POLIS

SOLUTIONS

POLIS PROVIDES TECHNOLOGY AND HUMAN EXPERTISE TO STRENGTHEN PUBLIC TRUST AND SAFETY

Our journey began at DARPA, where our founders led a major program to develop leading-edge technology for measuring and influencing trust in high-consequence situations. Since then, Polis has grown into a national company dedicated to helping police agencies and communities integrate technology, science, and real-world human expertise to build public trust and safety.

What makes Polis unique is our ability to integrate real-world experience with state-of-the-art science and technology.  As police veterans, we know first-hand the tactical, legal, and ethical challenges of public safety. As scientists, we know what it takes to research complex, high-stakes problems and develop reliable tools to solve them. Like our clients, the Polis team is driven by a mission to make a real difference, and to helping ensure that all people achieve their basic human right to safety, trust, and peace.

2014

Polis Is Founded To Expand Our Work From DARPA

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2015

T3 - Tact, Tactics, and Trust Training Program Launched

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2016

DOJ Awards Polis Major Funding For National Delivery Of T3

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2018

Polis Pilots The Use of Natural Language Processing To Automatically Measure Police Expertise

2020

DOJ Funds Polis to Create the ADAPT Program on Police Adaptive Decision Making

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2021

Polis Builds Prototype of TrustStat™ Multimodal System to Analyze Body-Worn Camera Data

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2022

TrustStat™ Prototype Demo at IACP

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2023

Commercial Launch of TrustStat™ With Support From Microsoft

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2014

Polis Is Founded To Expand Our Work From DARPA

Round purple and blue swirl decorative graphic

2015

T3 - Tact, Tactics, and Trust Training Program Launched

Round purple and blue swirl decorative graphic

2016

DOJ Awards Polis Major Funding For National Delivery Of T3

Round purple and blue swirl decorative graphic
Round purple and blue swirl decorative graphic

2018

Polis Pilots The Use of Natural Language Processing To Automatically Measure Police Expertise

2020

DOJ Funds Polis to Create the ADAPT Program on Police Adaptive Decision Making

Round purple and blue swirl decorative graphic

2021

Polis Builds Prototype of TrustStat™ Multimodal System to Analyze Body-Worn Camera Data

Round purple and blue swirl decorative graphic

2022

TrustStat™ Prototype Demo at IACP

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2023

Commercial Launch of TrustStat™ With Support From Microsoft

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The Polis team invites your agency to join us in creating the next milestones in our journey.

FOUNDERS

Co-Founder and CEO
Jonathan M. Wender, Ph.D.

Jonathan is a “philosopher-cop” and entrepreneur who has dedicated his professional life to understanding and improving human interactions in high-consequence environments. He has broad experience developing technology, training, and technical assistance programs designed to improve public trust and safety. Jonathan leads the team that created TrustStat™. He is a twenty-year police veteran and later served at DARPA as a senior advisor for the “Good Stranger” program. Jonathan also taught at the University of Washington. He is internationally recognized for his expertise on police decision-making, social interaction, and other topics. He earned his Ph.D. in criminology from Simon Fraser University.

Co-founder and Chief Science Officer
Brian Lande, Ph.D.

Brian is a fifteen-year police veteran and sociologist with a passion for using science and technology to improve public trust. He leads the practical application of scientific research on human interaction, trust, and policing in the TrustStat™ BWC analytics system. Brian also oversees Polis’ research and evaluation portfolio on topics such as adaptive decision-making, de-escalation, and procedural justice. He directs liaison with Polis’ university, non-profit, and other institutional research partners. Brian’s pioneering work on computational social science led to his appointment as program manager at DARPA for the “Good Stranger” program. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley.

TECHNOLOGY

Product Development and Executive Advisor
Dep. Chief (ret.) Chris Bolton

Chris oversees product development for TrustStat™ and other Polis data analytics tools to ensure optimal value, convenience, and transparency for our client agencies and communities. He also serves on a range of Polis projects that require senior executive and law enforcement command experience. Chris retired as deputy chief of the Oakland (CA) Police Department following twenty-three years of service. Some of his assignments included department chief of staff, department inspector general, internal affairs division commander, area captain, and special resource section lieutenant. Chris is also a Military Police Corps veteran of the U.S. Army and California Army National Guard.

Senior Program Manager
Denise Rodriguez, M.A.

Denise supports Polis projects on police reform and accountability, body-worn camera analytics, civilian oversight of police, and community-based policing. She currently serves as the Chief Deputy Police Monitor on the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the United States Department of Justice Consent Decree. Denise also serves as the Associate Monitor over Impartial Policing on the City of Chicago Independent Monitoring Team. She is nationally respected for her ability to integrate diverse and even conflicting positions into the development of collaborative, data-driven police reform programs. Denise holds an M.A. in forensic psychology from Marymount University.

Chief Data Scientist
Vivian Ta-Johnson, Ph.D

Vivian directs the natural language processing functions of the TrustStat™ BWC analytics system and the related development of new AI tools for analyzing social interactions. She also serves on Polis research projects involving the application of natural language processing to the analysis of police-community interactions. Vivian is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest (IL), where she directs the Technology, Relationships, and Language Lab. The TRL Lab focuses on using natural language processing and other computational techniques to analyze social interactions. Vivian holds a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington.

System Architect
Marc Tomlinson, Ph.D.

Marc directs engineering and operations for the TrustStat™ system and supports related Polis projects on the use of AI to analyze high-consequence social interactions. Marc has extensive experience on the modeling of psychological and social behavior using multimodal technology, deep-learning based large-scale natural language processing, and leading-edge AI techniques. He has worked as a senior research scientist on several DARPA and IARPA programs on the application of computational social science, AI, and multimodal analysis to address complex defense and national security matters. Marc holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Texas (Austin).

