Meet Our Faculty

Stuart A. Meyers, A.L.M., Ed.D.-C

Doctoral Candidate
Public Protection & Safety Program Director
Assistant Professor
Office Phone: 337-550-1313
Office: Manual Hall, Room 205A

Stuart Meyers is the Program Director of Public Protection & Safety and an Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University, Eunice. He was the CEO of OpTac International, Inc., and former Director of SWAT Operations and Training in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Stuart has developed elite SWAT teams, written policy and protocols, conducted tactical team evaluations, and taught a wide range of public safety, criminal justice, homeland security, and emergency management courses throughout the globe. Agencies he has trained include foreign counter-terrorist teams, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Special Forces, and federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel representing Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America, and the Middle East. Stuart was featured on the Discovery Channel and the Sportsman Channel, and has provided expert commentary on other television programs to include: the Nancy Grace Show, Larry King Live, O’Reilly Factor, Catherine Crier Live, Connie Chung Show, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, MTV News, Tru/Court TV, BBC, and local news networks throughout the country.

Educational Background

  • Doctor of Education – Candidate, Columbia University, New York, NY
  • Master of Liberal Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
  • Continuing Education, Georgetown, University, Washington, DC


Scholarly Interests

  • Critical Incident Management
  • Decision-Making in High-Threat Situations
  • Experience, Triggers, and Strategies for Making Decisions
  • Improved Interrogation Processing of Information in a High-Threat Situation
  • Optimizing Speed and Accuracy in Decision-Making
  • Leading through Crisis
  • Individual/organization learning strategies for extreme event preparation, response, and recovery
  • Project-based learning in a high-risk law enforcement context


Selected Publications


  • SWAT Operations and Critical Incidents: Why People Die
  • SWAT Fitness
  • A Guide To Police Sniping
  • Police Sniper Administrative Policy & Training
  • Numerous articles in law enforcement journals



  • Dean’s List for Academic Achievement Award, Harvard University
  • Dean’s Prize for Outstanding ALM Thesis in the Social Sciences, Harvard University
  • Individual Champion, H&K Invitational Counter-Sniper Team Competition, Fort Meade, MD
  • Team Champion, H&K Invitational Counter-Sniper Team Competition, Fort Meade, MD
  • Honor Graduate and Top Shooter, United States Marine Corps Scout/Sniper Instructor School Enhancement Course, Quantico, VA
  • Honor Graduate and Top Shooter, Baltimore County Counter-Sniper School, Ft. Meade, MD
  • Multiple Letters of Commendation, Montgomery County, MD Police Department


Adjunct Faculty

Justin DeCecca

Mr. DeCecca has worked in local/state/federal law enforcement for over 20 years. He left the Kentucky State Police Highway Patrol in 2010 to teach full-time and is also a veteran of the United States Navy Reserves. Teaching online has allowed Mr. DeCecca to continue working in the field of Criminal Justice. In 2016, he worked Diplomatic Security as a contractor at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq with his Bomb Dog “Savvy.” He then worked as a Special Agent/Investigator for the U.S. Department of Transportation in the Maine field office when he returned from Iraq. Mr. DeCecca returned to Kentucky due to family medical issues and accepted a job at the Kentucky Horse Park as a Mounted Trooper. He now goes on patrol with his partner Albion (aka Big Al), a Shire, measuring 18 hands and weighing over 1,800 pounds.

Educational Background

  • Doctor of Education (ABD), University of the Cumberlands, Williamsburg, KY
  • Master of Justice Administration, Norwich University, Northfield, VT
  • Bachelor of Criminal Justice, Tiffin University, Tiffin, OH



  • Meritorious Achievement Award
  • Naval Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  • University of the Cumberlands Faculty Athletic Appreciation Award

Christopher Elg (Ret.)

I retired in 2017 after a 33-year career in law enforcement with my last position being Chief of Police for the Village of Tequesta, Florida. I am originally from New York but have lived in Washington State, New Jersey, Michigan, Louisiana, and now Florida. I was a New York State Trooper for 10 years and a Police Chief for 23 years. I also served for 14 years as a volunteer firefighter in New York, rising to the rank of Assistant Fire Chief before taking a Police Chief position out of state. Additionally, I was privileged to serve in the United States Coast Guard Reserve, retiring in 2020 after 31 years of service. Some of my interests include reading, traveling, and making sure I set aside quality time with my family.

Educational Background

  • Master of Administrative Science, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ
  • Master of Public Administration, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY
  • Bachelor of Science, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY



  • U.S. Coast Guard Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
  • Dr. Larry Baum Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Leadership Award
  • U.S. Coast Guard Commandant’s Letter of Commendation Ribbon
  • New York State Police Superintendent’s Letter of Commendation Award

Stephen Gontz, Ph.D.

