Our Story

As acts of domestic terrorism continued to soar in the United States throughout the last decade, President and Founder Lois Blevins quickly realized that most citizens lacked the proper knowledge on how to spot and react to dangerous situations. Blevins then decided to apply her 30+ years of federal law enforcement expertise specializing in threat assessment and training to form an organization that would provide the general public with accessible and affordable tools to protect themselves.

The National Center for Citizen Safety (NCCSAFE) was formed as a 501(c)3 non-profit in 2014 with a mission to provide active assailant training, educational defense tools and safety awareness for preparedness of domestic terrorism within the United States.

NCCSAFE has been conducting training for the Howard County Library System for the public-at-large, the local Chamber of Commerce for business owners, just recently the University of Salisbury for college students, and is looking to partner with several public and private organizations. 

Over the last four years, NCCSAFE has been hosting Survivor Strong 5Ks where survivors spoke at the opening ceremony. Ericka Brannock (survivor from the Boston Marathon), Michele Gay (surviving mother of Josephine Gay, who was tragically taken in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting); as well as Hector Hernandez (U.S. Secret Service Agent who conducted significant recovery during the Oklahoma Bombing), and within the past year, survivors from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, FL.  

Blevins believes, “Every American should know how to A.C.T. (Assess, Cover Yourself, and Take Action), as simply as we learned how to “Stop, Drop, and Roll” in kindergarten.”

NCCSAFE’s Active Assailant Preparedness Training offers an in depth analysis on how to accurately respond during the quick moments of a crisis. Offered to both the private and public sectors, these educational seminars intricately demonstrate that individuals have the power to change the outcome of an unexpected disaster - saving lives. This workshop features the NCCSAFE's Assess/Cover/Take Action public awareness campaign and provides resources and training on how to shelter-in-place and lock down in the event of an incident, critical response techniques and a brief history of active assailants in the United States today.

NCCSAFE’s resources include online citizen response education, survivor resources, a toll-free telephone number and 24/7 cyber tip line. 

Our Mission

The National Center for Citizen Safety's mission is to provide the public with resources, education, and training to promote safety and readiness in response to active assailants and acts of domestic terrorism. 

Our Team

Lois Blevins, Founder and President

Lois Blevins, Founder and Executive Director

 Lois Blevins is the founder and President of the National Center for Citizen Safety (NCCSAFE). She has over 29 years of federal law enforcement experience in both intelligence and training (design, development, and instruction). Blevins has taught hundreds of courses related to law enforcement as well as “train-the-trainer” courses to multiple law enforcement entities (special agents, officers, and professional and administrative personnel). She has also conducted training to multiple international delegates from countries such as South America, Thailand, and the Caribbean, which included law enforcement and judicial partners through the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA). Blevins has also designed multiple curricula for federal infrastructure security, protection, and investigations and has worked for the U.S. State Department in conducting curricula review.

Blevins holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Management Information Systems both from the University of Maryland. She has been trained by field experts in multiple disciplines, and most recently conducted a week-long course with the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Domestic Preparedness.

After being involved for over 15 years in the non-profit organization Concerns of Police Survivors as a volunteer and serving on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Surge Capacity Force (a two-month temporary response to Hurricane Sandy) for her current agency, Blevins saw the Nation was severely being impacted with active assailants and other severe acts of nature on our Homeland. In 2013, Blevins decided to start a non-profit organization to ensure the organization’s services were either free or at an affordable cost to individuals and businesses. In 2014, after being approved by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, her mission to teach citizens how to lock-down, shelter-in-place, and respond to acts of domestic terrorism, such as active assailants, came to fruition. NCCSAFE’s resources also include online citizen response education, survivor resources, and a toll-free telephone number and cyber tip line.

Currently, the NCCSAFE has been conducting training for the Howard County Library System, for the public-at-large, the local Chamber of Commerce for business owners, just recently the University of Salisbury for college students, and is currently looking to partner with several other public and private organizations. In 2017 NCCSAFE hosted the 3rd Survivor Strong 5K, where it had survivors speak at the opening ceremony such as Ericka Brannock (survivor from the Boston Marathon), Michele Gay (surviving mother of Josephine Gay, daughter who was tragically taken in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting); as well as Hector Hernandez (U.S. Secret Service Agent who conducted significant recovery during the Oklahoma Bombing).

