Members of our team have served as Police Chiefs, SWAT team commanders, Fire Chiefs, Emergency Management Coordinators, Fusion Center Directors and former members of the U.S. Military Special Operations Command who have served on numerous tours in combat.

The CRG Team

Frank E. Rodgers retired as the Deputy Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police in 2007 at the rank of Lt. Colonel after twenty-five years of service. While serving in the second highest ranking position in the largest police department in the State of New Jersey, he led the Investigations Branch which consisted of in excess of 900 detectives, analysts and scientists assigned to 57 different units with an annual budget of in excess of seventy-five (75) million dollars. A strong advocate of police professionalism, strategic planning and accountability, he initiated and directed a complete restructuring of the organization’s investigative assets predicated on the principles of “Intelligence Led Policing”. During his tenure as the Deputy Superintendent of Investigations, he directed the development of the “Practical Guide to Intelligence Led Policing” which was published by the Center for Policing and Terrorism at the Manhattan Institute and was adopted in February 2009 by the U.S. Department of Justice as a national model for conducting law enforcement operations.

Following his career with the State Police, he was appointed as the first Police Director of the newly formed New Jersey State Park Police in the Department of Environmental Protection. During his tenure in that position, he developed the force of 120 officers who are responsible for protecting the eighteen (18) million annual visitors to the state’s fifty-one (51) parks into a CALEA (Commission on the Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) nationally recognized and New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police Accredited agency.

In 2008, Rodgers formed his own private consulting company. He was immediately contracted to serve as Team Leader of the baseline capabilities assessment of the national network of seventy-two (72) intelligence fusion centers commissioned by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. To date, the company has been contracted to develop policy and provide customized training and consulting services to in excess of two hundred and fifty (250) law enforcement agencies. In 2008, he was certified as an Assessor for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and the New Jersey Law Enforcement Accreditation Program. He is recognized by the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey and the United States District Court as an expert in law enforcement procedures, policy, training and supervision. In 2011, he founded and now leads the Center for Public Safety & Security at Stockton University in New Jersey.

In July 2016, Rodgers opened a second company known as the Critical Response Group, Inc. Working in strategic partnership with BAE Systems, the new company’s efforts focus on the creation of Collaborative Response Graphics (CRGs) which are visual representations of text-based emergency response plans that transform difficult to use written plans into highly-usable, geospatially accurate visual planning and response tools. Once disseminated to any handheld Smart device, the person viewing the image (CRG) can see themselves and others in real time on the actual plan.

Rodgers holds a Master of Arts Degree in Education from Seton Hall University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He is the co-author of a comprehensive published history of the New Jersey State Police and the Internal Affairs Investigations Manual for Investigators. He is also the recipient of the organization’s highest award, the 1990 Trooper of the Year for his investigative work.

Mr. Coyne retired from the New Jersey State Police in 2012 after 25 years of service. While serving as the Director of the New Jersey Regional Operations and Intelligence Center, the State fusion center, he led a task force comprised of law enforcement professionals from federal, state, county and local agencies. He had oversight of a team who were responsible for delivering tactical and strategic intelligence products to all law enforcement and private sector organizations in the State, as well as timely situational awareness reports for all type of crimes, threats and hazards. Prior to leading the fusion center, he was the Executive Officer of the Office of Professional Standards (OPS) and was the Division Criminal Investigations Officer. In his role in OPS, Major Coyne (Ret.) directed internal investigations, inspections, and audit functions for the State Police. In his role as Criminal Investigations Officer for the Field Operations Section, Major Coyne (Ret.) oversaw the activities and investigations conducted by detectives from approximately thirty stations, and served as the primary liaison between the Field Operations Commander and Deputy Superintendent of Investigations.

