Analyst of the Month

**NEW FEATURE** ~ Analyst of the Month

Each month, MACIA will feature an analyst throughout the state for us to all get to know better.

November Analyst: Janelle Cacopardo, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office

  • Work history/training/education in the field:
    • Current: Criminal Investigative Analyst with CISA at the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office; Previous: Criminal Investigative Analyst with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, NY; Criminal Intelligence Analyst with Wisconsin HIDTA (before there was even the thought to partner up with Minnesota and make it the North Central HIDTA).
    • Education: Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics & English, with a certificate in TESOL from UW – Madison; Master’s degree in Forensic Linguistics from Hofsta University on Long Island, NY; My thesis was on the function of evaluative language within Twitter threats.
    • Notable: In 2014, I had the opportunity to present my grad school research on turn-taking within 911 calls at the International Linguistics Association 59th Annual Conference in Paris.
  • Personal:
    • I was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI! This October marked my one-year of living in Minnesota. 🙂
    • I am a Cheesehead for life, and to me, a Badger will always be the superior animal (did I lose half of you now?).
    • This September, I got engaged to my fiance, Nick, who is from Ramsey, MN. We met at a bar in NYC while ordering drinks. Typical Midwesterners at the bar…
    • Nick was doing his med school out in Brooklyn, NY, and came back to his home state for his Family Medicine residency with Mayo, which is how I ended up in this much-colder state. (For real, it gets at least colder than Milwaukee!)
    • I unfortunately now say “coffee” instead of “cawfee”. I cannot make it stop!
    • I studied Swahili in college, and lived in Tanzania for a couple of months. Yes, Hakuna Matata actually does mean “there are no worries”.
    • I enjoy testifying.
    • Our tradition on New Year’s Day: we pick a state out of a hat and wherever we get, that is where we are vacationing that year. This year we got Montana! I am still patiently waiting for Hawaii.
    • I will always throw down for a good meat and cheese board.
    • I absolutely adore Corgis. My family has one, named Tucker. He has the fluffiest butt and reminds me of a Twinkie.

October Analyst: Nicole Popovich, La Crosse WI Police Department

  • Work history/training/education in the field:
    • Current: Crime Analyst for the La Crosse Police Department in Wisconsin. I am involved in MACIA because La Crosse is basically on the border of Wisconsin and Minnesota AND because all of you are so welcoming. 🙂 This is my first job out of grad school, and I have been working here for ten months now. This is a new position for my department as well!
    • Education: Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse; Master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Loyola University – Chicago.
  • Personal:
    • My whole family was born and raised in Chicago, IL, so I am a die-hard Bears/Cubs fan (I dislike WI teams way more than MN teams, if that helps!). We moved to Janesville, WI when I was very young.
    • I consider myself to be a bit of a nerd. I love cinema in general, and have way too many “favorite” movies to pick just one. I also enjoy a good musical score in a movie, and will listen to them so much I can picture what part in the movie it’s at. I like superhero movies (DC and Sony are far more superior, sorry MCU/Disney fans), and my favorite superhero is Spider-Man.
    • Halloween is by far my favorite holiday, and I already have my costume planned: Spider-Gwen from “Into the Spider-Verse”.
    • I still buy CDs and DVDs and will never stop – yes, I am indeed a 90s girl.
    • I have a 13-year-old dog named Zeplin, who is my life (his first owners were huge Led Zeppelin fans), and he is a Border Collie/Springer Spaniel mix.
    • I love to travel, and hope to get out and explore more, now that I am completely done with school (thank goodness).
    • I am also proudly part of a team who are the 2-time reigning champs (so far) of “The Office” trivia at a local restaurant/bar in La Crosse.
    • How I got into LE: My older brother, who is a police officer in my hometown at the Janesville PD, has always been my role model since I was a kid. I went on numerous ride-alongs with him during college and realized I did not want to be a police officer, but I knew that I wanted to be involved in LE in some way to help officers. I was originally a Cellular Biology major with a CJ minor, hoping to work in a crime lab…at the end of my junior year, I decided (very last minute) that I did not want to pursue anything remotely related to Analytical Chemistry and switched my major to Sociology. I loved SOC and CJ so much that I wanted to learn more about it, so I did what any (in)sane person would do – I went to grad school. I interned at the Rockford IL PD’s Crime Analysis and Intelligence Unit during grad school, and immediately knew what I wanted to do.
    • I have been told that I look like a lot of different celebrities/characters over the years. I’m assuming it’s just because of my bangs…but just for fun here are a few: Zooey Deschanel, Katy Perry, Carly Rae Jepsen, Velma from Scooby-Doo, Hannah from Supernatural, Maeve Donovan from Criminal Minds, and Abby from NCIS. I get this last one more when I try to explain my career to people and they say, “Oh, so you’re like Abby from NCIS?! You even kind of look like her!”

