About Knowledge Saves Lives, Inc. Based in Merced, CA
Meet Our Professional Team
With more than 500 years of experience in the field of law enforcement, emergency response, and violence suppression, our team knows what it takes to provide the highest level of professional safety training.
President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Llanez
Paul has more than 17 years in law enforcement and spent almost 5 years as an undercover agent with one of the most prestigious task forces in California. Paul has been recognized as an expert witness numerous times regarding workplace violence and possession for sales of controlled substances. He has consulted for fortune 500 companies, large and small businesses, County, State and Federal agencies, utility companies and more than 150 California school districts. He has been interviewed as a guest expert by several television and radio stations regarding emergency preparedness. He has collaborated and consulted for members of State Senate, Congress, State Assembly as well as City, County and State law enforcement agencies. Paul was the only nominee selected from Merced County to the class of 2019 SBA Emerging Leaders Program.
Chief of Staff Daniel Woods
Daniel is a 17-year law enforcement veteran currently working as a K9 operator and SWAT team member for the Tracy Police Department. Daniel has held many positions in his career including Field Training Officer, Range Master, narcotics investigator, and currently a K9 operator. Daniel also has an extensive military background and is a United States Marine Corps veteran. Daniel has taken his knowledge of narcotics, criminal street gangs, and firearm violence, and applied his expertise to campus safety training.
Northern California Projects Director Anthony "Tony" Escobar
Tony has more than 29 years of experience with the California Highway Patrol (retired), with specific expertise in complex investigations, including background investigations, officer-involved critical incidents, line-of-duty deaths, and truth verification. He is a current certified Advance Examiner in conducting Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA) examinations. He also has extensive experience in dignitary protection, doing both personal body protection, and conducting all types of motorcades. He has worked with allied agencies to safely move POTUS, VPOTUS, FLOTUS, and other high-level dignitaries during visits to the Bay Area and Central Valley.
Southern California Projects Director Pasquale J. Guida
P.J. Guida comes to Knowledge Saves Lives, Inc. with more than 30 years of law enforcement experience in the Southern California area. He rose through the ranks of law enforcement, eventually being promoted to Police Lieutenant with the Santa Monica Police Department. He is currently assigned as the Special Assistant to the Director at the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force (L.A. IMPACT).
He began his career in law enforcement as a forensic specialist and worked various assignments to include Patrol, Community Relations, Public Information Officer (PIO), Internal Affairs, Youth & Family Services, SWAT, Narcotics (L.A. IMPACT), and various crime impact teams. In 2002, Lieutenant Guida was awarded the Young Police Officer of the Year Award for his work in helping establish the department’s first Youth & Family Services Division. P.J has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice - Management, a graduate of the FBI National Academy (#218), and the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training’s (POST) Command College.
Chief of Operations Preston Jelen
Preston is a 15-year law enforcement veteran with specific training and expertise serving as a School Resource Officer, Patrol Supervisor, and SWAT Team Leader. Preston is a POST certified instructor for several law enforcement courses, including Active Shooter and a Range Master. Preston has taught numerous law enforcement officers, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals. He has also been appointed as a law enforcement training manager and firearms expert. Preston was awarded a Medal of Valor for a hostage rescue operation that took place in 2011.
Chief of Products Phillip Anderson
Phillip has been the leader of products and research regarding school safety since 2010. Phillip provides the communication link between civilian contractors, law enforcement instructors, and school employees. He currently oversees research and development, product testing and works with companies in the United States and China on safety standards for school safety products. Phil recently completed his first patent on a California approved classroom lockdown device.
Director of Client Services Luiana Irizarry
Luiana received her business administration degree from CSU Stanislaus. She brings more than 10 years of experience from the Stanislaus Employee’s Retirement Association and speaks three languages. Luiana is in charge of employee payroll, client invoicing, and training event evaluations.
Kristina received her Child Development Degree from William Jessup University. She works as a teacher for Clovis Unified School District and has more than eight years of experience working with students in public education classrooms. Kristina is our Report Editor and ensures the quality and accuracy of our documents prepared for our clients.
Victoria Fuentes, Administrative Assistant
Victoria, who has more than 10 years of clerical experience, joined Knowledge Saves Lives, Inc. in 2018 and says she enjoys every minute of it. Victoria is a very considerate and hard working person. She processes training evaluations, class certifications and conducts other administrative duties. Victoria enjoys sharing adventures with her family such as mudding, fishing, animal watching and sports.
Supervisors and Instructors
Special Projects Supervisor Kristian Anderson
Kris began his career in the United States Air Force, specializing in high-value priority resource protection and security. He became an expert in weapons qualifications and was a fire team leader as well as a squad leader. Kris has spent the last 7 years as a correctional officer and was recently promoted to sergeant with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He has received extensive training in the field of firearms from the Front Sight Firearm Training Institute. Kris has brought his insight from military security protocol, as well as safety policies from the California prison system, to help keep schools safe.