Rafael Matos, PhD

Rafael Matos, PhD., Industrial Organizational & Behavioral Psychologist

Dr. Rafael E. Matos was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and attended the University of Puerto Rico where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Sciences.  Upon graduation, he joined the United States Navy and served as a Surface Warfare Officer aboard the USS GARCIA (FF 1040); the aircraft carrier USS AMERICA (CV 66) during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm; was forward deployed on the USS CURTS (FFG 38) in Yokosuka, Japan; and served as Combat Systems and Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) officer for Destroyer Squadron 14 in Mayport, Florida.

Dr. Matos holds a Master of Science degree in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School and a doctorate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Walden University. After his Department Head tours, he was assigned as an Operations Research Analyst in the Requirements and Assessments Branch of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations Assessment Division (N81) at the Pentagon. After this tour, he was assigned as Manpower Analyst in the Office of the Chief of Naval Personnel, Manpower Analysis Division (N120), also at the Pentagon.  His last tour of duty was as Master Instructor of Mathematics at the United States Naval Academy where he was nominated for the Clements Award for excellence in teaching. Dr. Matos retired after 20 years of honorable service in the US Navy. He currently works as a consultant in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area. His areas of expertise are in organizational psychology, statistical analysis, optimization, modeling and simulation, decision analysis, organizational change management and organizational decision support facilitation. 

Dr. Matos is a past President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Military Operations Research Society (MORS). He co-chairs the MORS Human Behavior and Performance Working Group and is a contributor to the Decision Analysis and Computational Social Sciences Working Groups. He has presented numerous highly attended tutorials and project reports at the annual MORS Symposia in a variety of topics. He is also a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (InfORMS), the Military Officers of America Association (MOAA), and the National Society for Hispanic Professionals (NSHP).

Dr. Matos was stationed at the Pentagon the morning of September 11, 2001 and witnessed the unthinkable event of the crash of American Flight 77 on the western wall of the building just 3 levels below what used to be his office. After reacting and assisting in the efforts to assist the injured, he experienced feelings of “survivor guilt”, before being able to focus his talents at the service of others. Most recently he was also at the Washington Navy Yard during the active shooter event that took 13 lives. As a result of these events and others, he has channeled his energy assisting the National Center for Citizen Safety, as well as cancer survivors and their family members and caregivers, as a Senior Leader of the LIVESTRONG Foundation and the 24 Foundation Nationally; and locally as an active supporter of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

Barbara Golden

Barbara Golden, Consultant and Retired U.S. Secret Service Agent

Barbara Golden is a 37-year veteran of the U.S. Secret Service.  She served in an administrative capacity for 10 years and chose to continue her career as a special agent.  Golden became a criminal investigator in the Chicago Field Office, where she worked on a multitude of investigations regarding counterfeit currency, check forgeries, credit card fraud violations, threat assessments and protective intelligence cases.  She also sharpened her protection skills by serving on temporary details with the President, Vice President and various Heads of State.  

Golden’s career continued by serving three years on the Jimmy Carter Detail in Plains, GA.  Among numerous international and domestic trips, she conducted the advance work for President Carter’s trip to South Korea and continued as a member of the security detail for his unprecedented trip to North Korea.

Golden returned to the field in the Seattle Field Office and oversaw the training, investigative and administrative work and was a mentor for the agents assigned to the office.  

From 2001 until retirement, she advanced her career in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area.  Golden was quickly promoted through assignments in the Baltimore Field Office, Dignitary Protective Division, and the Inspection Division, which led her to becoming the Special Agent in charge of the Baltimore Field Office.  She was one of five females to hold this position globally within the agency.   Prior to retirement, Golden returned to Headquarters as the Special Agent in Charge of the Recruitment Division overseeing the complete review of marketing, selection, and training enhancements for hundreds of special agents, Uniformed Division Officers, and Administrative, Technical and Professional employees.

Golden continues to serve the private sector as a consultant by conducting threat/security assessments and contractual protective assignments.

Our Board of Directors & Staff

Angela Kozlowski, Communications & PR

Angela Kozlowski

 Angela Kozlowski, board member and public relations strategist with a background in event planning and community outreach and a passion for climate action joined the National Center for Citizen Safety (NCCSAFE) in July of 2015. Kozlowski joined the team to bring her years of event planning, fundraising, leadership, and professional experience to the first Survivor Strong 5K Run and Fun Walk fundraiser and continues to work on a myriad aspects of NCCSAFE’s multi-pronged mission. In addition to her work on the platform course “Response to an Active Assailant” and the writing of the organization’s bylaws, she mentored college interns individually and in small groups.