Other notable assignments Major Coyne (Ret.) served in included being Commandant of the New Jersey State Police Academy for two years. While leading an academy staff comprised of more than 60 sworn and civilian staff, he was responsible for the oversight of all training development and the delivery of programs for the organization. In that capacity he was chosen as the Superintendent’s representative for critical matters of interest with the State Attorney General’s Office and the Police Training Commission (PTC). As Commandant, he directed the update, restructure and delivery of a new recruit-training curriculum. Incorporating best practices in law enforcement training, Major (Ret.) Coyne supervised the creation of the Recruit Capstone Experience, a revolutionary program that was designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the academy program through the integration of simulated, though operational patrol scenarios.

Mr. Coyne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from The College of New Jersey, and a Master’s degree in Education, and certificate in Human Resources Training and Development from Seton Hall University. As a New Jersey Police Training Commission certified instructor, Mr. Coyne has lectured to state, county and local law enforcement officers in training programs throughout the New Jersey. Additionally, Mr. Coyne is an adjunct professor for the Penn State Justice and Safety Institute, providing leadership and management training to police executives throughout the northeast. Recently, Mr. Coyne has developed and delivered training programs focused on ethics, intelligence liaison activities and intelligence-led decision making that are offered to public safety and private sector professionals throughout New Jersey.

Keith has a substantial history of accomplishments and successes during his decades long career in law enforcement and emergency management. Whether restructuring the personnel allocation system to save hundreds of thousands of dollars or directing the project team that earned international accreditation under CALEA, Keith has time and again accepted management challenges and overseen the completion of difficult projects under budget and ahead of schedule. As a police officer and emergency management deputy coordinator with nearly 20 years of supervisory and command experience, Keith has held command positions at innumerable critical incidents from major crimes to large-scale wildfires and Superstorm Sandy. He has overseen multi-jurisdictional responses and served as incident commander under a unified command structure during hurricanes, floods, winter storms, and wildfires, and has managed the evacuation and repopulation of thousands of residents.

As a public speaker in the areas of emergency management, the firefighting services, and law enforcement operations, Keith has presented and instructed at local, state, and national level symposiums and conferences on topics ranging from media relations to cross-discipline emergency preparedness. He has been invited to speak at many prestigious locations and events including the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, the New Jersey Excellence in Policing Conference, the International Association of Fire Chiefs Wildland Urban Interface Conference, and the Congressional Fire Services Caucus in Washington, D.C. He has appeared in numerous regional media broadcasts and live nationally televised media broadcasts.

Keith holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from Thomas Edison State University and is currently enrolled in the Master of Administrative Science degree program at Fairleigh Dickinson University with an anticipated graduation in January of 2018.

Keith also serves as a Special Expert on the National Fire Protection Association’s Technical Committee on Tactical Operations for Video Equipment and Cameras.

As Chief Operating Officer with Critical Response Group, Keith works with an elite team of US Military Special Operations and domestic public safety professionals to deliver visual emergency action planning and response solutions to clients from public education, law enforcement, and critical infrastructure sectors.

Ethan P. Killeen is Director of Product Development at Critical Response Group. He retired from the Military in 2017 after serving his last three years at the Pentagon as an Action Officer in the National Military Command Center. Prior to that, Ethan spent his entire career in Special Operations as an infantryman of the 1st Ranger Battalion in Savannah, GA. While there, Ethan deployed eight times between Iraq and Afghanistan, where he served in every infantry position from Ammo Bearer to Headquarters Platoon Sergeant. His awards and decorations from his time with the Rangers include the Silver Star for gallantry in action, Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart.
Chief Bruno (Ret.) retired as Chief of Police in Tenafly, NJ after 28 years of service with 11 years as Chief. His focus throughout his career was on improving the training of police officers, holding more than a dozen instructor certifications including Certified Police Instructor by the NJ Police Training Commission, Firearms Instructor, MP5 & Colt Subgun Instructor, and many others. He has been a featured instructor in a number of events including the statewide Police Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, instructing active shooter and terrorism response.

While Chief, he served as Chairman of the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association SWAT Committee and authored the SWAT team standards that still apply to all tactical teams in the county. He was appointed as Chairman of the SWAT Regionalization and Specialized Services Committee by the County Prosecutor. The committee was tasked with regionalizing and streamlining all tactical teams in the county. The committee was instrumental in forming the Bergen County Regional SWAT team that is responsible for handling SWAT calls for a county with over one million residents.

