Board of Directors

Sara Thompson

Chair of the Board

Sara T. Thompson is a Ph.D student at the School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University. She has an extensive background in criminology and implementation of non-traditional criminal justice programs in developing countries. Her professional history includes coordinating an over $20 million police peacekeeping program at the State Department. She worked extensively with the highest levels of law enforcement, the police and gendarmerie, in African partner countries, Ghana, Rwanda, and Senegal, and the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations to deploy highly trained and qualified peacekeepers.  While working at the World Bank, she managed a $2 million research grant on African elephant poaching and provided relevant subject matter expertise to combat wildlife crime internationally. Prior to joining the Bank, Sara worked in Burkina Faso as a Peace Corps Volunteer, managing several educational and agricultural projects.  Examples of such projects include raising over $5,000 for local language and French books in support of school curriculum and adult literacy for a community library in addition to working with the local women’s garden by planting moringa trees as well as raising awareness about the benefits of moringa to fight food insecurity and malnutrition.  She holds an M.A in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University - Newark and a B.A in French and Criminal Justice.


Sara has been a staunch advocate for the health, safety, and security of Peace Corps Volunteers.  In 2017, she filed a whistleblower complaint against Peace Corps related to the agency’s distribution and use of the most toxic and least effective anti-malarial medication, mefloquine (also known by its brand name Lariam), in contradiction to CDC guidelines. In further support of these advocacy efforts, she helped to draft and pass Peace Corps reform legislation, The Sam Farr and Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act of 2018, by working with multiple stakeholders on the Hill and in the Peace Corps community. She has also successfully garnered official DC Councilmember support for legislation at a local level related to mandating open captioned movies for the deaf and hard of hearing community in DC. Other volunteer activities include working with the Newark Police Department and Newark community facilitating policy reform discussions under the Consent Decree. Sara has lived overseas for over three years and has extensively traveled around Europe and West and East Africa, professionally and personally. When she’s not advocating, she’s climbing mountains, running marathons, or taking pictures of fungi and bees.

Austin Handle

Vice-Chair of the Board

Austin S. Handle was born in South Florida and spent his teenage years in Forsyth County, Georgia. Austin enlisted in the delayed entry program from the United States Marine Corps Reserves while completing his senior year at North Forsyth High School in 2013. While serving in the Reserves as an Artillery Cannoneer, Austin attended the University of West Georgia and later graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology with a Psychology minor in 2019. While a student at UWG, Austin served as the President of the Georgia Eta Chapter of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, Board Chairman to the Alpha Chi Chapter of the Fraternal Values Society, and, on the Student Conduct Board. During Austin's final years studying at UWG, he was employed by the UWG Police Department and remained a full-time college student while attending the North Central Georgia Police Academy. 

 

In 2018, nearing his college graduation, Austin sought employment at a larger police department and was employed by the Dunwoody Police Department in Metro-Atlanta. Over several years of experience policing, Austin served in the patrol division with various duties to include special assignments in several undercover operations and assisting State Investigators in international fraud investigations. Officer Handle's service was characterized by various commendations from both immediate supervisors and citizens. Austin's career in policing, regardless of positive performance, was continuously overshadowed by an ominous figure. In 2020, Austin indicated to supervisors that he may seek legal counsel for how he had been harassed and treated by a specific Lieutenant. After clear and rapid retaliation ensued, Austin learned from other officers of deep-rooted corruption and criminal activity taking place within the police department.

 

Austin took to his recently garnered following of 20,000 followers on TikTok as "Officer ASH" to reveal some of this information after internal investigators wiped away any mention of the suspected individual from reports. Austin quickly faced a termination recommendation from his superiors. In the following months, Austin's social media following grew from 20,000 to over 150,000 followers. With this growth in viewership, Austin was interviewed by radio stations, several podcasts, and other social media personalities. Austin later gave input to legislators who drafted a new national police accountability and reform program. This evolved into Austin working with various legislators and activists in Washington, D.C. (and remotely around the Nation) to secure anti-retaliation protections for law enforcement whistleblowers. 

 

Austin's hashtag campaign documenting his fight against corruption (#RogueBlue) gained well over 3,000,000 views and later transformed into an independent short film titled: Rogue Blue: The Life After Whistleblowing. In one segment of "Rogue Blue," Austin speaks to law enforcement officers around the country who are facing retaliation and/or trying to muster the courage to become whistleblowers.

See Austin's "Whistleblower of the Week" article​ written by former FBI Agent Jane Turner via the Whistleblower News Network.

Norman A. Carter Jr.

Secretary

Norman A. Carter Jr. was born and raised in North Central Philadelphia, PA.  After graduating from Thomas A. Edison High School, he enlisted in the United States Army in 1963 and served as a Combat Medical Corpsman.  The following year, he was selected to attend the prestigious United States Military Academy Preparatory School.  After graduating in 1966, he was honorably discharged and by the following year had joined the Philadelphia Police Department.  Over the course of his 25-year policing career, Norman served in a variety of patrol, administrative, and narcotics assignments earning two commendatory letters and rising to the rank of Police Corporal. Norman joined Philadelphia’s Office of the Inspector General, Welfare Fraud Division in 1993 and retired as a Claims Investigation Agent Supervisor in 1997.  After moving to Georgia, he enjoyed a 15 plus year career in the hospitality industry.

His efforts to increase minority representation and root out police corruption within the Philadelphia Police Department are documented in his 2016 memoir, The Long Blue Walk: My Journey as a Philly Cop.  He has contributed to a number of journalistic exposés about the manipulation of crime statistics and failure to safeguard prisoners during police transport.  Norman has made guest appearances on television, radio, and podcast programs where he speaks on abuse of police authority and criminal justice reform. He is the host and producer of Issues and Answers on the WCEG Internet Broadcast Network.

In December of 2020, Norman was appointed to Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Advisory Task Force which focuses on police, prosecutorial, and judicial abuses and reforms. Norman is part of the leadership team at the Cornerstone Church in Snellville, Georgia where he serves on the choir and occasionally delivers homilies.  He is currently enrolled in seminary.  Married to Vicki Cork-Carter, he is the father of five children, seven grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Read Norman's Book titled: "The Long Blue Walk: My Journey as a Philly Cop" here.

 
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