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About Todd:

Todd Keister is a retired 30-year veteran New York State Police commander and former US Navy Intelligence Specialist attached to the Defense Intelligence Agency. He is scuba instructor, author, columnist, and adjunct college professor.  Todd is the author of The Police in a Free Society; safeguarding rights while enforcing the law and A Republic, if you can keep it; a chronicle of the American counterrevolution.   He has also authored a guide on vehicle theft published by the Center for Problem Oriented Policing at the University of Wisconsin and is a contributor for the Encyclopedia of Police Science.  Todd has been a guest speaker at the United States Military Academy at West Point and other universities, and his articles have been featured in The Journal of International Security Affairs, The Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture, Police Magazine, and online at American Diplomacy and American Thinker.  Todd is a graduate of the US Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center and holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University at Albany School of Criminal Justice.  Todd is also a certified scuba instructor with the National Association of Underwater Instructors.  He presently lives full time in his motorhome or boat with his dog, Amybelle, and can be found diving and teaching scuba wherever it’s warm.

Scuba Certifications:

  • Open Water                              PADI    

  • Advanced Open Water             NAUI   

  • Nitrox                                       NAUI   

  • Rescue Diver                           NAUI   

  • Ice Diver                                  NAUI   

  • Master Diver                           NAUI   

  • Drysuit Diver                           NAUI   

  • Training Assistant                    NAUI   

  • Dive Science                             SSI       

  • Divemaster                              NAUI   

  • Diving First Aid

       for Dive Professionals             NAUI

  • Instructor                                 NAUI   

  • Essentials of Human Factors

       in Diving      (The Human Diver, UK)

  • Basic Life Support/

       CPR/AED Instructor                 DAN

Authorized Classes

  • Open Water Scuba Diver

  • Try Scuba Diving

  • Nitrox Diver

  • Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver

  • Rescue Scuba Diver

  • Advanced Rescue Scuba Diver

  • Master Scuba Diver

  • Divemaster

Specialty Courses:

  • Refresher Scuba

  • Deep Diver

  • Night & Limited Visibility Diver

  • Search & Recovery Diver

  • Training Assistant

  • Underwater Archeology

  • Underwater Digital Imaging

  • Wreck Diver

  • Underwater Naturalist

  • International Diver

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Classes

Dive Industry Experience

NAUI Scuba Professional

2020-2021  Divemaster

  • Divemaster at St. Lawrence Scuba Co.  Duties include classroom instruction, as well as assisting with in-water training assistance and supervision of students.  Guiding dives both from shore and charter craft; drift dives, wrecks, and walls, assisting divers with water entry and exit, gear assembly/fitting, fill station operation, loading and unloading, handling lines and assisting captain with mooring and docking.  Light salvage of outboard motors, docks, chains.

2021-Present  Instructor

  • Instructor at St. Lawrence Scuba Co.  Duties include classroom and in-water instruction, supervision of students and staff, organizing and executing training sessions, emergency management planning, maintenance of student files, counseling and remedial solutions for students.

 

Accomplishments:

  • Formed TDK Scuba Enterprises; created and published new diver’s logbook product  

  • Created and published websites for both St. Lawrence Scuba and its sister company, Dive St. Lawrence  Designed new equipment rental agreements, forms and tracking system for equipment

  • Created QR code system for disseminating driving directions to instruction/dive/charter sites

  • Designed and built an extensive underwater navigation course utilizing underwater buoys

  • Created detailed map of dive training and navigation site; built and installed permanent underwater version of the map on site

  • Created dive briefing cards for various historic shipwreck sites

  • Created animated PowerPoint videos of lectures on diving science and gas consumption and management. 

  • Proposed and designed a Project Baseline site at the wreck of the SS Islander (St. Lawrence Seaway).  Designed and built and underwater visibility measuring station and built/installed signage.  This project utilizes recreational divers to submit observations on the conditions and fish counts at the site to a database maintained by Project Baseline to be shared with academic partners at Syracuse University and with NY State Environmental Conservation researchers

  • Logged dives to date: 637

Dive Expeience

My Teaching Philosophy

  

I teach my students based upon an extension of NAUI’s “Loved One Philosophy,” which means their instructor trainers will not certify a new instructor unless both signatories agree that they would be comfortable letting that person teach their loved one to dive; I teach my students to a level of proficiency that I would expect for one of my loved ones.  A poorly trained diver can endanger not only themselves but others as well.

 

I teach my students to be competent, confident, smart, and safe divers, with all the skills they need to perform safe and enjoyable dives under conditions similar to their training environment.  I provide them with more knowledge and teach more skills than are required because I believe this is vital to their safety.  By teaching under NAUI auspices, I have the freedom to teach to a higher standard that benefits students.