Chief Bruno (Ret) is a graduate of the West Point Command and Leadership Program, the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Program at Princeton University and an FBI-certified Crisis Negotiator. He holds ICS Certifications I-100, 200 & 300 from the NJ State Police, IS 700 NIMS and IS 800 National Response Framework certifications through FEMA. He is the recipient of the US Department of Justice/FBI Investigative Award, the Chiefs Achievement Award and multiple Honorable, Meritorious Service and Lifesaving Awards.

Upon retirement he was appointed and still serves as the Executive Director of the largest suburban food pantry in Essex County, providing food, clothing and other services for people in need. He also serves on the Board of Trustees at Hackensack University Medical Center at Mountainside which he was appointed to in 2014.

Dennis Sims retired as a Captain with the Washington Township Police Department, Gloucester County, New Jersey after a 26 year law enforcement career. While serving as a captain he first commanded the department’s Special Operations Division then the Patrol Division. His responsibilities included serving as Accreditation Manager, Public Information Officer, and Supervising Firearms Instructor. In 2009, he was part of a team that successfully guided his agency through NJSACOP accreditation and CALEA Recognition through alliance.

Captain Sims is a certified assessor for the NJSACOP law enforcement accreditation program and is a New Jersey Police Training Commission certified instructor holding numerous certifications to include firearms and physical fitness. He remains on staff at the Gloucester County Police Academy and has served as a lead fitness instructor for three basic course for police officer classes.

Captain Sims served as a member of the Gloucester County SWAT Team from 1997 until 2011 as a tactical group member, squad leader, deputy team commander, and team commander. He has an extensive background in traffic law enforcement including being trained as a traffic crash reconstructionist, Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), and instructor, and Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) Subject Matter Expert.

Since 2006 Captain Sims has been an adjunct instructor for Gloucester County College, now Rowan College at Gloucester County, instructing both traditional classroom and online courses. In addition, he instructs for the State of New Jersey’s Certified Public Manager (CPM) Program delivering a course module focused on risk management.
Captain Sims holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and Justice from Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey; a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice; and Master of Public Administration from Rutgers University, Camden, New Jersey; earned an Emergency Management Administration certificate from Fairleigh Dickinson University; and is a graduate of the Certified Public Manager (CPM) program managed by the Rutgers University, Newark, School of Public Affairs and Administration. Captain Sims is a certified NJSACOP Accredited Command Executive (ACE).

Louis is a retired Chief of Police having served 27 years with the Manalapan Township Police Department (NJ). He is an experienced accreditation manager and was instrumental in attaining CALEA accreditation for his agency. He also is an accreditation assessor for CALEA. He has commanded both the operations and administrative divisions of the police department and has attended numerous leadership and command trainings and conferences. He continued his education while working and has attained a Master’s Degree in Administrative Sciences from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Louis also served as the Deputy Emergency Management coordinator for many years with an emphasis on school safety and security. He was instrumental in revising and updating the emergency operations plan for Manalapan Township.

Daniel Rodriguez enlisted in the New Jersey Army National Guard as a Field Artillery Cannon Crew member in 2012. After completing the cannon crew member course, Dan enrolled in Rowan University’s ROTC program where, in May of 2016, he graduated with a degree in Law and Justice and Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the New Jersey Army National Guard. Dan serves as a Supervisor for the Camden County Police Department’s Real Time Tactical Intelligence Center (RT-TOIC) and a Field Artillery Fire Support Officer for the 3-112th Field Artillery Battalion Headquarters Battery.
Chief Joseph Houck retired from the City of Summit, New Jersey Fire Department in 2015, having served since 1985. He was the Fire Director/ Chief for his last seven years before retirement. The combination fire department was staffed by 32 career firefighters, 15 volunteer firefighters, seven civilian dispatchers and an administrative assistant.

