AMBER Alert Staff and Tribal Liaisons: Supporting Our Tribal Child Protection Partners

Inquiries may be directed to or by calling 877-712-6237; program personnel will work with tribal liaisons and associates to properly route and coordinate information and assistance requests:

Jim Walters

With over thirty-five years of diversified experience as a peace officer, USAF Security Forces Supervisor, technical training instructor, program manager, investigator, special weapons and tactics team leader, and Regional SWAT Commander, Jim Walters is a nationally and Internationally accredited subject matter expert and master training instructor. He has trained over 10,000 peace officers, military personnel, child protection officials, first responders, judicial officers and government leaders on a wide range of topics, from criminal investigative techniques to anti-terrorism and intelligence operations.

As the Program Administrator for the AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program (AATTAP), Mr. Walters is responsible for developing and delivering training and technical assistance to law enforcement, prosecutors, social services, child protection officials and first responders in investigative techniques, program development and policy issues related to child protection, exploitation, missing and abducted children and youth at high risk of victimization. He has published articles and research into human trafficking, child exploitation and victimization in the US southern border region, as well as South and Central America. He has worked with survivors of human trafficking to develop insight into the causative factors which lead to victimization and has travelled internationally to study conditions globally in order to develop comprehensive strategies to combat trafficking and exploitation. Having served as a patrol officer, investigator and public safety consultant to tribal communities, Mr. Walters has also conducted research and evaluation of programs in tribal communities on topics related to high risk youth, trafficking and exploitation of Native American youth, public safety programs and technology facilitated crimes against children in Indian Country. Mr. Walters helped develop AATTAP’s Liaison program, and served as the first liaison for the “AMBER in Indian County” initiative which builds capacity in tribal communities to respond to child protection issues such as abductions, exploitation and human trafficking. Mr. Walters was also the AATTAP Liaison to the US Southern Border Initiative, conducting joint training and technical assistance with officials in the US and Mexico to improve communications, collaboration and response to issues related to cross border abductions, child sex trafficking, exploitation and sex tourism in the US–Mexican border region. As a result of this program, Mexican officials announced the implementation of Mexico’s “Alerta AMBER Mexico” Child Abduction Protocol in 2013.

As an investigator and supervisor, Mr. Walters has conducted or supervised over 150 major case investigations to include kidnappings, child abductions, homicides, human trafficking and serial crimes. As a tactical officer, he has conducted over 200 tactical operations ranging from hostage rescue to tactical operations during civil unrest.

On behalf of the U.S. State Department and Department of Defense, he has conducted training and technical assistance on the African continent, South and Central America as well as Europe, on issues of human trafficking, child exploitation, counter terrorism, leadership, policing, ethics and tactics.

As Assistant Chief of Police and Director of the SMU Public Safety Training Center, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, Chief Walters managed a full time training, education, accreditation and quality assurance program, certified by the State of Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. He developed and delivered training for law enforcement and other public safety personnel throughout the region. Mr. Walters was also responsible for developing real time intelligence and analytical data for programs which require comprehensive safety and security planning. He conducted tactical and contingency planning and operations to support special events, dignitary protection and critical situations. Mr. Walters coordinated professional training and education through the SMU Office of Continuing and Professional Education (CAPE).
Mr. Walters is the former President and CEO of The Defensor Group LLC, a private firm providing international training, risk assessment, threat mitigation, consulting and protective services. A veteran owned small business, the Defensor Group employs US military and law enforcement personnel with service related disabilities.

As Assistant Chief of Police for the City of Placerville Police Department, Mr. Walters was responsible for management of patrol and support services divisions, conducting day to day management, budgeting, administrative and operational activities. He also served as the commander of a Regional Tactical Team, comprising four agencies from two counties and consisting of over forty tactical and support personnel. He developed an advanced training program for regional tactical personnel and acted as commander for approximately forty tactical deployments and dignitary protection operations.

Mr. Walters developed a regional Meth Task Force and Community Response and utilized public safety resources for interdiction activities, while developing community programs in schools for prevention. He also worked closely with State and Federal partners to combat meth labs and distribution networks in the region. He established a Department Special Response Team, conducting initial training, selection and logistics. He developed and provided initial 120-hour basic SWAT curriculum. The program went on to become a regional team, with over 40 tactical dispatchers, medics and operators. Mr. Walters was involved in the initial development and

implementation of California efforts to create Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART) in San Diego County. He conducted training for new officers, medical professionals and SART members. Mr. Walters participated in the Governor’s Task Force on Stalking, and assisted in developing initial program ideas and implementing policy and instruction to solidify law enforcement understanding and response to stalking and domestic violence.

Mr. Walters is the founder and president of The Border Research Group, a non-profit organization comprised of public safety, military and social services professionals which provides assistance to tribal communities and nongovernmental organizations in the field of child protection, human trafficking and family violence. The group works closely with programs which assist in the transition of women and children exposed to trafficking and exploitation as they reintegrate into society. Members provide logistical assistance, technical expertise and resources to these organizations to help maximize the effectiveness of their programs and improve services to victims.

With over 20 years of active and reserve experience in the United States Air Force, Mr. Walters had a wide range of assignments. He was most recently assigned as Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection NCO for USAF Special Operations Command Europe. Responsible for protection of priority resources and personnel, Mr. Walters was assigned as the NCOIC of Threat and Risk Assessment for the US Special Operations Command, Europe, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was responsible for tracking, assessing and conducting threat mitigation for special operations forces across Europe and Africa and supervised USAF personnel in anti-terrorism programs for the protection of critical resources, threat assessment and mitigation programs in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom during multiple wartime deployments.

Mr. Walters is certified as USAF technical training instructor. Having conducted over 2000 hours of advanced training in tactical operations, nuclear security operations, CQB, patrolling and resource protection, he developed the first ever USAF/AFSOC Tactical Operations Course, training over 100 USAF Security Forces personnel in advanced tactical operations in urban environments.

Melissa Blasing

Melissa Blasing serves as a program manager focusing on the AMBER Alert in Indian Country Initiative. Melissa also manages and facilitates the design and delivery of training and technical assistance and serves as a coordinator for a assigned AATTAP courses. Melissa writes and edits reports and documents, coordinates training and technical assistance activities, provides follow-up support to recipients for assistance, and provides guidance and program support for NCJTC-AATTAP Associates. Melissa also provides development oversight for AATTAP’s webinar series.

Ms. Blasing has worked with multiple organizations on sexual assault victim assistance and leadership development programs with at-risk youth. She is a leader in program creation, development, and outreach. Melissa Blasing has Bachelor and Master Degrees in Criminal Justice from St. Cloud State University.

Tyesha Wood

Tyesha M. Wood is a Project Coordinator with the AMBER Alert in Indian Country initiative. Tyesha is a former Police Detective with 17 years of law enforcement experience with tribal nations in Arizona.  A majority of her police career was comprised of work in criminal investigations, with more than 15 years as a detective working in the areas of sex crimes and crimes against children. Tyesha has experience in working with multi-disciplinary teams in tribal family advocacy centers to ensure the safety and protection of children. She also served for two years as an Executive Protection Officer for the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice-President.

Tyesha is an alumnus of the 2018-19 McCain Institute of International Leadership Next Generation Leaders Program. Tyesha holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Arizona, and is a member of the Navajo Nation.

Chelsa Seciwa

Chelsa Seciwa joined Fox Valley Technical College April 1st, 2019 as the project specialist for AMBER Alert Training & Technical Assistance.  Working closely with the implementation of the Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act of 2018.  Providing program support in attending Tribal community events to share NCJTC training and resources.  She was born and raised in the Pueblo of Zuni. She’s worked over 10 years in banking and investments, carrying her professionalism to the legal field.  Recently completing her Tribal Court Legal Advocacy Course under the law program at the University of Wisconsin~Madison. She has been admitted to practice in several tribal courts in the Phoenix area and in her home land, Pueblo of Zuni.  Specializing in family law and VAWA rights.  Prior to the legal field, Chelsa worked as a direct care provider working with children and adults within the special need’s community.  She managed a wide range of state reports, allotted hours, and over saw five care providers and their plans, while adhering to state laws and regulations.

Chelsa is also a board member with the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) at the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.  Sharing her input over programs offered to students, tribal partners, and environmental communities.

The Seciwa Family moved to Tempe, Arizona in 1988 and has strong ties to Arizona State University.  Chelsa continues her late father’s legacy in advocating for American Indian students and higher education.  She is the director of the Cal Seciwa Memorial Endowment scholarship at ASU. Among the distance from home, Zuni Pueblo, she travels back and forth for cultural events and obligations to maintain the beautiful religion of the Zuni people, A:Shiwi.