Senior Consultant/Team Leader Leslie "Rich" Howard
Leslie Richard Howard is a former United States Marine. He served in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Rich has served as a former United Nations Special Operations Chief in Kosovo, rescuing kidnapped and trafficked women from Serbian and Albanian organized crime syndicates, and locating/apprehending war criminals. Rich has more than 20 years of law enforcement experience, with 14 years spent with the Merced County Sheriff's Department. He was a Senior Sergeant, and also served as a Patrol Supervisor, SWAT Team Leader for 10 years, K-9 handler, and a HIDTA and Drug Task Force Supervisor. Rich was awarded a Medal of Valor for a hostage rescue operation that took place in 2011.
Senior Consultant/Team Leader Mark Frontella
Mark is a 25-year veteran firefighter/engineer and has been a first responder to major incidents, such as violent crimes with multiple victims and incident command center operations. Mark has also been assigned to several strike teams for major fires. Mark is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, and a FEMA certified instructor on Incident Command Operations and Major Incident Response. Mark brings his knowledge of responding and teaching others how to respond to a major incident, such as an active shooter or another emergency on campus.
Senior Consultant/Team Leader Jesse Diaz
Jesse Diaz has more than 22 years of experience as an officer for the California Highway Patrol. He has worked in various capacities, including the assignments of Narcotics Task Force, Commercial Enforcement, Field Training Officer, Drug Recognition Expert, Officer Safety Training, and Background Investigator. Jesse has taught courses related to substance abuse and drug recognition to law enforcement agencies, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He has received training from the United States Department of Justice, California Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, Department of the Treasury, and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Senior Consultant/Team Leader Albert Flores
Albert has been in law enforcement for the last 24 years. During his time he has served as a patrol officer, detective, street crimes officer, narcotics agent, gang investigator, and criminal investigator. He has also been employed as his agency's firearms instructor and armorer. Albert has testified as a firearm expert and has been training law enforcement officers on firearms and tactics for the last 15 years. During his career, he has instructed various law enforcement agencies and has provided firearms training to police recruits at the Ray Simon Criminal Justice Training Center, as well as teaching civilians.
Senior Consultant/Team Leader Brian Carr
Brian Carr has more than 29 years of experience in law enforcement, including the California Highway Patrol and the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office. Brian has received specific training and experience in terrorism threat assessment and site surveys at multiple state buildings. He has prepared reports and supporting documents on hardening target locations, and emergency preparedness against threats of violence. Brian was recently promoted to the position of Patrol Sergeant with the California Highway Patrol.
Instructor/Consultant Kevin Warkentin
Kevin has served as a police officer and field training officer with the University of California Merced Police Department for more than 10 years. Prior to working in the UC system, Kevin was a traffic officer and grant writer for the Los Banos Police Department for more than five years. Kevin has specific training on campus safety and emergency response safety measures. Kevin was a first responder during a terror attack resulting in multiple stabbing victims at a California campus.
Instructor/Consultant Cody Nelson
Cody Nelson has served as a volunteer captain firefighter/engineer since 2002. Cody has training and experience in explosive identification for first responders, auto extraction, and confined space rescue. He has earned many certifications, including Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Firefighter 1. Cody is also a member of the active shooter medical response team for the Los Banos Fire Department. He has been on several strike teams for major fires across California with his knowledge of wildland fires. Cody brings specific knowledge and ability to teach others how to respond to major incidents and incident command.
Instructor/Consultant Mike Ortiz
Mike has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience. During his career, Mike has been employed with the California Highway Patrol, CA DOJ Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, U.S. Marshals Service, and is currently an Investigator with the Merced County District Attorney’s Office. Mike is a graduate of the Sherman Block Leadership Institute and is a certified instructor through the Robert Presley Institute of Criminal Investigations. Mike was a certified defensive tactics instructor, senior range master, protection specialist with the U.S. Marshals, and was responsible for the management of numerous local, state, and federal units along with assigned investigators. He also served 6 years with the United States Marine Corps, achieving the rank of Sergeant. Lastly, Mike is very proud of working with youth sports for more than 25 years and is currently the President of the Clovis Rockets Youth Softball Organization.
Instructor/Consultant Steve Cavallero
Steve has more than 40 years of experience in law enforcement including several assignments during his time as a California Highway Patrolman, including patrol supervisor. His assignments include 14 years in the Central Division Protection Unit, working with the United States Secret Service. Steve also spent time working for the Merced County Sheriff's Office in the background unit.
