigations Instructor at Bowling Green State University. 

Rider was featured on Oxygen’s Cold Justice where she assisted a team of ex-investigators in re-examining cold cases and returning justice.   

Learn more

Tracie Webb, Michigan State Police, Director - Office of Behavioral Science

Tracie Webb is the Michigan State Police’s Chief Psychologist and Director of the Office of Behavioral Science (OBS).  This section provides clinical services to enlisted and civilian personnel who work for the Michigan State Police. These services include conducting critical incident debriefings, recruit psychological assessments, individual therapy for members and their spouses, and psychoeducation at no cost to agencies or their employees. 

Tracie came to MSP from the Michigan Department of Corrections and holds a BA from Michigan State University in Communications and Media Studies and a MA from Western Michigan University in Counseling Psychology. 

Julie Werhnyak, Ret., Tempe Police Department

Julie Werhnyak is a distinguished veteran of the Tempe, Arizona Police Department, where she proudly served for 20 years before retiring in 2016. Throughout her remarkable career, Julie received numerous accolades, including multiple life-saving awards, the prestigious Police Cross, the Medal of Valor, and recognition as both Officer of the Year and Defensive Tactics Instructor of the Year. 
Julie's expertise extends far beyond her decorated service. As a certified trainer for the Federal Air Marshals and an Adjunct Faculty Member for Rio Salado College, she has consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence in law enforcement education. Passionate about imparting knowledge, Julie holds certificates in Defensive Tactics, Force on Force, Firearms, and Crisis Negotiations. 
A black belt in tae kwon do, and two-time member of the United States Tae-Kwon-Do Team, Julie founded Artemis Self-Defense and developed Pre-Escalation™ — an innovative training program designed to equip officers with tactical and communication strategies aimed at preventing police encounters from escalating. 
Dedicated to advancing the field of law enforcement, Julie is the visionary behind the SOLE Summit, a groundbreaking program tailored for women in law enforcement. Through comprehensive training in defensive tactics, firearms, tactical emergency casualty care, and team building, the Summit aims to elevate skills, instill confidence, and foster professional growth among its participants. 

Panel: Strength in Service: A Women’s Resilience Roundtable

Tracie Webb, Moderator           
Michigan State Police, Director: Office of Behavioral Science

Jennifer Dillon
Michigan State Police, Manager: Wellness & Resiliency Section 

Rachel Starr                            
Michigan State Police, Michigan Intelligence Operations Center 

Tpr. Erin McGarry                     
Michigan State Police, Hart Post 

Sgt. Ashley Miller                     
Michigan State Police, Gaylord Post

Panel: Justice is Served: Women Defining Justice in Law Enforcement

Donna Pendergast, Moderator 
Former Assistant Attorney General 
Hon. Jaimie Powell-Horowitz            
45th District Court
Danielle Hagaman-Clark                    
Assistant Attorney General
Sunita Doddamani
Assistant United States Attorney