Instructors

Melvin Bishop
Mel Bishop is a retired Master Police Officer and Forensic Technician who served 23 years with the Charlottesville, Virginia Police Department. He is a graduate of the 49th session of the Virginia Forensic Science Academy and has a Master’s Degree in Entomology from the University of Nebraska/Lincoln. Mel has instructed crime scene techs, graduate students and various law enforcement agencies throughout the East Coast on entomological collection procedures. He has also lectured at various colleges and universities for the last 15 years in addition to his instruction for our Forensic Academy. He has worked and assisted on over 100 criminal and civil cases involving insect evidence.  Mel is a member of the Entomological Society of American, Florida Division of International Association of Identification and the North American Forensic Entomology Association.

Mel teaches: Flies, Features and Foliage

Terry Brandon - Southeastern Investigative Group
Terry Brandon joined the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in 1987 and served for 27 years. During this time, Det. Brandon was assigned to Patrol, Street Crimes Unit, SWAT, Sexual Assault Unit and Homicide Unit. While assigned to the Criminal Investigation Bureau for 21 years Det. Brandon has investigated 403 Rapes, and over 250 Sexual Offenses, 224 Homicides, 164 Death and Suicide Investigations, 51 ADWs, and 23 Officer Involved Shootings. Since retiring from CMPD Det. Brandon has dedicated his time to his family, classic car rebuild and teaching homicide investigation. ​​Education​​​ B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from University of North Carolina Charlotte, CMPD Training Academy BLET ​Law Enforcement/Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate, Police Response to Bomb Threats, Human Trafficking, Certified General Instructor BLET, Interviews and Interrogations, Reid Technique Interview and Interrogation, Criminal Investigative Analysis: Profiling, Rape Investigation, Sexually Violent Offenders, Serial Killers: Profiling and Crime Scene Identification, Child Fatality Investigation, Cold Case Homicide Investigation, Forensic Death Investigation, Shooting Reconstruction, Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, Southern Police Institute: Homicide Investigation.

Terry teaches: Documentation of Blood Evidence
Wounds and Pattern Injuries

Dr. Heather Burkard
Dr. Burkard is a Criminologist and Forensic Specialist. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Safety with a specialization in Criminal Justice; a Master’s degree in Forensic Science; and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology with minor in Biology, and a specialization in Management and Human Services.  She has actively worked in the field of forensic science as an investigator, instructor, and consultant for over 13 years. Dr. Burkard specializes in crime scene investigation, child homicide, and case analyses. She recently completed a comprehensive research study that analyzed the homicidal patterns of biological parents and stepparents who have killed their children, and is in the process of publishing her results.

Her career began in Tampa, FL as a Forensic Investigator for the Medical Examiner’s Office, then she relocated to North Carolina and joined the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Crime Scene Investigation Unit. A few years later, she moved to the Cabarrus County District Attorney’s Office as a Prosecutorial Investigator. At that time, she was assigned to the specialized Homicide Prosecution Team, as well as the Safe Haven Team — a specialized prosecution team for sexual offenses against children and adults, felony assaults, and domestic violence homicides.

Dr. Burkard is the President of Topline Forensic Consulting, Inc., which provides a variety of forensic consulting services and educational services. She is an adjunct professor for Saint Leo University, as well as Surry Community College and teaches graduate and undergraduate criminal justice and forensic science classes. Dr. Burkard is a member of several professional organizations, and is currently the President of the North Carolina Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. She also remains actively engaged with several local professional organizations, such as the Advisory Board of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Cabarrus County, the Cabarrus County Child Fatality Review Team, and the Cabarrus County Child Protection Team.

Heather teaches: Footwear & Tire Tracks
Summer Crime Scene Camps

Buren Foster
Mr. Foster is on the FBI Evidence Response Team, Charlotte, NC. Buren has many years of experience in both professional photography and crime scene photography. He teaches surveillance photography at the FBI academy at Quantico VA and is the lead forensic photographer for the FBI in North Carolina. He has done forensic photography assignments in Baghdad, Iraq and with the FBI Miami Division. His experience includes crime scenes, plane crashes, homicides, body recovery and terrorism type cases.

“Bernie” teaches: Basic Crime Scene Photography
Photoshop for Crime Scene Investigators

Ross M. Gardner

Ross is co-author of the text Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, with an Introduction to Crime Scene Reconstruction, 2nd Edition and author of Practical Crime Scene Processing and Investigation. He is certified by the International Association for Identification (IAI) as a Senior Crime Scene Analyst. Gardner holds a Master’s degree in Computer and Information Systems Management from Webster University, a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Wayland Baptist University and an Associate’s degree in Police Science from Central Texas College. He is a former President of the Rocky Mountain Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts (RMABPA) as well as the Association for Crime Scene Reconstruction (ACSR) and has serviced as Chairman of the Education Committee for the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts (IABPA). He is a current member of the FBI Scientific Workgroup on Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (SWGSTAIN).

