Between the Lines with Virtual Academy

Between the Lines with Virtual Academy

A podcast where we go beyond the badge to allow members of law enforcement, public safety, and first response a place to tell their stories and talk about the cases that have impacted their lives.


November 28, 2023 63 mins

Spawned from a conversation with TBI Director David Rausch on how drones are now being utilized as tools for first response, Michael and Brent welcome back previous guest Michael Rogers for a discussion on how some law enforcement agencies are now implementing the use of drone technology into their departments.

Rogers, a retired FBI Special Agent who managed the Bureau's Unmanned Aircraft Systems program, gives insight into how...

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As we prepare for Thanksgiving travel, family get-togethers, and lavish turkey dinners this week, one Arkansas police officer shares her story of adversity, resiliency, courage, and thankfulness during this holiday week.

Officer Samantha Hodgson, currently an SRO in Bryant, Arkansas, recounts how a "routine" welfare check in 2019 changed the trajectory of her life.

After being shot in the head, face and shoulder outside the home...

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Outwardly, the Runic alphabet, like any other writing system, was developed as a method of communication.

However, this week's guest, Dave Schilling, details how some white-power prison gangs, Neo-Nazis, and racial extremists are using these ancient symbols to promote their beliefs.

Spawning from his career in corrections, Schilling's book, Norse/Germanic Runes & Symbols: Field Reference Guide for Law Enforcement & Correction...

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While many people spend this time of year making elaborate plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas, those who work as first responders know that the holiday season can be a difficult one to navigate.

This week, guests Katherine Boyle and Jennifer Anderson offer insightful ideas and encouraging suggestions on how law enforcement families can fill their homes with holiday cheer, no matter the work schedule.

Plus, Boyle and Anderson di...

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For six of his 25-year career as a law enforcement officer, Keith Grounsell worked deep undercover as a narcotics investigator with a multitude of agencies, including as a Special Agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

In Episode 77, Grounsell, the current chief of police in Laurens, South Carolina, recounts what led him into that role and describes how the situations he encountered motivated him to write a series of b...

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Throughout his 43 years in law enforcement, Chief Ross Swope made it a point to get out of his comfort zone by learning from and embracing every difficult circumstance he encountered.

Chief Swope joins the podcast in Episode 76 to discuss how detaching himself from what he saw as a "career of avoidance" allowed him to develop the critical skills and experience needed as he advanced from deputy chief of the DC Metropolitan Police Dep...

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After incorporating his knowledge of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to subdue a subject during an armed encounter, guest Randy Wark saw just how useful that training tactic could be in his work as a law enforcement officer.

With a focus on achieving non-violent submission and overall officer safety, Wark talks about how his passion for martial arts has gone on to influence how he conducts himself as a law enforcement office...

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October 10, 2023 73 mins

What happens when two of your passions intersect?

Guest Jamie Borden reveals how his career as both a law enforcement officer and professional musician allowed him the unique opportunity to situate himself at the cross section of the community he served.

By merging his interests, Bordon found a way to facilitate a positive impact during his time in uniform.

Sergeant Borden also talks about his work as founder of the Critical I...

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October 3, 2023 67 mins

When it comes to yoga, many first responders may not initially see the advantages it can bring to their personal and professional lives. 

This week, guest Vance Row, who served as a police officer for more than twenty years, shares his story about discovering the incredible amount of physical and mental benefits he found through the regular practice of yoga.

Row explains how yoga helped him battle back from injuries, work stress...

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September 26, 2023 63 mins

What happens when we look beyond stereotypes and our own preconceived notions and biases?

In Episode 72, guest Ronald “Doc” Davis talks about the experience in his career that helped change his perspective to better understand the people he served as a member of law enforcement.

Davis outlines the importance of building relationships and details how that action can help officers better understand the actions of those they come into c...

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September 19, 2023 65 mins

After spending 25 years at the Novi, Michigan, Police Department alongside none other than host Michael Warren, this week's guest, Kevin Rhea, now finds himself as the Accreditation Program Director for the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police.

Having been instrumental in gaining and keeping accreditation for the Novi agency, Rhea was constantly focused on meeting those high standards through training and accountability.

Since ret...

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September 12, 2023 58 mins

With all of his focus toward working in the petroleum industry, Mark Candies entered law enforcement for a temporary employment opportunity in 1985. Thirty-six years later, he retired from the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office as a highly decorated captain who has seen and done it all.

On this week’s episode, Capt. Candies discusses his law enforcement career, his retirement career, and how he developed a love for training. Candie...

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This week, Phillip Kearney, former Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, recounts his role in helping take down one of the world’s largest heroin traffickers: Haji Bagcho.

With money from drug traffickers being used to fund terrorist attacks, the DEA set out to gather the evidence needed to prosecute Bagcho in United States courts.

Kearney recalls his involvement in the years-long pursuit to break up the crimina...

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August 29, 2023 63 mins

This week, Marion, Virginia, Chief of Police John Patrick Clair recounts the moment from his career that left him asking himself, "Am I just going to work as a police officer or be one?"

After a domestic violence call culminated with him facing down bullets from a shooter's gun, Chief Clair decided a change was needed in how he approached his role as a member of law enforcement.

Hear his story and how that moment shifted the dire...

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August 22, 2023 57 mins

Retired Federal Bureau of Prisons chief, author, and host of The Prison Officer Podcast, Michael Cantrell, brings a correctional officer’s perspective to Between the Lines this week. Working under the constant threat of danger, witnessing violent and disturbing behavior, and being ever conscious of attempted manipulation takes an emotional toll on the officer that can affect relationships outside of the walls.

With over 30 years of ...

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Retired Phoenix Police Department detective Heidi Chance spent 13 years in the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit identifying and rescuing victims of sex trafficking and was prominently featured in the 2019 Frontline PBS documentary Sex Trafficking in America.

In this important discussion, Heidi sheds light on the prevalence of sexual exploitation crimes, highlights cases she worked, and gives tips for parents on how to ...

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What happens when the time comes to take off the badge?

Whether through retirement or a complete career change, transitioning back into civilian life can be a trying time for first responders.

This week, guest David Berez, who started in public service as a 14-year-old volunteer EMT before serving as a New Jersey police officer for 20 years, opens up about feeling lost and without purpose after his retirement in 2020.


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Retired FBI Special Agent, author, and podcaster Jerri Williams tells her story on this week’s Between the Lines.

With 26 years of service to the Bureau, Williams experienced just about every aspect of the job, but she had a particular fondness for fraud investigations.

Williams goes in-depth on details surrounding a number of cases she was involved in as well as her successful podcast, FBI Retired Case File Review, in which she int...

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This week, we take an extended look at the dynamic of having a career in law enforcement while maintaining a healthy family relationship.

Host Michael Warren welcomes two of the most important ladies in his life, daughter Laura Harman and his mother Sara Green, to continue the conversation that started with guests Katherine and Michael Boyle in Episode 62 last week.

Coming from a family with a rich history of law enforcement service,...

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The stress and requirements of an officer’s job often have a negative impact on the relationships with those they love the most. This week, retired Philadelphia lieutenant Michael Boyle and his daughter Katherine join the show to discuss growing up in a law enforcement family.

Through the 30 years of his career, many of which focused on child sex crimes, Michael maintained a healthy, loving relationship with his wife and children. W...

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