2016 Northwest Peer Support Conference Speakers
Nancy K. Bohl-Penrod, Ph.D.
Nancy K. Bohl-Penrod, Ph.D. is a Psychotherapist and trainer, who holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a Masters Degree in Counseling/Education (MFT 19924). She is the Director of The Counseling Team International (TCTI), which is also, The Southern California Critical Incident Stress Management Team. She is a member of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), is one of the past presidents of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Psychological Services Section, as well as founder of the California Peer Support Association (CPSA) in 1994. Nancy is a certified Master Trainer for the QPR Institute focusing on Suicide Prevention and Intervention for first responders. She is also a certified trainer for the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF), ICEMA for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), California POST and STC. She is an adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice Departments for Riverside and San Bernardino Valley Community Colleges. She is a frequent guest speaker at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Academies.
Dr. Bohl-Penrod also attended the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) Basic and Advanced “Hostage Negotiation” (CNT) training in Quantico, Virginia. For the past twenty-seven years Dr. Bohl-Penrod has been actively involved in helping the families of those killed in the line-of-duty during National Police Week in Washington, DC. She is certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which is a technique she uses to help trauma survivors. Dr. Bohl-Penrod is known for her 5-day Basic Peer Support and Critical Incident Stress Management training that The Counseling Team International has taught to over 10,000 first responders throughout the United States and Canada. Nancy’s personal experience over the years has allowed her to develop a personal approach to helping law enforcement families by providing “Significate Other Survival” (SOS) training.
Nancy has responded to more than 1,000 critical incidents in her
career. Some of the major incidents she has responded to are the ATF
incident in Waco, Texas, the TWA Flight 800 disaster in Long Island,
New York, the Typhoon disaster in Guam and the Alaska Air Disaster in
Los Angeles. She led a team of Mental Health Professionals in assisting
those severely impacted by the Terrorist Attacks in New York. While in
New York she was sent by the FBI to the Pentagon to provide her
services. Her team responded to the California Wildfires of 2003 and
they assisted the U.S. Forest Service in the loss of Engine 57
firefighters in the Esperanza Fire of 2006. More recently her services
were used for the Big Bear Manhunt (Dorner Case) and the Los Angeles
International Airport TSA shooting.
Over the past twenty years Nancy has developed over “fifty” public safety wellness divisions for departments of all sizes through her public safety “Employee Support Services” program. Dr. Bohl-Penrod has written numerous articles and book chapters focusing on mental health issues for police and fire personnel. She recently was on the team who has created an APP to guide public safety peer supporters and supervisors in their endeavor to help each other.
Dottie L. Davis, BS
Dottie L. Davis, BS is the
Director of Security for Fort Wayne Community Schools, the second
largest school corporation in the State of Indiana with over 31,000
students and nearly 4,500 employees. She retired in June 2013
after serving thirty-one years and ten months with the Fort Wayne
Police Department. She last served as the Director of
Training at the Academy and held the rank of Deputy Chief. During
her career she received numerous commendations, including two
Meritorious Service Citations. Dottie graduated from Purdue
University with honors receiving a Bachelor of Science, and
certifications in Substance Abuse Counseling and Social Service.
In March 2003 she graduated from the National FBI Academy in Quantico,
VA. Since 1992, she has been a family violence trainer, and has
trained thousands of law enforcement officers, prosecutors, advocates,
and judges throughout the nation. Davis serves as a Board member
for Mental Health America in Allen County and the Fort Wayne Sexual
Assault Treatment Center. She is the owner and President of Davis
Corporate Training, Inc., a private consulting agency that provides
training, keynote speeches, and expert witness testimony in both civil
and criminal trials.
Bob Dorsey has spent 19
years in church ministry serving as a counselor, pastor, elder, and for
the last 8 years, a volunteer chaplain for the Gresham Police
Department where he has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and
Unit Citation. Bob graduated from Grace College in Winona Lake, IN with
Bachelor’s degrees in Biblical Studies and Psychology and from Western
Seminary in Portland, OR with a Master’s degree in Counseling. He is a
Licensed Professional Counselor with extensive work with marriages. He
is certified as a Basic Chaplain with the International Conference of
Police Chaplains and holds certifications from the International
Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Critical Incident Stress
Management and Debriefing. He has had opportunity to teach
internationally in Sudan and the Ukraine on trauma, marriage,
alcoholism and grief.
Trey Doty received a B.S. in
Sociology/Social Work from George Fox University and his Master of
Divinity from George Fox Evangelical Seminary. His post-graduate
studies include a Certificate of Nonprofit Development from Portland
State University and the completion of a twelve-month Residency in
Clinical Pastoral Education from Legacy Emanuel Hospital and Health
Center, a level-one trauma center in Portland, OR. He currently serves
as an adjunct faculty member and ministry leadership coach for George
Fox University, member of the Pastoral Care and Consultation Committee
for Emanuel Hospital and Health Center, and Chair for the Board of
Leadership Development for the sixty-seven Friends (Quaker) churches in
the Pacific Northwest. Doty became Executive Director of Responder Life
on July 1, 2013. Doty says, “Responder Life’s vision is to see
first responders, their families, and their communities become stronger
through our work”.
Robert E. Douglas, Jr.