 

Students come from an endless array of backgrounds, possess differing skills, motivations, limitations, and fears.  I approach diver training with empathy and put students at ease from the very beginning; letting them know that learning a new skill, a vast body of information, and doing something that carries risks, makes everyone feel uncomfortable and apprehensive at a minimum, and overwhelmed and anxious at worst.  Adult learners are generally not accustomed to learning completely new skills, so I tell them to have fun with the awkwardness of mastering a skill that will be truly life changing for them.

 

It is my opinion that the scuba training industry as a whole is doing a poor job and is turning out more and more incompetent and even dangerous divers.  This is being driven by the thin profit margins in the industry and cutthroat business practices that emphasize speed and profit over safety.  I want to be a part of changing that direction.  I want to create divers, not just someone who has a scuba certification card.

Philosophy

Complete CV

Education

  • MA, Criminal Justice, University at Albany School of Criminal Justice, Albany, NY, 2005

  • BS, History, Excelsior College, Albany, NY, 2000

  • AAS, Criminal Justice, Broome Community College, Binghamton, NY, 1990

                 

Work Experience

NAUI Scuba Professional

 

2020-present Divemaster, Instructor

 

  • Divemaster at St. Lawrence Scuba Co.  Duties include classroom instruction, as well as assisting with in-water training assistance and supervision of students.  Guiding dives both from shore and charter craft; drift dives, wrecks, and walls, assisting divers with water entry and exit, gear assembly/fitting, fill station operation, loading and unloading, handling lines and assisting captain with mooring and docking.

 

  • Instructor at St. Lawrence Scuba Co.  Duties include classroom and in-water instruction, supervision of students and staff, organizing and executing training sessions, emergency management planning, maintenance of student files, counseling and remedial solutions for students.

 

Accomplishments: Formed TDK Scuba Enterprises; created and published new diver’s logbook product.  Created and published websites for both St. Lawrence Scuba and its sister company, Dive St. Lawrence.  Designed new equipment rental agreements, forms and tracking system for equipment; created QR code system for disseminating driving directions to instruction/dive/charter sites; designed and built an extensive underwater navigation course utilizing underwater buoys; created detailed map of dive training and navigation site; created dive briefing cards for various historic shipwreck sites; created animated PowerPoint videos of lectures on diving science and gas consumption and management.  Logged dives to date: 637.

 

New York State Police

 

2016-2020 Captain, Uniform Force

 

  • Executive Officer/Second-in-Command of Troop C, overseeing operations in seventeen installations across seven counties; 363 sworn members and employees.

 

  • Oversight of all internal administrative investigations, liaison with Internal Affairs.  Responsible for all training, including the Field Training Officer Program for new recruits, and directly responsible for troop’s Underwater Recovery Team, Communications Section, Emergency Management Office, Information Technology department, Crime Victim’s Assistance office, the Traffic Incident Management and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Units, Public Information Office, Recruitment, Quartermaster, Principal Clerk, First Sergeant’s office, and Internship Program.

 

  • Accomplishments: Created new format for reporting complaints, property damage, and injuries which was adopted statewide; saving thousands of man hours and making reporting more efficient.  Reduced late reports by more than 80 percent in three months.  Created a paperless system for retention of internal reports. 

  • Initiated projects and secured funding for improvements, including new firearms training building, headquarters building signage, cellular distributed antenna system, wireless communication system for civilian staff, new furniture, and landscaping for several neglected installations.

  • Directed all planning for State Police Centennial events, including an open house and banquet; fundraising, coordinating displays, demonstrations, acquisition and set up of equipment and memorabilia, transportation, parking, signage, and decoration.  Created 20-minute film on state police and Troop C history.  Designed challenge coin for event.

  • Developed and implemented a paperless system for submission and filing of all memoranda, training requests, and other documents; greatly improving speed and efficiency, and saving significant man hours.

  • Supervised $5.6 million renovation of headquarters and creation of updated forensic laboratory facility.  Coordinating labor, financing, and liaison with contractors, state overseers, and command staff in state capital.

  • Assisted with research, filming, and appeared at length in a PBS documentary film on the history of the New York State Troopers.

  • Participated in the creation of State Police Centennial Book, working in committee and writing three chapters.

 

 

2013-2016  Lieutenant, Uniform Force

  • Assistant Zone Commander in Troop C, Zones One and Three.  Duties include supervision of multiple installations, 70+ troopers and investigators, liaison with local police and government officials, and direct command at serious incidents such as barricaded individuals and hostage situations.