Previously, Kozlowski worked for the Department of Defense as a Language Analyst, Intelligence Analyst, and Course Developer for a Defense Department school. Immediately following her Intelligence career, she was detailed to the White House to work on the security team for the White House Millennium Council’s America’s Millennium: A Celebration for the Nation. In her community as a PTA volunteer, Kozlowski held leadership roles as president, vice president, and chaired many special event subcommittees, including “After Prom” for her children’s high school, which boasted the attendance of over 600 students and 120 parent volunteers annually during her tenure.

Susan Weilminster, Executive Assistant

Susan Weilminster

 Susan Weilminster joined Blevins at the inception of the NCCSAFE, because she believed that the information and training that NCCSAFE offers to be lifesaving. As a mother of three, she was adamant that her children have the information and that everyone has an opportunity to learn what to do in the event of a terrorist incident. Weilminster brings to NCCSAFE years of fundraising experience for non-profit and for-profit organizations, to include Susan G. Komen, the Maryland Food Bank, the Howard County Food Bank, and the Boston College Women’s Lacrosse Team, among others. Weilminster planned and coordinated all of NCCSAFE’s strategic fundraising activities, including two “Hoops for Hope” silent auction fundraisers, three annual Survivor Strong 5K Runs, Shredding Events, and a Holiday Bazaar, which are the lifeblood of NCCSAFE. She has also worked closely with and mentored dozens of college interns who come to work with the organization during the summers. 

In her professional life, Weilminster worked as a Registered Nurse at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Her experience as an operating room and recovery room nurse brings a unique skill set and perspective to the NCCSAFE team. 

Kara Kutchins, NCCSAFE Volunteer & Former Intern

Kara Kutchins

 Kara Kutchins is a former intern for National Center for Citizen Safety and is now a part-time volunteer. As a recent graduate from the University of Maryland with a degree in Public Health and Food Security, Kutchins found NCCSAFE’s mission and outreach extremely valuable in combating active assailants as a public health emergency. Kutchin’s efforts have focused on fundraising, grant research, and grant writing, in addition to attending various grant information sessions hosted by local community associations for nonprofits as well as representing NCCSAFE in various fora including traveling to the Boston University PRLab to promote NCCSAFE’s mission and support a training event. 

In her spare time, Kutchins volunteers for a number of different nonprofits where she mentors and teaches underprivileged children in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area and works with organizations that provide food and resources for the homeless and individuals with life-threatening illnesses. Additionally, Kutchins' life objectives are to bring awareness, protection, promotion, and improvement of health and wellness among individuals and communities.

Julia Komons, NCCSAFE Intern

Julia Komons

Julia Komons is a graduating senior at Towson University. She studies business with a concentration in Marketing. Since August, she has been the main intern for NCCSAFE, focusing on the organization’s marketing and PR functions. Komons looks forward to graduating this Spring and continuing to work for the marketing department of a meaningful organization.

Deirdre Henry, President of U.S. Secret Service Employee Recreation Association

Peg Mannix, Vice Chair Retired U.S. Secret Service Deputy Assistant Director

James D'Amelio, Chair-Elect & Retired U.S. Secret Service Deputy Assistant Director

Chip Sheehan, Retired U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division Officer


What is NCCSAFE?

The National Center for Citizen Safety (NCCSAFE) is an officially sanctioned 

501(c)(3) non-profit that provides awareness and resources for domestic terrorism preparedness. 

Where are you registered and what is your IRS Tax Identification Number?

#46- 4636866. We are registered with the State of Maryland. 

Does NCCSAFE offer counseling for domestic terrorism survivors?

We offer many resources for domestic terrorism survivors and their families. We do not independently offer counseling, but many of our partners do. You can find resources for affordable or pro-bono counseling on our resources page. We also host various events, conferences and retreats for survivors and their families where they can communicate with and support other survivors. One of our biggest events for the last 5 years has been our Survivor Strong Fun Run & Walk 5k, which brought survivors from all over the nation. 

Will NCCSAFE come to our location?

A: Yes, we will travel to speak, train, and/or present resources to your organization anywhere throughout the United States. If you are interested in NCCSAFE coming to your organization please contact info@nccsafe.org for more information.

Does NCCSAFE have a political agenda?

No, National Center for Citizen Safety is non-partisan  and we take no political stance.  Our mission is simply to prepare and secure the American people in regards to their everyday safety. 

What is the cost for Active Assailant Training?

Costs vary for public and private sector. Please contact info@nccsafe.org with your name and entity you are representing to obtain an estimate for your organization.