While Fire Director/Chief, the Summit Fire Department achieved International Fire Service Accreditation through the Center for Public Safety Excellence and improved its ISO rating to Class Two. In addition, the Department participated in a shared services study with the Millburn Fire Department and implemented a regional emergency services dispatch center with the Township of Millburn and Borough of New Providence.
Chief Houck served as a Deputy Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator in Summit between 2005 and 2015. He is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Emergency Management committee and was a member of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security’s Emergency Services Sector Working Group.
He received a Fire Science degree from Union County College and a bachelor of arts in Public Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Chief Houck is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy. He completed the Certified Public Manager program and is a certified Fire Inspector/Fire Official, Fire Instructor, Level 2 and a New Jersey Certified Emergency Manager. He is currently working as a contractor in the Port Authority of NY & NJ Office of Emergency Management.

Christopher Cotter served as the administrator for the City of Summit, NJ from 2005 – 2015. He was responsible for 200 full-time employees, a municipal budget of $45 million and an annual capital budget of $6 million. He also served as the City’s Emergency Management Coordinator from 2006 – 2015.

During the period 2003 – 2005 he served as the director of Summit’s Department of Community Services, responsible for public works, engineering and code enforcement.

From 1976 – 2003 he served as a member of the Summit Fire Department, the last ten years as chief. He holds undergraduate degrees in fire science and public administration and a graduate degree in administrative science from Fairleigh Dickinson University where he has served as an adjunct faculty member.

A graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy and a Chief Fire Officer designee from the Center for Public Safety Excellence, he serves as a subject matter expert for the New Jersey Civil Service Commission. During the period 2014 – 2016, he served as a commissioner for the Center for Public Safety Excellence – Commission on Professional Credentialing. He currently serves as an instructor in the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy, Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Deputy Chief Rick DeGroot retired from the City of Summit NJ Fire Department after a 36-year career. The Summit Fire Department, a combination department staffed by 32 career members, 15 volunteer members and 7 support staff, serves an urban/suburban area 15 miles west of New York City in the NY/NJ Metro Area. The department handles an average of 2400 fire, rescue and first-responder EMS calls per year while serving a population of approximately 21,000 in the first due area. The agency promotes the use of and actively participates in several automatic aid and mutual aid agreements with surrounding fire agencies.

While serving as Accreditation Manager, DC DeGroot successfully guided the agency through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) agency accreditation process and the agency was awarded Accredited Agency status in August of 2011. Prior to his retirement, he successfully guided the department through the Insurance Services Office (ISO) review process achieving a Public Protection Classification rating of Class 2, one of only 18 communities in the state to have achieved this prestigious rating.

Deputy Chief DeGroot served as a senior fire instructor for more than a decade with the Sussex County Fire Academy and Sussex County Community College. He holds multiple Pro Board and IFSAC professional certifications including Fire Instructor Level 2, Fire Official, and Fire Officer Level 1 and is a graduate of the Certified Public Manager program at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is currently employed by the Chester County PA Department of Emergency Services serving as a fire instructor at the Public Safety Training Academy with a concentration on developing and presenting fire officer development and leadership curriculum.

Nick Breiner is an accomplished public safety professional, risk manager, intelligence analyst and training coordinator with twenty-five years of progressively responsible security, law enforcement and military experience. He serves CRG as a consultant to our private sector clientele.

Lt. Breiner is a NJ State Association of Chiefs of Police Fellow who possesses over twenty-two years of law enforcement expertise and currently serves as the Commander of the Professional Standards & Training Bureau for the Belleville Police Department, a law enforcement agency of over 100 sworn personnel. In this position, he reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for all internal affairs investigations, departmental training, accreditation and firearms training. As a law enforcement trainer, Nick has developed and implemented programs of instruction in tactical operations, counterterrorism, and also pioneered a countywide training program for response to the active shooter where he has served as the primary instructor for hundreds of law enforcement officers and educators. Nick is highly trained in the National Incident Management System, SWAT operations, and he also serves as the Commander for the Belleville Police Emergency Services Unit, which he founded in 2004.