 

  • Accomplishments: Served as acting Zone Three Commander for one year at request of troop commander.  Rebuilt morale, corrected serious deficiencies at one station, and reduced delinquent administrative reporting by 60 percent.  Negotiated and coordinated transfer of dispatching operations to two county 911 centers, created detailed memoranda of understanding resulting in a seamless transition.  Created relationships with local city officials, and several police agencies that had been damaged or non-existent.

 

2004-2013  Lieutenant, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

  • 2004-2005 Director, Field Investigations.  Assigned to the office of the Assistant Deputy Superintendent-BCI, responsible for overseeing state police background investigations for all Governor’s Office appointees and trooper applicants statewide.

  • 2005-2013: Commanding Officer, Oneida Casino Gaming Unit.  Director of anti-corruption/criminal investigation detail at Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone Resort and Casino.  Oversight of 15 investigators and supervisors conducting detailed background investigations of all casino executives and employees.  Unit was responsible for completing financial profiles and background investigations of all principles of corporations performing significant business with the casino. Acted as liaison between New York State Office of the Governor and Oneida Indian Nation representatives.

 

  • Accomplishments: Established cordial, professional working relationship with casino management and Indian nation police, where relations had been very poor/hostile for over a decade.  Became the first unit commander to establish regular communication with Oneida Nation president and vice president.  The Oneida Nation frequently clashed with state government over sovereignty issues; successfully negotiated that environment to create working relationships despite a volatile and often confrontational political environment.  Created new agreements with Nation Police and obtained office renovations from the casino.

 

2000-2004   Non-Commissioned Officer

  • 2000-2001 Sergeant, SP Oneonta.  Responsible for supervision of uniform troopers, physical evidence, and station administration.

  • 2001-2004 Sergeant-Station Commander, SP Deposit and SP Endwell.  Responsible for supervision of sergeants and troopers, and administration of facility.  Conducting fleet management, purchasing, performance evaluation, and strategic planning duties.

  • 2004 Zone Sergeant, SP Binghamton.  Responsible for supervision of station commanders and administration of multiple state police installations.  Act as media and political liaison. Performance evaluations of station commanders and conducting internal personnel investigations.

  • Accomplishments: As station commander, improved morale and productivity of members, obtained repairs and upgrades to installations, created computer-based system for tracking reports and scheduling, established regular meetings with town supervisors and boards to cooperatively address problems.  Received award from town board on behalf of 60,000 residents for efforts and the improvement the community’s quality of life.

 

1990-2000   Uniform Trooper

  • Work in rural and suburban areas, performing police patrol, criminal and motor vehicle accident investigation.  Response to natural disasters, riots, and other emergencies throughout New York State.  Executed more than 500 criminal arrests.

 

  • Accomplishments: Highest number of criminal arrests at each station assigned, received more than two dozen commendations, including a Superintendent’s Commendation, received 24 civilian letters of appreciation, selected as field training officer, designated member-in-charge of satellite station, appointed as an Academy Training Officer, authored state police report writing manual at NYSP Academy, drafted assault legislation for State Senator Thomas Libous.

 

United States Navy Reserve

 

2001-2008   Intelligence Specialist

 

  • Intelligence analyst attached to the Defense Intelligence Agency.  Preparation of imagery analysis, infrastructure mapping, target selection, and creation of specialized intelligence products for war fighters and policy analysts.  Top Secret/SCI security clearance.

 

  • Preparation and Presentation of detailed intelligence briefs to command personnel on international affairs, weapons platforms, political and military trends at Top Secret/SCI level.  Directed and conducted specialized training for enlisted members.

 

  • Accomplishments: Established orientation and training program for new members of intelligence command, selected to lead training program and to study at the Navy War College, decorated for work on multi-use technology project at DIA and for target selection work during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

 

SUNY-Broome College

 

2007-2011   Adjunct Professor

 

  • Preparation of curriculum, syllabus, and presentation of classroom instruction for courses in police administration and private security.

  • Participation in faculty meetings, course development, and coordination with other academic departments.

 

Author

2006-Present

 

  • Authored four published books as well as academic and foreign affairs journal essays, and magazine articles.

  • Columnist for Examiner.com, creating political commentary covering domestic issues and foreign affairs.

  • Extensive research, documentation, utilization of web-based publishing tools, work with marketing team, created and maintain two websites.