Ross teaches: Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
Advanced Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

Eddie Howell
Eddie Howell is a Crime Scene Investigator with the Gaston County Police Department where he was also a former Criminal Investigations Detective. His experience includes various types of crime scenes, homicides, body recovery and death investigation type cases. He earned a bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University in Criminal Justice with a focus on Forensic Science. He has been an instructor for over 6 years teaching topics including Surviving Use of Force, Digital Evidence Recovery and Criminal Investigation. He has trained hundreds of students in the various topics.

Eddie teaches: Basic Crime Scene Academy
Death Investigations 101
Forensics for Patrol Officers

C. Scott Logue, PLS
Scott is the President of The Survey Company, Inc, a Charlotte, NC survey firm. Scott is a Professional Land Surveyor in North Carolina with over 28 years of experience with topographic, boundary, and environmental surveying as well as highway and construction layout, Global Positioning Systems, computation and CADD drafting. From 1998 till August 2001 he provided field engineering and construction layout for Intercon Builders in Charlotte. He joined The Survey Company, Inc. in 2001 as head of operations, managing office technician and field crews on boundary, topographic, environmental and construction staking surveys. Scott purchased the company in April of 2016. Education: York Technical College, Rock Hill, SC.

Lisa Mayhew

With both her bachelor and master degrees in Child Development, Lisa Mayhew has worked as a child development specialist in North Carolina since 1992. She has provided direct therapy services to children, as well as providing consultation and training within North Carolina and across the US in areas related to child development. She specializes in the 0-3 year population, children with special needs and interdisciplinary collaboration. Lisa has served as the Child Death Investigator/Trainer for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner since 2000 conducting investigations of child deaths statewide, and providing assistance in investigations to local and state agencies. In addition, Lisa operates the Child Death Investigation Training Program in conjunction with the North Carolina Justice Academy to local and state law enforcement agencies across the US.

Lisa teaches: Child Death Investigations

Don Mikko
Don is currently the President of Forensic Firearms Training Seminars, Inc., which provides a variety of forensic services for attorneys, law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, private investigators, military organization, international organizations s and civilian personnel. www.mikkoforensics.com

He is a retired Chief Warrant Officer who served in the United States Army and spent most of his military career as a Special Agent in the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC).

Don has been a Forensic Firearm and Toolmark Examiner since 1990 and has spent twenty-two (22) at the United States Army Crime Laboratory (USACIL), Fort Gillem, GA where he was the  Chief of the Firearms Branch.   He also served as the Director of the Atlanta Police Department Crime Laboratory.

He’s also an ASCLD/Lab Inspector and ISO 17025 Assessor and is certified by his professional organization known as the Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE) in all three forensic disciplines, which includes firearms, tool marks and gunshot residues. Less than 4% of his colleagues are certified in all three disciplines and Don also serves on several AFTE Committees and is currently a member of the AFTE Certification Committee.

Don is an adjunct professor for Southern Griffin Technical College and has instructed forensic and criminal justice courses at Central Texas College and Clayton State College.

He’s also a graduate of the FBINAA, class # 180th Session (1995). He has a Master’s Degree in Business Management, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and an Associate’s Degree in Police Science.

Don holds Post Certification within the State of Georgia for several forensic firearm type courses and he’s also a member of several professional organizations including AFTE, Internal Association for Identification (IAI), International Ammunition Association (IAA), CID Agents Association, FBI National Academy Association (FBINAA), 50 Caliber Shooters Association, Georgia Law Enforcement Firearm Instructors (GALEFI) and the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Don teaches: Basic Shooting Reconstruction
Advanced Shooting Reconstruction
Crime Scene Preservation & Ballistics Injury for EMS
Firearms Injuries and Distance Determination
Serial Number Restoration Techniques
Uncommon Firearms

Andrew D Phillips
Andrew has extensive law enforcement, military and unmanned aerial experience. Andrew recently retired after over twenty-eight years with Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department most recently as a Financial Crimes Detective. Andrew joined the Marines in 1982, served 8 years of active duty and then joined the Reserves in 2012. In deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan he was assigned to the Marine Corps War Fighting Lab where he was involved in the development of small unit concepts utilizing sUAS/Drone assets for combat operations. Andrew flew and operated experimental and commercial aerial and ground UAVs from 2013 to 2017 while assigned to the USMC Warfighting Lab. Utilizing his military experience and Remote Pilot certification, Andrew is introducing sUAS concepts for local Law Enforcements and Fire Departments in the Charlotte, NC region. Currently he is serving in the United States Marine Corps Reserves with a rank of Master Sergeant E-8 and is the owner and operator of SOAR Imagery, an aerial photography business.

