Southeast TTA Team

Didi Nelson

Didi Nelson has half a century of experience in the field of Criminal Justice.  In August 2021, she retired as the Law Enforcement Coordination Manager in the Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, after serving in that position for three and a half decades. She had responsibility for the coordination of more than 350 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and multiple initiatives in the 46-county Northern District of Georgia.  In her last four years, her title was changed to Special Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs to reflect the expansion of her duties to include more internal management responsibilities, such as COVID Coordinator, as well as coordination among other non-justice government agencies.

Ms. Nelson is an experienced law enforcement instructor and has conducted training on a variety of subjects, including Asset Forfeiture, Procedural Justice, Racial and Ethnic Profiling, the Federal Criminal Justice System, Drugs and Narcotics, Victim-Witness Issues, Heroin/Opioids, and topics related to major event planning (e.g., Diplomatic Immunity).  She personally has trained more than 75,000 officers and agents in more than 40 states, and she has spoken for several national and statewide law enforcement organizations.  Her training on Racial and Ethnic Profiling more than 20 years ago was recognized in the book Profiles in Injustice.  Ms. Nelson was a speaker at the 2009 World Summit on Counter Terrorism on the issue of law enforcement coordination in the context of preventing terrorism. 

Ms. Nelson has received numerous commendations for her work, including the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys’ Director’s Award for Outstanding Law Enforcement Coordination; “Georgia Woman in Public Safety,” an outstanding achievement award by the Secretary of State of Georgia; 2018 Outstanding Contributions to the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program; 2017 Leadership in Human and Civil Rights award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police; and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Gang Investigators Association. 

Ms. Nelson is a certified Georgia Peace Officer and Certified Instructor.  She previously served as a Sergeant with the Cobb County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office and served in the reserve unit for 12 years.  She also worked as a paralegal in private practice (criminal defense and domestic relations).  During that time, she served as a volunteer victim counselor and non-attorney legal advocate with the Cobb County YWCA Battered Women’s Program.  She has worked in the Criminal Justice Systems of Georgia for 47 years. 

Ms. Nelson is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Law Enforcement Executive Development course; graduate and Head of Delegation, Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange Program, an executive leadership course conducted in Israel with Israeli Police and Intelligence agencies; and a graduate of Leadership Cobb.  She attended Southern Polytechnical Institute. 

In her spare time, Didi volunteers with a dog rescue organization, fostering hospice dogs and transporting rescue pups on their “freedom ride” out of animal shelters.

Deanna Sweeney

DeAnna Sweeney is an expert in criminal justice and mass communication. At CNA, Sweeney supports projects including the Smart Policing Initiative, Precision Policing impacts throughout COVID-19, Project Safe Neighborhoods, Body-Worn Camera Training and Technical Assistance and the Public Safety Partnership through the Bureau of Justice Assistance. As an Analyst and Research Specialist on these projects, she maintains a detailed knowledge of site initiatives, supports strategic planning, and suggests training and technical assistance strategies to meet site needs. She also specializes in outreach work which entails creating the social media material for the Twitter account of the Smart Policing Initiative and updating their website with new resources and publications.

Prior to joining CNA, Sweeney was a senior reviewer for ICF International, where she worked with Universal Service Administrative Company, which operates under the FCC, to get telecommunications funding approved for medical practices in rural areas. Sweeney has a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from Old Dominion University where she also minored in mass communication. She speaks fluent Patois.