Speakers Bureau

Speakers Bureau

Does your group or organization
need a speaker for an upcoming meeting?

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office can help. We speak to many groups in the county including teen drivers, neighborhood watch, seniors groups, schools, and civic organizations.  Each unit runs from 30 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes in length.  These times are estimates and sessions may run longer, based on questions and discussion.  Discussion and questions are encouraged.
     There is no charge for this service.  

Select a topic from those listed below and contact Reserve Captain Rodney Bridgeforth by email at bridgeforthr@vbco.org

Crime Prevention Topics

Crime Prevention 101

Who is responsible for crime prevention? The answer may surprise you. We will look at crime from the criminal’s view. Discuss the 10 principles of crime prevention and why crime prevention is proactive. We will also cover the Criminal Justice System.  Approximately 50 minutes

Auto Theft

Every year, thousands of autos are stolen, some are never recovered, others taken for a joy ride and recovered a short time after they were reported stolen. What can you do to protect your vehicles?  Approximately 45 minutes.

Financial Security

Everyday, we make financial transactions with cash, credit cards, debit cards, checks and others. Which ones are the safest - which ones should you avoid.  How you can protect your transactions? Approximately 50 minutes.

I.D. Theft

One of the fastest growing crimes in the world; every man, woman and child is a potential victim. What precautions should you take to protect yourself from this theft? What do I do and who do I call if it does happen. Approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Observation Skills                  

We all feel that not much gets by us, but….spend an hour in this class and you may have a different opinion on how much you may be missing. Learn what information is important to law enforcement and how to prioritize what should be recorded. You will be given exercises you can use to sharpen your observation skills so, when (not if) they are needed you can be prepared.  Approximately 60 minutes.

Personal Safety

How you can avoid dangerous situations in parking lots, the mall, restaurants, or while you are out for a walk or run. Are you being followed?  What should I do?  Levels of awareness - where do you fit? Approximately 45 minutes.

Reporting Suspicious Activities

We all see things everyday and we wonder if I should call the police or is it a normal activity that I have just seen?  This class will give you insight as to when to call, when to record, and when to just be observant. You will also learn just what happens when you dial 911, where does the call go, and how it is handled.  We will discuss how your call is prioritized and who may respond. Approximately 50 minutes.


Criminals sit around all day thinking of ways to steal your money; some are very simple, others are more complex. You may be amazed at how creative some of these scams are - they will pull at your heart strings, they will seem logical, they will all separate you from your hard earned money.  Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Target-Hardening Your Home

What can you do, as a home owner, to make your home more secure? How do I make my home less inviting to a criminal?  Many easy tips and actions that can be taken to target harden your home. Approximately 1 hour.

Travel Safety

When you go on vacation or travel for business, you become a target for criminals. Things that give you away as someone from out of town or out of the country, how you can avoid becoming a victim.  Approximately 45 minutes.

Business-related Topics

Check Fraud

Check fraud is a growing criminal activity. This program discusses whether or not your business should accept checks, how thieves use counterfeit, stolen or modified checks to defraud your business. Also if  should your business write checks for payroll or bills?  What are the hazards and how to avoid them? Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. 

Credit Card Fraud

Stolen and counterfeit credit cards have become big business for thieves. This program talks about security measures and how to protect your business from being a victim of this criminal activity. 
Approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Currency Counterfeiting

Our currency is being counterfeited at an alarming rate; thieves have high tech scanners and printers to manufacture bills with very good quality.  Learn how to spot counterfeit money and how thieves have learned how to bypass the common methods of detection.  Keep your business a step ahead of counterfeiters.  Approximately 1 hour.

Employee Theft

One of the largest losses for business is theft by employees; learn how to detect it and methods on prevention.  Approximately 1 hour.

Retail Theft

Retail theft or shop lifting can be limited by store layout and other methods which can be easy to implement. Learn how to deter and detect those who would steal items from your business. Discus the legal aspects of detaining a suspected shoplifter.  
Approximately 1 hour.

Robbery Protection

Is my business a target for a robbery?  What do robbers look for and how to correct the issues?  Opening and closing each day is the most dangerous times, what can be done to reduce the risk?  What should I do if I am robbed?  Approximately 1 hour

Security Video

This program discusses the use of cameras and recording equipment. With this type of equipment becoming less expensive with self installation, it may be an option to add this to your business or home security system.  The program will cover the pitfalls and legal considerations as well.  Approximately 1 hour.

Drug & Gang-related Topics


Meth is the most addictive drug found on the street.  For a few dollars of household chemicals and over the counter drugs, anyone can make meth. The toxic waste and the effects of the drug reach far beyond those who use it.  It can happen in your neighborhood. 
Approximately 45 minutes.


Marijuana is the most used illegal drug in the United States. Discover its short and long term effects, dangers, and effect on other drug uses. Approximately 40 minutes.


Gangs and gang activity has been on the increase in the United States over the last twenty years.  One of the largest increases has been in rural communities like Van Buren County.  This program gives a short history of gangs, the different types and how to identify them. Approximately 45 minutes.

Home Safety Topics

Disaster Planning for the Home

What if you loose utilities for several days, the roads are blocked with downed trees, a severe thunderstorm strikes, and do you know what you should have on-hand to survive?  How prepared are you for a disaster?  What types of disasters could we have in this area? Approximately 1 hour.

Home Safety

Thousands of people die or go to the emergency room every year due to accidents which occur in and around the home. See which activities are the most dangerous and how to avoid them. 
Approximately 1 hour.

Miscellaneous Topics

Cell Phones – Safety Tool or Safety Hazard?

Cell phones have become a part of our lives. Viewed by many as an item to never be without, many feel a sense of security because they can call for help from anywhere. See why cell phones can be hazardous to your health.  Approximately 45 minutes.

Neighborhood Watch - should your neighborhood be involved?

Learn the history and function of Neighborhood Watch and how it works with law enforcement. This 30+ year old program is very flexible and can work as well in an apartment building or for an entire Township. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office currently sponsors many groups in the county and would like to expand in your area. Complete training can be provided to start a new group as well.  Approximately 45 minutes.