Donald Rice
Donald completed his undergraduate studies at Florida State University with a Bachelor's degree in Criminology and Sociology. He attended law school at the University of Baltimore of Law and earned his Juris Doctorate in 2005. Since passing the North Carolina Bar, Donald has served as an Assistant District Attorney in Gaston County, NC. In his professional career, he has prosecuted cases ranging from traffic infractions to first degree murder. Donald specializes in DWI and domestic violence prosecution. He also teaches mandated in-service police training and BLET.

Donald teaches: Basic Crime Scene Academy
Legal Issues of Crime Scene Searches
Police Body Cameras - Legal Issues and Digital Evidence

Miquel Santiago - Southeastern Investigative Group
Before joining the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in 1999, Sgt. Santiago served over 21 years in the U.S. Army. After joining the CMPD, Sgt. Santiago was assigned to Patrol, Street Crimes Unit, Violent Crimes Task Force and the Homicide Unit. During his 10 1/2 years in the Homicide Unit, Sgt. Santiago investigated or assisted in over 233 homicide investigations, 58 ADW investigations, 16 Kidnappings, 231 Suicide and Death investigations and 30 Officer Involved Shooting investigations. Sgt. Santiago is currently assigned to the Internal Investigations Unit with CMPD.

​​Education​​​ AA Degree Criminal Justice Technology, Central Piedmont Community College, US Army - Combat Arms Primary, Basic and Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Courses, First Sergeant's Course, ​Law Enforcement/Basic Law Enforcement Training, Advanced Domestic Violence Training, Stalking Training, Rave & Club Drugs, High Risk Warrant Service, Hispanic Occult & Gang Groups, Street Drug Interdiction, Gangs Across the Carolinas, Interview & Interrogation, Cognitive Interviewing, Medico legal Death Investigation, Advanced Gang Investigation, RICO & Continuing Criminal Enterprise Investigations I, The Reid Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation, Investigative Career Path I & II, Bite Mark Evidence Recovery, Recovery of Footwear and Tire Track Impressions, Shooting Reconstruction, Southern Police Institute Homicide Course, Col. Henry F. Williams Homicide Seminar.

Miguel teaches: Documentation of Blood Evidence
Wounds and Pattern Injuries

Melissa Torpey
Melissa Torpey has worked as a forensic anthropologist for 11 years. She served as a subject matter expert for the Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit at the FBI Laboratory. Her research and casework experience has included vertebral aging, unidentified and missing persons cases, facial imaging, and time since death.

Melissa currently teaches at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and trains law enforcement annually at the American Academy of Applied Forensics at Central Piedmont Community College. .

Melissa teaches: Flies, Features and Foliage

Joe Valasquez
Joe Valasquez, PE is founder of DroneScape, PLLC. DroneScape, a professional engineering firm, and is a part time instructor at CPCC for various drone related classes. DroneScape is an engineering and training company focused on drone applications with major contracts with the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Joe is a registered professional engineer with over 20-years’ experience as both a private pilot and a UAS pilot. His experience spans thirty years in varying engineering assignments with Fortune 500 corporations. Five years’ experience was as a Quality Director for Allied Signal – design and manufacture of FAA certified commercial aircraft cockpit instrumentation. This experience is focused on aircraft cockpit instrumentation, flight risk management, avionics and flight systems and he is credited with 2 operational risk patents. Joe is an AACSB certified adjunct professor with instructional development and teaching experience at Queens University and CPCC. He earned a BS degree in Industrial Engineering at the University of Arizona and an MBA at Southern Illinois University.

Taurean Walker
Dr. Walker has been a Criminal Justice instructor, for CPCC Faculty since August 2011. He instructs college level students in a regionally accredited Criminal Justice Curriculum. His teaching load includes Criminology, Corrections, Juvenile Justice, Introduction to Criminal Justice, Intel Analysis & Security Management, Border & Transportation Security, Victimology, Criminal Law, & Crisis Intervention. Dr. Walker has also been an instructor at Brightwood College, Limestone College and ITT Technical Institute.

He received his Bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina (2004) He has a Bachelor of Science in Political Science/American Politics (emphasis in Professional Legal Studies) He received his Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice & Criminology (2009) from North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina. He also has a Doctor of Education, Higher Education Leadership and Policy,(2016) from University of North Carolina At Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina.

He has the following certifications and Licenses: Federal Aviation Administration Licensed Pilot, (2013) and certified Drone Pilot in Command, 2018. Dr. Walker is a subject matter expert on unmanned aerial vehicles and has flown numerous types of drones.

Classes taught for AAAF: Aerial Forensics and Summer Drone Academy Camp