September Analyst: Deanna Acker, Maple Grove Police Department

  • Work history/training/education in the field:
    • Current: Crime Analyst with Maple Grove since 2017; Previous: Army Intel Officer (deployed to Iraq, and did IED analysis, with trends and cells); 6th grade teacher in Memphis, TN; Freelance writer and editor for a book publisher (yes, I am a member of the grammar police)
    • Education: Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from West Point; Master’s degree in Writing from Lindenwood University.
  • Personal:
    • I was born in Derby, KS, and grew up in Joplin, MO (the town that got hit by the EF-5 tornado in 2011).
    • I married one of my West Point classmates. We have two boys, ages 12 and 4, as well as our cat, Cinnamon.
    • We have a fun family tradition of doing themed family Halloween costumes. The best one so far has been Power Rangers. This year, we are going to be characters from Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. The boys are currently arguing over who gets to be Miles Morales.
    • It seems like my hobby these days is chauffeuring the kids places. However, I like watching sports, reading, and building Legos.
    • My favorite book: This is tough because there are so, so many I love. But Matilda by Roald Dahl was my first love.
    • My favorite food: Pizza.
    • My favorite drink: Pepsi is better than Coke. Fight me.
    • My favorite song: “Word Crimes,” by Weird Al Yankovich. If you don’t understand the lyrics to this, you probably need an editor.
    • My favorite movie: The Harry Potter series (though the books are better). I’m also loving the current Marvel movie series.
    • My favorite teams: Lynx, Timberwolves, New Orleans Saints, and of course, Army. Go Army! Beat Navy!
    • My favorite Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw, though I wish I was a Gryffindor.

August Analyst: Chelsea Adams, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office – CISA

  • Work history/training/education in the field:
    • Current: Criminal Investigative Analyst with CISA at the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office; Previous: Crime Prevention Specialist in the 5th Precinct of the Minneapolis PD
    • Education: Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology (Cultural focus) from Macalaster College
    • Interesting College Experiences: I studied abroad in Fiji, lived with Sunni Muslim mothers, and wrote my paper on Women in Islam. I also did an anthropological study of a local crime lab, and later wrote a paper on Media vs. Reality, with regards to crime labs, and compared CSI, Forensic Files, and the local lab.
  • Personal:
    • I am interested in: Nerdiness. I like computers, writing, reading, drawing, playing Sims, reading/watching manga/anime.
    • I love languages! I have taken classes in seven languages, but am not fluent in anything other than English. I am second-most fluent in Spanish, would like to learn Arabic/Gaelic/Korean, would like a refresher on Japanese, would like to reacquaint myself with the Cyrillic alphabet, and learn: Sumerian or similar cuneiform, Eldar Futhark, ready hieroglyphs, and learn more proto-writing or any other super old language.
    • I believe that dogs are better than humans, and live with my dog, Harley, who is a huge dork. She has a tendency to lay around in weird ways, looking like she is inexplicably dead.
    • I am vegan, and love tea (I always keep a bunch of tea at my desk for anyone to have).
    • I am the official keeper of the nicknames in our office, and may or may not have a terrifying creeper face on a stick to jumpscare my coworkers.
    • I love cemeteries. One of my favorite things to do is stop at the oldest-looking cemeteries that I can find, walk around looking at tombstones, clear off the old ones that have not been touched in years, and wonder about the stories hidden behind the names.
    • When I was 4 1/2, my mom dressed me ostensibly as a large cat (cheetah? leopard?). Why would you do that to me, Mom? Why?
    • People would always call me Wednesday Addams or sing the Addams Family song to me growing up, as I am as pale as Casper the Ghost, my last name is Adams, and my hair has always been dark. I consider it to be a compliment: Wednesday is pretty dope.
    • A favorite thing in my office is a massive mug that my friend got me in San Francisco…makes me laugh every time. You will know it when you see it. 😉
    • For a while, I had blue hair, and at one point, green. It is my goal in life to be able to go back to one of them…

