My name is Brent Stratton. I am currently the President of CATO and I began serving in this role when Sid Heal retired in December of 2019. While those shoes are impossible to fill, I have been doing my best to gain full situational awareness of all areas of our organization. I have approximately 16 years of LE experience from a variety of ranks and assignments. Approximately 13 of those years have been spent on a collateral assignment team as operator, team leader, commander and division commander. I don’t count myself as a tactical expert, especially amongst so many of you who so regularly demonstrate clear expertise in this field of tactics. I believe my strengths lie in our organizational planning, procedures and processes. My hope it that this will keep our organization alive and thriving, so that YOU can provide the tactical training to keep our membership and their departments on the cutting edge, which will in turn keep their communities safe. CATO has provided me training, support, access to information, mentorship, leadership and friendship throughout the years and I feel a very heavy responsibility to return that to you and the next generation of tactical officer.
In the past 7 months I have tried to gain as much situational awareness as possible throughout the entirety of the organization. I have written a strategic plan that I believe will help position CATO to be stronger in the next couple of years. I’ve revamped our organizational chart and responsibilities, have restructured our board of directors and have helped manage a change in our focus of training. I have helped position us better for improved communication via social media, podcast, newsletters and our website which is coming soon. I’ve helped re-negotiate burdensome hotel contracts, have tightened our spending while trying to increase our revenue, have helped instill better financial processes and have tried to increase the usefulness of your membership to you. I wish to transition us away from being a strictly SWAT based organization and move us to a tactics-based organization that is represented by EOD, K9, CNT and Patrol officers, as I believe tactics belong to all officers in the field and doesn’t just show up on SWAT callouts
Much as LE is, CATO is in unprecedented times. While I am opportunistic about its future and the impact it can and must have on our profession, it also runs the risk of falling apart. We must focus on running this as the non-profit business that it is, instead of running it as the collateral, volunteer association that it has become. Our organization must become “more practical and less tactical” in that regard. To that end we have started a Business Development Advisory Board which will be comprised of industry wide experts in this area who can make recommendations and give me advice in this area. This will have people who run successful businesses, accountants, book keepers, contract-based lawyers, hotel consultants etc. Covid has changed much of how we operate and has hurt us financially. We are burdened by extensive annual hotel contracts for the foreseeable future and our main income source (training) has changed. It will take bold and decisive leadership to help change the course to one that is more sustainable. I’d like to continue volunteering to help lead and manage the process of re-positioning CATO and am willing to continue putting in the time to do it.
If there is a way you’d like to contribute your talents and passion to CATO, we are always looking for volunteers. This organization is important to all of us who volunteer our time and balance it with our jobs, families and other obligations. We see it as a way to make our service more meaningful and we’d love to have you. Thank you for your service to the profession we all serve. You will never be able to quantify the impact you have, but I know beyond all doubts that your work saves lives and makes things better for people you may never meet. We at CATO are proud to stand with you.
I have held the position of Treasurer of CATO and board member for over twelve years. I fully embrace Ken Hubb’s original vision of CATO as a true non-profit SWAT organization with low overhead focused on every possible dollar going back to providing the best quality training at a low cost. During my tenure, CATO has grown tremendously and I have guided the financial growth from a small local organization to where it is today, the largest non-profit SWAT association in the nation. I have guided CATO from a time where we could barely support basic functions of a non-profit to where we are today where we can fund a number of great projects such as SLP, the Certification Project, the After-Action Review to name a few. I have been engaged in all aspects of CATO to include coordinating conferences, membership and training. In addition, I am well versed in the nuances of managing a non-profit to include federal and state tax codes, tax exempt status and returns. I am passionate about CATO and the great work we provide and believe my experience and knowledge will help guide CATO to the next level.
Greetings my name is Jon Cabrera and I am interested in the position of Secretary for the California Association of Tactical Officers. I began my career in law enforcement in 1993 in a non-sworn capacity and began my sworn career in 1995, with the last 22 years with City of Palm Springs. Since then I have worked a variety of assignments including Custody, patrol, canine and investigations. I have also been a sergeant for the past 11 years where I have worked patrol and supervised our Property Crimes Unit. Over my career as an officer and as a sergeant I have been involved in a variety of collateral duties. I was fortunate to be selected for our SWAT Team 15 years ago where I continue to serve to this day. In my time on SWAT I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of disciplines and instruct in a wide variety of skillsets. One of the advantages of working for a smaller police department is I have had exposure to various aspects of the job. I have had the opportunity to edit and revise policy, draft policy, work with procurement and budgetary processes on top of supervising the day to day operations of units within the department. Along with these various tasks comes the need for organization and follow through. I pride myself on my organizational skills and my attention to detail. I feel these attributes go hand in hand with the position of a secretary as taking and maintaining the documentation is the primary role. I am also the guy on our team that always knows someone or the place to acquire equipment. My professional network for SWAT has helped me to answer questions and solve problems that are not at my fingertips since we are somewhat removed in our geographic area. I am a proud graduate of CATO’s first ever Strategic Leadership Program and my dedication to CATO is unwavering. My goal is to increase my involvement in CATO so I can give back to an organization and community that has given me so much already. My motto is to leave something better than you found it, becoming the secretary for CATO is my opportunity to do so.