Originally born in Queens, NY, I grew up moving around a lot. I have lived in 14 states and traveled to 14 countries. I have experienced numerous cultures, traditions, and criminal justice systems throughout my life. I am also a big politics and news junkie. I am an advocate for informal, critical thinking when it comes to teaching and learning. Not a day goes by that something relevant to the criminal justice system is in the news or actively being discussed/protested in society. I have over 20 years of experience in Law Enforcement, Corrections, Public Safety, Force Protection, and Security. My focus on research entails the psychological aspects of criminal behavior. As such, most of my research interests are in analyzing psychopathic/sociopathic behaviors, the interaction of PTSD and other Combat-related stressors with Veterans in the criminal justice system, and Military Sexual Trauma (MST).

I sincerely hope you enjoy my courses and learn something thought-provoking that will assist you in greatly improving your analytical, reasoning, and communication skills throughout the rest of your lives!!! After all, you are the future of our great nation and tasked with building a better future for following generations to come!!

Educational Background

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
  • Master of Forensic Science, National University, La Jolla, CA
  • Bachelor of Science (Cum Laude), Armstrong Atlantic State University (Now Georgia Southern University – Armstrong Campus), Savannah, GA



  • U.S. Army Advanced Leader’s Course Commandant’s List
  • U.S. Army Basic Leader’s Course Commandant’s List

Richard Hally

Richard W. Hally has been in Public Safety for 36 years until his retirement in May 2012. He began his career with six years in the U.S. Navy before entering into law enforcement where he worked in many different areas including Patrol, Street Crime, Undercover Narcotics and Arson Investigation. Mr. Hally then spent the next 25 years in the Fire Service as a Firefighter, Fire Investigator, Company Officer, Station Commander and Incident Commander for many years, responding to all types of emergency incidents including natural disasters. He spent several years conducting Fire/Arson Investigations and after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, was assigned to Connecticut's newly created Department of Homeland Security (CT DHS). Mr. Hally managed a statewide WMD task force at CT DHS for six years and also served as the Hazardous-Material/WMD Manager for CT Task Force 1 Urban Search & Rescue Team.


Mr. Hally also is a program developer/instructor for the Department of Homeland Security National Center for Biological Research and Training Academy of Counter Terrorism based at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He has been an Adjunct Professor for the past 25 years and teaches Fire Science, Criminal Justice, Emergency Management, and Homeland Security courses at several universities. Currently, he is the Fire Marshal and Director of Training for the Department of Public Safety at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. Mr. Hally lives in Cheshire, CT with his wife and daughter. He enjoys golf and baseball while enjoying family summers at their beach home in Cape Cod, MA.

Educational Background

  • Master of Science, University of New Haven, CT
  • Bachelor of Science, University of New Haven, CT

Jeremy Herko

Jeremy Herko, MA, MPhil, is a Police Lieutenant and Special Operations Response Team (SORT) Commander. As a police officer, Jeremy focused his career on DUI and Drug enforcement on the roadways.  He is a nationally certified Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) and a board member for the State Crisis Intervention Teams Across Colorado (CITAC). He is the current commander of a special operations team, which consists of 38 operators.  He also teaches a Drug awareness class in the police academy. Jeremy is a military veteran, having served in the 82nd Airborne as an Airborne Infantry team and squad leader. After honorably discharging from the Army, he joined a large security firm as an Area Manager. He directly managed 40 account supervisors and indirectly supervised 600 security officers throughout Colorado. He decided to pursue a career in law enforcement in 2010. Jeremy joins LSUE with a focus on Criminal Justice, Corrections, and Emergency and Disaster Management.  

Educational Background

  • Doctor of Philosophy (ABD), Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
  • Master of Philosophy, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
  • Master of Arts with Honors, American Military University, Charles Town, WV
  • Bachelor of Arts with Honors, American Military University, Charles Town, WV



  • American Military University Chapter of International Association of Emergency Managers President’s List
  • Life-Saving Medal
  • Medal of Honor: El Jebel Shriners
  • Multiple Letters of Commendation
  • Multiple First Responder Campaign Ribbons and Team Awards
  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • Police Academy Academic Achievement Award

William Spencer

I have served in the field of public safety/public administration since 2001. My career started in the military before becoming a Police Officer with Punxsutawney, PA, where I also received firefighting and emergency medical technician certifications. I am currently the Deputy Director of the Western Area Office for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management, where my primary responsibility is supporting the 24 counties and other state agencies in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in disaster and emergency management activities. Additionally, I am an ROTC graduate, certified K-12 school superintendent in the Commonwealth of PA, certified emergency manager (CEM) through the International Association of Emergency Managers, as well as a Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP) through FEMA. In addition to being a college professor, I teach FEMA G series courses through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy.  I also teach Federal Preparedness Consortium-sponsored courses through the Louisiana State University, National Center for Biomedical Research and Training (NCBRT).   

Educational Background

  • Doctor of Philosophy (ABD), Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
  • Master of Philosophy, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
  • Master of Arts with Honors, American Military University, Charles Town, WV
  • Bachelor of Arts with Honors, American Military University, Charles Town, WV