Major Breiner’s military career spans more than a decade of decorated service in the United States Air Force/Air National Guard with four overseas deployments in support of the Global War on Terrorism, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Unified Protector. He is currently assigned as the Director of Operations for the 204th Intelligence Squadron, 108th Wing, New Jersey Air National Guard supporting Air Mobility Command with Intelligence products, training materials, country studies and risk assessments. Nick has previously served as the Senior Intelligence Officer of the 108th OSS, and in the Air Combat Command and Air Force Special Operations Command as an Intelligence Officer for personnel recovery and combat search and rescue (CSAR) operations in Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa. He is a Department of Defense certified Antiterrorism Officer, a Distinguished Graduate of both his commissioning school and the US Air Force Intelligence Officer School, and he maintains an active TS/SCI security clearance.

Nick holds a BA in Political Science from Rutgers University, a MA in Human Resources Training and Development from Seton Hall University, and is a graduate of executive education at the prestigious Harvard-Kennedy School of Government. Among his various certifications are the NJSACOP Accredited Command Executive, ASIS Certified Protection Professional, ASIS Professional Certified Investigator and ASIS Physical Security Professional designations.

John attended Rutgers University and received a bachelor’s degree in Finance -December 1991. In 1994 he started his career in Law Enforcement as a Police Officer in Harrison, NJ and in March 1996 he transferred to the West Orange Police Department. While in West Orange he was assigned to Patrol, Narcotics Unit, School Resource Officer Program, the Community Services Unit and the Chiefs Office over the past two decades. While assigned to the School Resource Officer Program for 13 years, John was sought as a state expert in the field. He was one of the founding fathers of the New Jersey School Resource Officer Association. He developed and taught a Statewide Curriculum for the School Resource Officer Training Law on the behalf of the New Jersey Police Training Commission and also taught on a national level for the National Association of School Resource Officers. John also sat on the committee for the re-write of the School Safety and Security Manual: Best Practices Guidelines for the NJ Department of Education, along with this he was also one of 250 people invited to President Bush’s White House School Security Summit as President of NJASRO 2006. In 2006, he was promoted to Sergeant and supervised the School Resource Officer Program and is still overseeing the program as a Lieutenant (promoted 2014). Currently, John is the Adjutant to Chief of Police/ SRO Commander and oversees the Active Shooter Program.

Over the years John became very involved in lockdown procedures and mock active shooter trainings. He Constructed/Ran/Procured Funding for multiple full-fledged active shooter programs and is looked at as an expert in the field. He has worked with a multitude of agencies ranging from a local to federal level, to respond to different types of Mock Active Shooters/Terrorist Events in a controlled, but yet, chaotic atmosphere to make responders aware of their strong points along with their deficiencies in responding to a events such as this. It allows for the responders to learn from their mistakes without the tragic outcomes of the many active shooters/terrorist events in our nation. He was able to enlist the aid of local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies, along with civilian volunteers, Fire, EMS, OEM, Local Universities, Local Medical Centers and a plethora of other agencies that would be involved in a response such as this, he also enlisted the aid of the Picatinny Arsenal. Picatinny Arsenal is an American military research and manufacturing facility located on a 6,400-acre lot in New Jersey where the United States Department of Defense conducts research. John was able to procure funding for these programs through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who has financially backed multiple programs with John:
2013-Liberty Middle School ($140,000)
2014-AMC Movie Theatre ($200,000)
2015-AABJ&D Synagogue ($225,000)
2016-Belleville High School (Support from Picatinny Arsenal)
2017-North Bergen Board of Education (Support from Picatinny Arsenal)
The events that took place in 2013, 2014 & 2015 were conducted in conjunction with the Department of Defense and the North East Counter Terrorism Technology Evaluation Center (CTTEC) who evaluated the entire event by their behavioral science department to see how and why officers react the way they do in situations such as active shooters/terrorist events. These were the largest active shooter/terrorism programs in this state and also in the nation for police departments and the US Military combining forces.

John is also Graduate of Rutgers University Certified Public Manager Program 2016 and is a standing Montville Board of Education member (2010, 2013 & 2016 – Elected to Montville Board of Education)