July Analyst: Brielle Bernardy, Ramsey County Attorney’s Office

  • Work history/training/education in the field:
    • Current: Criminal Justice Analyst at the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office; Previous: Security Officer at the Rosedale Mall; Volunteer/Intern for the Roseville Police Department
    • Instructor for the Intelligence and Crime Analysis Program at Century College
    • MACIA Secretary
    • Education: Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Metro State; Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Metro State; Certificate in Intelligence and Crime Analysis from Century College
    • About Current Position: I help run the Criminal Division with Investigations after charging, work on cold cases, run statistics for management, and assist attorneys with analytic products for trial.  
  • Personal:
    • I was born and raised in MN. I have lived in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis my whole life.
    • I adore Minnesota and all it has to offer.
    • In my free time I love to do art, travel, go to my parents’ cabin, fish, spend time with family and friends, and work on my townhome.
    • My friends and family call me Double B or Red.

June Analyst: Alyssa Ryder, Duluth Police Department

  • Work history/training/education in the field:
    • 2009-2019 – Police Crime and Intelligence Analyst
    • Internship: BCA in the SIU during undergrad; Summer Worker at the Virginia PD
    • Groups: Lake Superior Drug & Violent Crime Task Force; Lake Superior Child Abduction Response Team
    • Education: Bachelor’s in Theatre (Performance) & Psychology (Law Concentration) w/minor in Dramaturgy from Augsburg College; Master’s in Criminology from UMD (Thesis Practicum focused on utilization of analysts in cold case homicide investigations)
    • Certification: CCIA from CA Dept of Justice/CA State University, Sacramento/Alpha Group
  • Notables:
    • Favorite Tasks/Projects: Large scale conspiracy cases with fun link charts and case summary PDFs with lots of phone tolls; Pen Registers/phone tolls are also fun
    • Funny Work Story: I was testifying in a homicide jury trial and when asked to state my name, dumped my entire glass of water all over myself…then I tried to pretend it didn’t happen by slyly leaning over the puddle in front of me…nobody could stop laughing for what seemed like forever.  I was told that it made me very relatable though, so maybe I’ll work that in every time. 
  • Personal:
    • Married to Cody, Daughter Irene, who tells everyone she is 8 (she’s 3 1/2)…she often wears a crown, wings, cape, and cowgirl boots wielding a sword; often declares herself to be feeling “sassy”
    • My hobbies: DCM Rifle Matches (M-1 Garand blamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamPING), Scrapbooking, Road Trips, Reading
    • Hometown: Virginia, MN (“Nothing Stranger than a Ranger!”)

May Analyst: Cody Larson, Mall of America Special Operations, Bloomington

  • Work history in the field:
    • 2018 to Present: Security Intelligence Analyst – Mall of America, Special Operations
    • 2016 to 2017: Criminal Intelligence Analyst – North Dakota State and Local Intelligence Center
    • 2016: Crime Analyst – St. Paul Police Department
    • 2015 to 2016: Park Patrol Agent – Minneapolis Park Police
    • 2008-2012, 2014-2015: Reserve Officer – Minneapolis Police Department
  • Notable Moments in LE:
    • Lead Tactical Analyst for Dakota Access Pipeline Protest
    • Received SPPD Chief’s Award in 2013 while working as an Investigative Intern (Analytical work regarding a Craigslist Robbery/Shooting series)
    • POST-eligible in 2010
    • Recurring guest speaker at Metro State
  • Personal History:
    – Grew up in Crookston, MN
    – Received Bachelor’s Degree in LE from Metro State University, and a Certificate of Crime and Intelligence Analysis from Century College
    – Crossfit and Powerlifting Coach; Judo and Martial Art student since 2015
    – Engaged to Megan since 2016; parents to 3 annoying, but loveable cats
    – Started taking Japanese at Normandale last month
    – Avid comic book/video game/anime nerd, as well as a military history and mythology nerd. 🙂

