We've said it before on our blog and we'll say it again: It's the people of Leonardo that really make this place special. Yes, the innovative technology and solutions help. But they'd be nothing without our exceptional team, which includes the smart and selfless Robert Ryan. Get to know Rob here.
Tell us about your role with Leonardo.
I’m the Senior Business Development Manager and Law Enforcement Liaison. My experience as both a local police officer and federal narcotics officer allows me to offer a unique perspective with information and education about our products and exceptional service. I also develop training programs, many in coordination with HIDTA, and provide LPR program and policy development support. I serve many roles, but the most important is to ensure customer satisfaction and success.
What do you love about working with Leonardo's customers? And your team?
The best thing about our customers is their dedication to their mission—that goes for the Leonardo team as well! There is a special camaraderie within law enforcement that can’t be understood unless you’ve “been there and done that”. I carried a badge and gun for 33 years, retiring from DEA in 2019, so I understand the mission from the inside out. My years in law enforcement allow me to understand customer needs better than anyone else. Being able to support the law enforcement mission and to help get officers the tools they need to stay safe and protect the citizens they serve is what I love the most.
What are you currently excited about?
Leonardo/ELSAG has several new products coming, which makes it an exciting time. The Street Sentry is a great addition to our full ecosystem of LPR products. The Street Sentry is a purpose built, solar powered LPR camera that integrates with our other camera and software solutions. The Street Sentry gives agencies an affordable solution that can be used to “saturate” urban areas for affordable maximum coverage, while still integrating with our existing high-speed interstate fixed and mobile cameras and existing EOC servers.
Solving unique LPR needs by providing a variety of customized solutions is always exciting for Leonardo. With more innovation ahead in our fixed and mobile platforms, an updated EOC software with a mobile app capability, a dual-lane F4 camera, and even more surprises down the road, there’s nothing but excitement on the horizon from Leonardo/ELSAG.
Got any success stories you can share?
We hear great new success stories every week, but we generally don’t publicize LE sensitive details. We feel that’s a choice for our law enforcement customers. But I can share a recent story from a small rural agency in the Midwest.
They purchased their first mobile system, tied to the National HIDTA LPR Program. It was a big commitment, since they had such a small budget. Just a few weeks later, they made their first significant seizure of drug proceeds—over $150,000. They’ve also received verified alerts on stolen vehicles and missing persons. Those are big “return on investment” items for an agency with only one “part-time” interdiction officer. They’re more excited than ever about ELSAG LPR technology. It’s satisfying to see agencies just starting out with LPR have success and prove the value of ELSAG LPR Solutions.
I’ve personally used LPR in investigations and seen the benefits first-hand. Having run a national federal LPR program with thousands of users, I’ve seen success stories across the country with the seizure of hundreds of pounds of drugs, millions in drug related proceeds, the capture of fugitives, murder suspects, and recovery of lost or missing persons.
To me though, the biggest value comes in child abduction cases. I’ve seen real life cases where ELSAG technology, and good police work, have led to the recovery of endangered and abducted children. Nothing can be more valuable than to save the life of an innocent child!
What's your background, and what led you to Leonardo?
I started my law enforcement career with the Norman Oklahoma Police Department in 1987. I served in Patrol, Special Operations and the DEA Task Force in Oklahoma City. I was a Federal DEA Task Force officer assigned to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building at the time of the OKC bombing in 1995. In 1997, I became a DEA Special Agent based in Missouri and worked cases that led all over the country. I eventually became the DEA Task Force Supervisor in Oklahoma City, then served at DEA Headquarters in Washington D.C., where I was responsible for DEA’s National License Plate Reader Program. When I retired in 2019, I had several opportunities in the LPR industry, but Leonardo/ELSAG was the company I believed in most.
Where you now, and what do you do in your free time?
I returned to Oklahoma City after my time in Washington D.C. When not traveling for Leonardo, I enjoy my family and helping with my first grandchild.
Got a frequently asked question you can answer for us here?
Why ELSAG? That’s the bottom-line question I hear most often. There are so many great answers to that question, but for me, the most important one comes down to why I chose to work with Leonardo in the first place…their quality business ethics.
Leonardo doesn’t saturate the world with “free” samples, only to bait and switch to higher cost services or charge ever inflating recurring fees. Leonardo strives for excellence and provides products with proven success and longevity… some of our cameras are still operational today with over 10 years of deployment! That’s serious added value!
At Leonardo, we are dedicated to honest sales and superior service. We aren’t dependent on someone else’s investment money. Leonardo/ELSAG has been in this industry for almost two decades. Our sales force is comprised of a handful of knowledgeable and trusted field representatives. About half of them are prior law enforcement.
Leonardo/ELSAG is a TEAM, serving your mission, like it’s our own. When it comes down to it, that’s the answer to all the questions!
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