Instructor/Consultant David Webster
Dave began his law enforcement career in 2001 when he graduated from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Academy. Dave worked as a deputy for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in the Custody Division at the Pitchess Detention Facility-East Facility until 2004. Dave lateraled to the Ventura Police Department shortly after. David held many specialty assignments in his 16-year law enforcement career including Field Training Officer, Investigations, SWAT team tactical member, and Scenario-Based Training Instructor. Dave graduated with honors from UCLA, with a B.A. in Economics and History. Dave is also a recipient of the Ventura County Peace Officers Association Medal of Merit for Valor.
Instructor/Consultant Rick Reyes, Jr.
Rick is a 20-year law enforcement veteran, and former LAPD senior police officer and detective. Rick was assigned to uniformed patrol and selected to work various special assignments, including gang enforcement, vice, narcotics, drug recognition expert (DRE), and counter-terrorism. He is certified as an instructor by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. After his police retirement, he transitioned into the private security industry where he worked in a variety of management and executive leadership roles. He served on the Global Security Team for NBC Universal at Universal Studios Hollywood, and as an executive/close protection specialist for many A-list celebrities and Fortune 500 families. Rick has performed high-risk threat assessments and armed security duties at many domestic and international venues.
Instructor/Consultant Jon Radus
Jon has been a police officer for more than 16 years in Southern California.
He has worked a variety of assignments during his career, starting as a patrol officer. He has been a Gang Detective, Narcotics Detective, Field Training Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Field Training Supervisor, School Resource Officer, Program Manager, and he currently serves as Lieutenant and his department’s Public Information Officer (PIO).
Jon was a member of a regional SWAT Team for 7 years. He has also been an Active Shooter Response Instructor, teaching police officers how to respond to active shooting threats. Coupled with experience managing school resource officers, his work as an Active Shooter Instructor gives him an exceptional understanding of the importance of school safety. He is also a Drug Recognition Expert - Instructor, educating police officers and community members from throughout the state on issues surrounding drunk and drugged driving, including helping to recognize the signs and symptoms of those under the influence of drugs.
Instructor/Consultant Tony Rios
Tony has more than 22 years of law enforcement experience with the Fullerton Police Department. Early in his career, he was a full-time DARE officer and spent three years as a School Resource Officer. He has worked as a detective in the Family Crimes Unit, a detective in a full-time undercover surveillance unit, as well as a Field Training Officer. He supervised the Family Crimes Unit, Field Training Unit, and the Gang Unit before promoting to Lieutenant. He has been a part of the SWAT team for more than 18 years, from operator to team leader/supervisor, and now the commander.
Michael A. Cabrera
Michael began his distinguished 20+ year law enforcement career with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department and later transferred to the Santa Monica Police Department. During his time in Santa Monica, Michael was selected for numerous special assignments which included: Mounted Patrol, SWAT, Gangs/Narcotics, Administration, Detective Sergeant and served as a patrol supervisor until his retirement.
Michael has many years of training and was responsible for writing the department’s Field Training Manual and Policy and Procedures manual. Michael was also an adjunct professor at the community college level and private universities.
After his retirement, Michael spent 10 years in the private sector as a regional sales manager working with prestigious companies such as Heckler and Koch until his recent retirement.
Michael brings a great deal of experience and knowledge to our team which he looks forward to sharing with our clients.
Geremy "Buck" Quaglia
Buck is a 17-year veteran firefighter for the City of Lodi Fire Department. He is trained in swift water, confined space, trench, and urban search & rescue. During his career, he has worked in coordinated multi-agency operations in Northern and Southern California. Buck is currently a member of the rescue team and is an active Fire Investigator. He has taught courses in Emergency Medical Services and Technical Rescue. He has participated in National Emergency Preparedness Operations and instructed Response to Terrorism Training modules laid out by the Department of Homeland Security. Buck is an alumni graduate of UC Davis and brings his medical background & Paramedic experience to the rapidly changing & dynamic emergency situations & multi-casualty incidents we face today.
Sergio has 31 years of law enforcement experience in Southern California. During his time with Gardena PD, he worked patrol, motor officer, training officer, narcotics detective, traffic investigator, and was on SWAT as an operator or a team leader for over 28 years. He was on the peer support team and a department instructor in the areas of use of force, arrest and control, and driving. In addition, Sergio was instrumental in successfully managing a grant from the Office of Traffic Safety involving 20 agencies in LA County worth over $1.2 million annually. After promoting to Sergeant, he oversaw SWAT, District 3 supervisor (southern section of the City of Gardena), and a patrol shift supervisor. He was the weekend night shift Watch Commander when he retired this past year. Sergio was also employed for almost 15 years at El Camino College as a consultant for the South Bay Police Academy and an Adjunct faculty for the Administration of Justice department.