April Analyst:  Ben Kroll, MN National Guard Counterdrug Task Force

  • Work history in the field:
    • 2007-2012 – Active Duty Military Police Officer, overseas to: Daegu, South Korea in 2007 & Baghdad, Iraq in 2009
    • 2012 to Present – I left Active Duty and joined the Minnesota National Guard, Re-classed job fields to become a Military Intelligence Analyst
    • 2015 to Present – Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force. Assigned to Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office – CISA Unit
  • Notable Training:
    • Military Intelligence certification – 2012
    • Anoka Technical College – certified A-EMT – 2014
    • Integrated Drug and Contraband course at Camp Doge, IA – 2015
    • Criminal Analyst certified through NGB CA Phase I & II courses – 2016
    • NGB Threat Finance Phase I course – 2016
    • ZETX and Cell Hawk – cell phone mapping basic courses – 2017/2018
  • Personal History:
    • Married to Samantha since 2015. We have a daughter named Ellie that is a 1 ½ years old. She takes up most of our spare time!
    • My hobbies: shooting, hunting, camping, hockey, and brewing my own beer
    • We have two dogs: Luna – Australian Shepherd, Sadie – Pomeranian

March Analyst:  Angela Backer-Hines, Eagan PD

  • Employed with Eagan PD since 2014
  • Hometown is Bloomington
  • Lives in Bayport with her husband Jeff, son Michael, and dog Chicchai
  • BA in Criminal Justice and Forensic Science from Hamline University and MS in Criminal Justice – Criminal Behavior from Tiffin University
  • Certified Law Enforcement Analyst with IACA, Criminal Intelligence Certified Analyst with IALEIA, Certified Criminal Intelligence Analyst with Alpha Group/California DOJ
  • Analyst since 2004 – Past work history includes Robbinsdale PD, Burnsville PD, Ramsey County SO, MN Gang and Drug Task Forces, BCA and MN Fusion Center
  • MACIA Treasurer/Board Member since 2009, and Training Coordinator & Instructor for IACA since 2013
  • Hobbies include reading, cooking/baking, watching movies, home remodeling projects, painting, going to the lake (when it is nice out) and watching hockey (when it’s not nice out – ha)
  • Random –
    • Could probably live off bread and cheese if it wasn’t so unhealthy…
    • Being away from home for four weeks with USSS in Alabama for forensic training (while pregnant) was one of the most challenging experiences to date
    • Hopes to move to Ireland someday (Johnstown Castle photo from her trip in 2013 and the Kilbeggan Distillery – best little town ever)
    • Favorite movies and horror films and musicals, and yes sometimes they are watched back to back
    • Favorite band is Bon Jovi – but she will always change the radio station if they play Livin’ on a Prayer

February Analyst:  Luther Krueger, Minneapolis PD

Crime Prevention Analyst:  2007- Present; Crime Prevention Speciailist:  1995-2007

  • Resident of MN since 1974, of Minneapolis since 1980. Lyndale Neighborhood (SW Mpls) resident since 1987.
  • BA in English and Theatre Arts, U of M 1985
  • Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration (MPNA), Metropolitan State University, 2005
  • Prior to joining MPD: Managed a bookstore in S. Mpls 1980-1989. Temped for 2 yrs before getting hired by IDS Life Insurance in 1991. Left IDS in 1994 to be the Community Organizer for the Lyndale Neighborhood Association.
  • Volunteered with Lyndale’s crime prevention committee in 1992, which led to applying to MPD as a CPS and getting hired in 1995.
  • Moonlighting: Teaches occasional courses at Metropolitan State University in the MPNA degree program. Next course: Capstone for the MPNA, Spring Semester 2019.
  • Writing: Occasional columnist for the Southwest Journal (Minneapolis) and book reviews for the Journal of Urban affairs since mid-2000’s. Wrote plays at the U of M in the 1980’s.
  • Pastimes: Alley murals for the neighborhood, collecting and using solar cookers.
  • Most seriously in-over-my-head experience: Presenting Minneapolis Crime Prevention strategies to a subcommittee of the Kazakhstan Parliament, in the capital Astana, 2009.
  • Most seriously fun off-the-map experience: Presenting the same info to Jamaican Constables in Kingston, 2006 🙂
  • Pathetic highlight of my life: Threw out first pitch for a Twins game, week of National Night Out, 1996: