Tristin Engels, Psy.D.
Dr. Tristin Engels is the maternal granddaughter of Louis R. Vitullo, the man who co-invented the rape kit. Growing up just outside of Chicago, she spent every Sunday, holidays, and school vacations with her grandfather at his home in Cary, Illinois.
Dr. Engels was inspired by her grandfather’s life and accomplishments. In 2009, she moved to California to attend graduate school. In 2013, she completed her degree and became a Forensic Psychologist. She has worked with juvenile and adults within the criminal justice system, both incarcerated and on parole or probation. She now treats offenders with significantly long, violent, and sexually deviant histories with the hopes of addressing maladaptive behavioral patterns, identifying undiagnosed mental illnesses, and ultimately reducing their risk of reoffending.
Deputy Chief Blake Chow was appointed to the Los Angeles Police Department in 1990 after having served as a San Jose Police Reserve Officer. After graduating from the Los Angeles Police Department academy, he was assigned to Operations as a Police Officer, Sergeant and Lieutenant in Areas such as Pacific, Central, Rampart, Southwest and Southeast Areas.
Chow was promoted to Captain-I in May 2003 and assigned as the Commanding Officer, Central Patrol Division. With this promotion, he became the highest-ranking Chinese-American officer on the LAPD and the first Asian captain assigned to Central Area. In this position, he provided leadership and management to a patrol force of approximately 250 officers.
In May 2005, Chow was promoted to Captain II, Commanding Officer, LAX Field Services Division. In this assignment, he manages the LAPD officers assigned to LAX who address crime and airport safety and transportation issues, including terrorism.
In December 2005, Captain Chow was promoted to Captain III, Commanding Officer, RACR Division. The RACR Division is LAPD's first 24/7 fusion/information processing center. RACR operates as a 24/7 emergency operations center where resources, situation status of the city and developing tactical incidents are tracked. Additionally, RACR personnel also provide detective support to Areas and complete analysis on emerging crime patterns 24/7. RACR Division maintains liaison with other local, county, state and federal agencies.
In May 2007, he was assigned as the Area Commanding Officer at Hollenbeck Area. In March 2009 he was transferred as the Area Commanding Officer at Central Area. This assignment involved leading approximately 430 employees both sworn and civilian in the Downtown Los Angeles Area. This community includes Staples/LA Live, Financial District, Historic Core, Civic Center, Skid Row, Artist Lofts area, Chinatown, Little Tokyo and the Fashion District.
In December 2009, Chow was promoted to Commander and assigned as the Assistant Commanding Officer, Operations-Central Bureau which has command of Central Area, Rampart Area, Hollenbeck Area, Newton Area and Northeast Area. In October 2010, Commander Chow was transferred as the Assistant Commander Officer Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau. The Bureau is responsible for the Counter Terrorism programs, Major Crimes Division, Emergency Services Division, Bomb Squad, Hazardous Materials, Metropolitan Division (SWAT, K9, Mounted), Air Support Division and Emergency Operations Division. In January 2015, Chow was assigned as the Assistant Commanding Officer, Operations-West Bureau. In this capacity, he has responsibility over Hollywood Area, Pacific Area, West Los Angeles Area, Wilshire Area, Olympic Area and West Traffic Division. The Bureau covers approximately 125 square miles in which approximately 900,000 residents reside.
Chow was raised in San Jose California. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and a master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University Fullerton. He is also a graduate of the West Point Leadership Program.
Jorge Wong, Ph.D. is the President and CEO of Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. (RAMS) a private, non-profit behavioral health agency committed to advocating for and providing community based, culturally-competent, and consumer-guided comprehensive services serving Asian Pacific Islanders, Russian speaking and culturally diverse communities in San Francisco. Previously Dr. Wong served as the Director of the Specialty Mental Health Division at Asian Health Services (AHS) in Oakland, and the Director of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) in San Jose for many years. He has also served on the American Psychological Association Practice Organization (APAPO) Committee for the Advancement of Professional Psychology (CAPP), State Leadership Committee (SLC), and as a Board member of the California Psychology Internship Council (CAPIC). Dr. Wong was the 2016 President of the California Psychological Association, recognized as the 2016 Okura Community Leadership Award by the Asian American Psychological Association, and the 2015 Community Heroes Award: Mover and Shaker, by the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Board. He received his Doctorate from Palo Alto University (PAU) and completed his Internship at Cermak Health Services of Cook County DOC-Rush Presbyterian-Isaac Ray Center (APA). He teaches in the Diversity and Community Mental Health emphasis of the Ph. D. program, emphasizing leadership and advocacy, policy development and administration, procurement and program management. He has also taught the practicum courses in the Doctorate and Masters programs at PAU, and in his spare time, he is one of the alumni Trustees on the PAU Board of Trustees, consults with the U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division, and involved locally with the Santa Clara County and San Francisco Psychological Associations.
Kandee Lewis, M.A.
Kandee Rochelle Lewis, executive director of Positive Results Center (PRC) and Founder of Black Women Leaders of Los Angeles, is a certified domestic violence, sexual assault, and suicide awareness prevention advocate, addressing trauma from a cultural and age perspective. Through training for youth and parents, facilitated events, and the creation of youth-peer advocacy programs, Ms. Lewis provides tools and strategies to form and maintain healthy, productive relationships.
While Ms. Lewis focused PRC's work on Southern California's youth, she also led PRC to create a broader support system across the Nation for youth wellness and relationship success. Through partnerships with K-12 schools, colleges, health care, law enforcement, judicial, government, community & faith-based organizations, training them to recognize and deal effectively with trauma BIPOC youth and Ms. Lewis' work is well recognized. The LA County Board of Supervisors named Ms. Lewis its Woman of the Year in 2017. Vanguard recognized her as a Most Influential African American in Los Angeles in 2018. In 2019 she received the Champion of Peace & Non-Violence Award, the Trailblazers Award, and Community Plus Award. Other awards include the Johnnie L. Cochran Award for Youth Violence Prevention and the 2015 Woman of the Year.
Ms. Lewis has trained with the National Association of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault, California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and the Women of Color Network. She has been a member of the Los Angeles City Council's Domestic Violence Roundtable and Mayor Eric Garcetti's Human Trafficking Portal.
Born & raised in Los Angeles and married for 38 1/2 years, Ms. Lewis and her husband Carl have three adult children and a Pit Bull/Boxer!
Eric Kung, Psy.D. is a self-employed psychologist who contracts with a variety of public and private entities to provide mental health services and consultations. Dr. Kung has experience in a wide range of fields including crisis/trauma management, corporate consultations, forensic evaluations/consultations, program development/evaluation, medical psychology, research psychology and education.
Summit on Community Resilience, Intervention, Prevention, and Training
Rape kits have helped overturn many cases of the wrongfully convicted and also assisted with finding justice for survivors. However, many people do not know the story about how and why the rape kit was developed and how it assists law enforcement and attorneys with the cases. This panel will explore the origin of the rape kit from the granddaughter of the creator and learn its need for the investigative system. It will discuss the topic from many different professional perspectives and also examine why there are over 400,000 still unprocessed rape kits.
1) What are rape kits and why are they so important for your area of expertise?
2) From your background and experience why were there so many wrongly convicted individuals and what does that do to the survivor (the victim and falsely accused)?
3) Why are there so many unprocessed rape kits?
4) Is there a multicultural component to this topic?
5) Is there anything currently being done that can be used to assist making this a better process?
6) In your opinion, what should be the focus of this community/global collaboration to assist with change?
Due to current life circumstances, there has been an increase in discrimination towards Asian communities. This panel will discuss the topic pertaining to discriminatory behavior, stereotypes, and ways to promote change while embracing the Asian community.
1. Reflecting on today’s society what key events have had the most reflection for you?
a.Do you think COVI-19 has contributed to your experience?
2. What are some myths about Asian culture that can be seen as discriminatory?
3. Has the recent events in today’s society effected our views across generations?
a. Has there been behavioral changes in Asian and non-Asian cultures?
4. How can we promote community change and unity in all communities?
Cindy Kao, Psy.D. (she/her) is a second-generation, Taiwanese-American as well as a Licensed Professional Counselor/Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She has worked with a wide range of populations including: military families, community mental health, at-risk youth, substance abuse, perpetrators and survivors of domestic violence, and geriatric populations. She has also worked as a professor of Psychology at both the graduate and undergraduate level, currently as a lecturer at California State University of Monterey Bay. In her clinical practice, she has a passion for facilitating her client’s journey though life, and emphasizes the need for authentic connection between client and therapist. As a professor, mentor, and clinician, Dr. Kao is keen to look at a person’s unique lived experience and how it intersects with the systematic nature of culture, systems, and historical factors. She has presented at conferences, conducted professional training events and community workshops, and has been interviewed for radio programs, podcasts, and publications.
Assistant Chief Paul L. Acosta
Chief Acosta began his law enforcement career in 1991 in North Carolina and joined the Miami Beach Police Department in 1995. He has served in a variety of capacities and positions of rank including: Major of the Criminal Investigations Division, Patrol Captain, Executive Officer of the North Beach area, Commander of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), liaison to the Office of Emergency Management, special events, support services, and patrol operations. Acosta has also served as a trainer for a number of disciplines within the Department. His most recent assignment was as the Patrol Major in charge of the Operations Division of the MBPD.
Chief Acosta has received numerous honors and awards during his career including the Miami Beach Police Department's Life Saving Award and Exceptional Service Award. He is a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps and was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Chief Acosta graduated from the prestigious FBI National Academy 278th Session and served as the graduation spokesperson. He has also completed the Leadership in Police Organizations Course, the Senior Management Institute for Police program at Boston University and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice Management from Union Institute and University.