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Boots on the Ground – A Practitioner’s Guide to Conducting Public Safety Investigations

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External Investigators |  Internal Investigators |  POBR/FOBR |  Public Sector
Karen Kramer |  Eli Makus
1 Hour
Audio and Video
Original Program Date:
Feb 25, 2021
Never expires.


In August 2020, AWI presented a webinar largely focused on the legal framework for conducting administrative investigations involving public safety professionals. This companion webinar will drill down and provide practical guidance for investigators on the nuances unique to investigations involving law enforcement. Given the increased emphasis on transparency of investigations involving peace officers, these sensitive investigations include an added layer of scrutiny from all parties and stakeholders. While the focus of the webinar will be on the California Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights (“POBR”), the concepts and tools discussed are applicable to investigations in most jurisdictions with similar legislation. Many of these concepts also apply to investigations involving Firefighters.

Disclaimer: The contents of this webinar and the positions taken are those of the presenter only, may be time sensitive, and are not warranted, endorsed or otherwise recommended by AWI and are not intended to provide legal advice. 



California MCLEs: 1.0



Karen Kramer's Profile

Karen Kramer

Kramer Workplace Investigations

Eli Makus's Profile

Eli Makus

Senior Partner

Van Dermyden Makus Law Corporation

Eli Makus is a Senior Partner of Van Dermyden Makus Law Corporation and Firm Managing Partner. Eli has focused on helping resolve employment disputes throughout his legal career. After litigating disputes for many years and working as in-house employment counsel, his practice now focuses on conducting impartial investigations.

Eli conducts and manages neutral, unbiased investigations on complex and sensitive matters. He is experienced in all areas of employment law, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, disability accommodations, protected leaves of absence, whistleblower claims, privacy, wage-hour compliance, and reorganizations.

Eli has been retained by both public and private employers to investigate a variety of issues, from complaints of workplace misconduct, to allegations focused on fraud, corporate abuse, and regulatory compliance. For example, he has investigated issues specific to hospital operations and compliance, partnered with physician leaders on medical staff peer review investigations, and audited safety and compliance programs. Eli has conducted investigations involving employees at all levels of the organization, including executives, managers, and front-line staff in union and non-union environments.

Eli is experienced at conducting investigations in the public sector. He has conducted high profile investigations involving elected officials, citizen complaints, and public safety professionals. He regularly conducts Internal Affairs investigations, including those involving the Public Safety Procedural Bill of Rights Act and the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights. 

Eli’s commitment to promoting and enhancing the quality of workplace investigations is manifested through his work with the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI). Eli is the current President of the AWI Board of Directors. He also co-chairs AWI’s Training Institute Committee and regularly serves as Senior Faculty for AWI’s multi-day Training Institutes.

Eli trains and speaks extensively on conducting workplace investigations. Eli has helped employers implement successful internal investigation programs and trained lawyer and non-lawyer investigators how to conduct thorough, prompt, and impartial workplace investigations. Much of Eli’s training is delivered through the Association of Workplace Investigators. Eli also presents regularly on current and emerging topics involving workplace investigations.

Prior to joining Van Dermyden Makus, Eli was the co-founder and partner of an employment law firm specializing in conducting workplace investigations. Eli also worked as in-house counsel at a major California healthcare system. In addition to providing employment law support, Eli also supported the medical staffs of several hospitals. Eli conducted investigations, trained managers on employment law compliance, and managed litigation.

Eli’s legal career began at Hanson Bridgett LLP where he provided advice to public and private employers and defended clients in state and federal court actions and administrative proceedings. Eli litigated employment disputes in a variety of areas of employment law, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour claims, and more.

Eli received his law degree from the University of California, Davis. 

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