Innovation meets grit.Stories of Courage
Director Leo Schmitz
Director Schmitz has been a leader in the Illinois law enforcement community since joining the Chicago Police Department in 1986. Most recently, he was appointed Director of the Illinois State Police under Governor Rauner. After graduating from Southern Illinois University, Schmitz began his law enforcement career with the Chicago Police Department patrolling the streets of Chicago. Throughout his law enforcement career, Schmitz has received numerous special commendations, honorable mentions and recognition awards. As Schmitz rose through the ranks, he quickly realized the significant role that technology plays in public safety and made technology a critical component in enabling his teams to better serve. Schmitz has also been active in embracing technology under his leadership and while serving on countless public safety and industry associations.
The Aurora Police Department
Sgt. Wolcott accepted the Protector Award on behalf of Chief Kristen Ziman and the Aurora Police Department. Aurora PD was given the award for their innovation and use of technology, specifically in the departments innovative use of social media to engage their community as well as their deployment of drone solutions, where this game changing technology has been used for everything from photographing traffic scenes to searching for murder suspects. These efforts were brought to bear during the Henry Pratt shooting where their teams deployed drones to help officers respond and to live stream the complex scene to command and control elements. This award honors the department as well as the first responders who were injured and risked their lives in the deadly active shooter incident on February 15th, 2019.
Charlie Guddemi serves as the District of Columbia’s Statewide Interoperability Coordinator for the Homeland Security & Emergency Management Agency. In this role, Guddemi has the difficult task of managing critical technology and communications integration, interoperability, and compliance throughout the nation’s capital and the surrounding region. Guddemi has championed technology in creative ways for years, having secured some of this nation’s largest special events and its most revered landmarks. Having served in Special Operations, and Major Events within the U.S. Park Police, Guddemi’s 25 year federal law enforcement career culminated with him leading the agency’s innovation efforts, as a Commander and then Chief of Technical Services. Guddemi also serves on various public safety associations and committees focused on leveraging technology to support agencies and their communities.
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ResponderXLive is a first-of-its-kind monthly event series optimized to meet the needs of public safety; free to attend, unsponsored, and featuring only vetted technology that meets the high standards required of the industry. A Protector Award is given at the conclusion of every event. Attend an event nearest you to help recognize the winners and hear their stories live.
- June 27, Chicago, IL ResponderXLive in partnership with Darley
- July 25, Washington, DC 5G First Responder Lab powered by Verizon
- September 12, Boston, MA ResponderXLive in partnership with AWS
- September 19, Washington, DC 5G First Responder Lab powered by Verizon
- October 17, Washington, DC ResponderXLive in partnership with IFAFRI
- November 14, San Francisco, CA 5G First Responder Lab powered by Verizon
- November 19, Perry, GA #OCR19 powered by Verizon & Nokia
- January 29, San Francisco, CA 5G First Responder Lab powered by Verizon
The Protector Award identifies first responders who leverage technology and innovation to go above and beyond to keep our communities safe
Please submit a form if you or you know of a first responder that deserves recognition for their commitment and sacrifice.
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