CONSULTING AND TRAINING

Instructional Designer
Kerry Avery, M.Ed.

Kerry serves as lead designer for Polis virtual and classroom training and education programs. She has over twenty years of experience designing and developing online, classroom and blended training programs. Kerry has created training on a wide range of topics for police agencies in Canada, the United States, Central America, and Ukraine. She also serves as managing editor of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) journal and is a certified instructor through International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST). She earned her M.Ed. in distance education at Athabasca University.

Senior Instructor
Sgt. (ret.) Robert Bardsley

Rob is a senior instructor for Polis’ T3 – Tact, Tactics, and Trust and ADAPT programs. He served for over 35 years with the King County (WA) Sheriff's Department. Rob’s assignments included patrol, proactive team, and SRO. Rob also served on the Green River Task Force that tracked down the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history. He was later assigned as a Sexual Assault Unit detective, and then as department rangemaster. In addition, Rob served as an academy instructor, where he taught defensive tactics, criminal investigations, firearms, and patrol procedures.

Senior Consultant and Instructor
Marc Brown, Ed.D.

Marc brings expertise on the use of force, Constitutional policing, community policing, leadership, and de-escalation to a wide range of Polis projects. He serves as a use of force and control tactics instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), and is a fourteen-year police veteran, having served primarily with the Charleston (SC) Police Department in a variety of assignments, including intelligence, federal task force operations, and community relations in historically marginalized Black neighborhoods. Marc is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Marc holds an Ed.D. from Grand Canyon University.

National Training Director
Sgt. (ret.) Don Gulla

Don leads delivery of Polis’ core training programs and supports development of new curricula on adaptive decision-making, force options, de-escalation, and social interaction. He specializes in creating holistic training that integrates social, tactical, and decision-making skills. Don served for thirty-three years with the King County (WA) Sheriff’s Office, where he spent the majority of his career in CIT, hostage negotiation, SWAT, and training. Don has earned an international reputation for his innovative, street-tested techniques that combine a full spectrum of force options with de-escalation tactics and principles of procedural justice.

Senior Consultant and Instructor
Trak Silapaduriyang, Ph.D.

Trak is a Polis subject matter expert on the use of force, de-escalation, officer decision-making, and police training and education. Trak has served with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) for twenty-one years and is currently assigned as a patrol sergeant. He is also CPD’s and the City of Chicago’s lead expert witness for all federal litigation related to the police use of force and related civil rights claims. Trak’s work on integrating human rights and police training has played an instrumental role in police reform efforts in Thailand and Vietnam. He earned his Ph.D. at DePaul University.

OPERATIONS

Program Manager
Margaret S. Hornor, M.A.

Margaret oversees a broad portfolio of Polis projects related to police reform, research and evaluation, police training and education, and technology development. She is also lead program manager for Polis’ federally funded grant awards and subawards. Margaret has wide experience managing nationally dispersed multiorganization project teams, and in providing oversight to ensure efficient workflow and quality control. Margaret also supports Polis’ general business operations. Prior to joining Polis, she worked for non-profit organizations responsible for coordinating federally funded healthcare and wellness initiatives. Margaret earned her M.A. in criminal justice at Seattle University.

Financial Manager
​Rachelle Wright

Rachelle oversees Polis’ financial operations with responsibility for managing program budgets and fiscal planning and administration. She has extensive experience overseeing regulatory and legal compliance with federally funded awards and subawards. Rachelle previously served for over twenty-five years with the State of Washington Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC) where she managed a wide portfolio of large, multiagency programs in areas such as CIT/mental health response, curriculum/instructor development, community collaboration, and firearms training. She is a lifetime member of CIT International Certified Crisis Intervention Specialist 1.

ADVISORY BOARD

Todd Huffman

Todd is an emerging technology entrepreneur working at the intersection of new science and a changing world. He is an experienced founder and early team member with a demonstrated history of working in biotechnology, geography, and disaster response. Todd first collaborated with Polis’ co-founders on overlapping DARPA projects. Since then, Todd has assisted Polis with the transition from government R&D to the private sector. Todd has been involved in several exits, foremost among them 3Scan and IST Research. He enjoys developing technology, teams, and market entry for emerging markets or tech. His education is in neuroscience, business, and computer science.

Peter H. Tu, Ph.D.

Peter is Chief Scientist for Artificial Intelligence (AI) at GE Research. Since 1997, he has worked at GE Research on numerous DARPA, IARPA, DHS, FBI, and private sector projects on the application of AI, computer vision, and multimodal technology to the analysis of social interactions. Peter has published over 75 peer reviewed papers and filed more than 50 patents. He originally collaborated with the co-founders of Polis at DARPA. Peter advises Polis on technical and commercial scaling of the TrustStat™ system and assist with ongoing integration of GE computer vision capabilities into TrustStat™. He earned his D.Phil. from Oxford University.

Team Integrity and Expertise
For the Polis team, integrity is everything. We know from real-world experience that in policing, trust has life-and-death implications for both officers and community members. All of our work is shaped by this practical awareness. Our team's expertise is founded on a shared commitment to lifelong learning and continuous striving for excellence.  We learn from our mistakes and are always willing to subject our work to independent review and evaluation.
Unite Your Expertise and Ours
Polis has a proven model of collaboration that unites your agency's and community's assets and expertise with ours to solve hard problems.  Our clients have deep-rooted knowledge and experience born from being "insiders" at their agencies. Polis builds on each client's unique assets by customizing an optimal set of new ideas, strategies, technology, and tactics.  We know it's our duty to adapt our solutions to fit our clients' needs, not the other way around. Tell us about your toughest challenges at integrating data, operations, and outcomes and we will tell you how we can help.