 

 

TRAINING & CERTIFICATIONS

2017-2018    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Equal Employment Opportunity; Rights &                                Responsibilities, Fire Safety & Emergency Evacuation, Language Access, Reasonable                        Accommodation for the Public, Prevention of Workplace Violence - New York State Police – various locations

2018             Critical Legal Issues for Police Executives, SUNY-Broome, Binghamton, NY

2017             Principles of Force Science, Division of Criminal Justice Services/Force Science                                                      Institute, Saratoga, NY

2014             Leadership and Mastering Performance Management, Northeast Counterdrug                                                        Training Center, PA

2011             Origins of Islamic Terrorism, New York State Intelligence Center, Latham, NY

2010             FEMA courses: Multi-Agency Coordination System, Public Information Systems,                                                      Communications

2009             Information Management, Resource Management, Incident Command System; ICS 100                                          through 700 

2009             Human Trafficking Investigation, Division of Criminal Justice Services, Binghamton, NY                 2007            New York State Police Commissioned Officer’s School, Albany, NY

2007             National Incident Command System, NY State Office of Emergency Management,                                                   Albany, NY

2007             Interviews and Body Language, St. Petersburg College, Syracuse, NY

2006             Financial Investigative Techniques, St. Petersburg College, Syracuse, NY

2004             Subject Matter Expert Instructor Course, US Navy, Naval War College, Newport, RI

2003             Intelligence Specialist “A” School, Navy & Marine Corps Intelligence Training Ctr., Dam                                            Neck, VA

2001             Basic Reserve Intelligence Training, Fort Devens, MA

2001             US Navy Basic Training, Great Lakes, IL

2004             New York State Police Basic Leadership School, Albany, NY

1996             Notary Public, State of New York

1990             New York State Police Basic School, Albany, NY                        

*Complete list available on request

 

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

1991-2020     31 Letters of commendation for excellence in performance of duty, NYSP

  1990             Law Enforcement Excellence Award, Delaware & Otsego County Stop DWI Programs

  1999             New York State Police Distinguished Pistol Expert Award

  2000             Superintendent’s Commendation, NYSP, for actions on 26 June 2000

  2000             Letter of Appreciation, Governor George Pataki, for year 2000 preparation efforts

  2001             Letter of Appreciation, Governor George Pataki, for ongoing World Trade Center response

  2002             Proclamation, Town of Union, NY designating 17 May as Todd D. Keister Day

  2001-2005   US Navy decorations & medals: Joint Service Achievement, Navy Achievement, Navy Reserve Meritorious Service, National Defense Service, Global War on Terrorism Service, Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation

 

 PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

2016-2020              International Association of Chiefs of Police

2016-present          American Legion

2015-2020              Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences

2013-2020              Tompkins County Law Enforcement Administrators Group

2002-2003              Toastmasters International – River City Toastmasters, Binghamton

2002-2004              Literacy Volunteers of America, Broome County Chapter

2001-2005              Naval Intelligence Professionals

1991-1995              Delaware County Shields

1992-1996              Catskill Mountain Police Association

1990-present          New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association

 

PUBLICATIONS

Books:

  • The Police in a Free Society; Safeguarding Rights While Enforcing the Law.  Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2017

  • The Ultimate Police Career Guide; Your Roadmap to a Career in Law Enforcement.  New York: Patrick Henry University Press, 2015

  • A Republic, If You Can Keep It: A Chronicle of the American Counterrevolution. Oklahoma City: Tate, 2013

  • Vehicle Crime in Suburban Residential Neighborhoods.  Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, 2007.

  • “Police Crackdowns” Encyclopedia of Police Science, 3rd Edition, 2 Vols., ed. Jack R. Greene.  New York: Routledge, 2006.

  • New York State Police Report-Writing Manual.  Albany: New York State Police, 1999.

 

Journals:

  • “Defining Victory in Iraq”. Journal of International Security Affairs.  Fall 2008.  Washington, D.C.: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.

  • “Beware the Thought Police”.  Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture.  Vol. 15.3 (2009): pp. 358-363.  Albany, NY: School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany.

  • “When is a War not a War?  Defining & Achieving Victory in Iraq”.  World Affairs.  Vol. 13.3 (2009): pp. 98-104.  New Delhi, India: Kapur Surya Foundation.

 

Magazines:

  • “Mixed Blessings; The Unintended Consequences of Less-Lethal Weapons” Police Magazine, Vol. 38, No. 11, November 2014.

  • “Is That Trooper Okay?”  Michigan Trooper, Vol. 41, No.6, November/December 2005.

 

    INTERESTS

Scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, yoga, tennis, downhill skiing, obstacle races, boating, writing, history, cinema

 

    REFERENCES

Available upon request

 

 

 

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