About Us


Our History


Twenty-two years ago, Ms. Cynthia Brown, then editor for American Police Beat magazine and Dr. Elaine Bernard, Executive Director of Harvard Law School, realized a correlation between police matters and their impact on their communities. 

They realized that law enforcement labor organizations, in general, were fragmented and there was a need to unite. Ms. Brown and Dr. Bernard invited the best and brightest law enforcement leaders from across the world to come to Harvard and discuss police matters and their impact on the community.

This first seminar, which was by invitation only, was a huge success. From the very beginning, that first, hand-picked group could see the value of this type of seminar as information was shared and valuable relationships forged.  

The leaders who gathered discussed trends and different approaches to successfully handling potential risks and attacks on law enforcement, and they found the benefit of being able to establish a network of communications with other leaders. From that year on, a leadership seminar was held every year in Cambridge.

John Rivera, who served as the President of the Florida and Dade County Police Benevolent Associations, was one of only three law enforcement leaders who spoke to the academics at Harvard over twenty years ago.

John Rivera... was one of only three law enforcement leaders who spoke to the academics at Harvard over twenty years ago.

Rivera’s dynamic presentations and his insight on law enforcement matters had him invited back every year since, as either an attendee, a speaker, or to serve as a panel member. 

Throughout the years, professors and professionals in related fields of law enforcement, continued to share their knowledge and research on topics, trends and forecasts.

In 2019, Cynthia Brown and Dr. Elaine Bernard retired. Instead of letting this important seminar cease to exist, John Rivera took the helm with Cynthia Brown’s encouragement and support. He then partnered with longtime colleagues Blanca Torrents Greenwood, Esq. and Stephanie M. Womble, both of whom worked alongside Rivera and  were instrumental in developing and implementing the many initiatives that led to the PBA’s success and to Rivera’s success as the leader of Florida’s largest law enforcement labor organization. 

The BIG50 seminar remains an invitation-only event where we seek out the best, brightest and most influential leaders in the law enforcement community to attend this prestigious seminar. Our team is committed to continuing and building upon what Cynthia Brown and Dr. Elaine Bernard started in Cambridge – creating professional forum where law enforcement leaders can unite to find innovative ways to serve the membership and advance the law enforcement profession.

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