Robert E. Douglas, Jr. is
the Founder and Executive Director of the National Police Suicide
Foundation, Inc. and is a retired police agent from the Baltimore City
Police Department. Douglas is considered a leading expert in the area
of police suicide, according to DATELINE, CNN, Time Magazine, and USA
Today. Douglas is the author of four books, Death With No Valor,
Hope Beyond the Badge, Healing for a Hero’s Heart, and The Art of Being
In July 1994, Douglas retired as an Agent after serving 20 years with the Baltimore City Police Department, and 5 years as a patrol officer with the Temple Terrace Police Department, in Temple Terrace, Florida. Douglas holds a B.S. Degree from the University of South Florida in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Police Administration from the University of Baltimore. Douglas also has a Master’s Degree in Theology from St. Mary’s Seminary and is currently working on his doctorate degree. He retired as the Senior Pastor at Jenkins Memorial Church in Riviera Beach, Maryland, where he served for the past 24 years. Douglas also served as police Chaplain for FOP Lodge #3 in Baltimore City, from 1988 to 2002, and served as Chaplain for Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms (ATF) in Washington, D.C. Douglas recently founded Compassionate Shepherd Ministries in Seaford, DE.
Richard Goerling has served
in civilian law enforcement for twenty years. He’s held both federal
and municipal level positions and has served as a criminal
investigator, patrol officer, detective, patrol sergeant, detective
sergeant, patrol lieutenant, and currently serves as an investigations
lieutenant in Hillsboro, Oregon. Over the last decade, Richard has
spearheaded the introduction of mindfulness training into policing in
the United States as part of a cultural shift toward a preventative,
resiliency model of hand-heart-mind fitness. Richard has trained across
the nation on this topic and continues to be a thought leader in the
arena of police officer resilience. He has received mindfulness
instructor training from UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center.
Ronnie M. Hirsh, Ph.D., LMFT
Ronnie M. Hirsh, Ph.D., LMFT
is a licensed marriage and family therapist and substance abuse
specialist. He has worked for more than thirty years with both
individuals and couples to help them overcome their personal and
Early in his career, Dr. Hirsh was appointed as a Police Surgeon (Hon) for the NYC Transit Police Department. During his tenure, he promoted mental health initiatives for police officers and their families by providing workshops and individual counseling services. This experience paved the way for Ronnie to participate in creating and developing the Members Assistance Program (later known as POPPA) for the New York City Police Department.
The POPPA program provides NYPD officers with a revolutionary and safe way to access mental health services. Along with Drs. Dan Cohen and Rachelle Katz, Ronnie trained hundreds of NYPD officers to become peer support officers who are available to help their fellow officers in times of crisis. This intensive training program provided instruction about a wide range of topics, such as understanding depression and recognizing signs of suicide. To supplement the training, Ronnie co-authored with Dan and Rachelle the textbook Cop to Cop: A Peer Support Training Manual for Police Officers. To further assist the trained volunteers, Ronnie established a referral panel of psychotherapists who received training specifically designed to work with the unique needs of police officers. Ronnie also was awarded a grant from the National Institute of Justice to assist police families.
Rachelle Katz, Ed.D., LMFT
Rachelle Katz, Ed.D., LMFT
is a licensed marriage and family therapist with more than thirty years
of experience. Her psychotherapy practice includes working with both
individuals and couples assisting them to lead the most fulfilled lives
possible. Rachelle is trained as an alcohol and substance abuse
specialist, and has developed a specialty in stepfamily issues.
Along with Drs. Ronnie Hirsh and Dan Cohen, Rachelle trained hundreds of New York City police officers to become peer supporters as part of a volunteer suicide prevention program, POPPA. When the program was first developed, there weren’t any available textbooks for peer support training, so she co-authored with Dan and Ronnie Cop to Cop: A Peer Support Training Manual for Police Officers to provide the training candidates with the most current and relevant materials.
During her career, Rachelle began working with stepmothers. To help them deal with the many challenges they faced, she wrote a self-help-guide, The Happy Stepmother that was published by Harlequin Nonfiction in 2005. She also developed and moderates a website, stepsforstepmothers.com that provides a free chat room or online forum for stepmothers to give each other support, advice, and encouragement. After 10 years of operation, this website remains a vibrant resource for stepmothers. Rachelle also runs monthly stepmother support groups and workshops for stepmothers and their partners. She is currently writing a book for stepcouples that she hopes will be published next year.
Paul Meyer was hired by the
Portland Police Bureau in 1992. After working as a street officer, Paul
joined the Bureau’s Training Division in 2000. At the time of the
accident, he was the Special Weapons Lead Instructor where he served as
the lead Taser, 12 gauge Less Lethal and AR-15 rifle instructor. He
also served in the Bureau’s Air Support Unit and the Rapid Response
Crowd Control Team. He has been a member of the Bureau’s Special
Emergency Reaction Team since 2004, serving as a sniper.
On the morning of November 19, 2012, Paul was injured while operating a Police Bureau ATV on Portland’s Hayden Island. Along with 5 other officers, Paul was training for various emergency scenarios. Without warning a 110-foot long upper section of a tree split and fell on top of Paul’s head. Paul is paralyzed from the waist down and will live out the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
Paul has been married for 16 years. He and his wife, Mary, have two sons, Russell (13) and Matthew (10).
Mary Meyer has been married
to Portland Police Officer Paul Meyer for sixteen years. Her interests
include hiking, book club, and being a mom. Mary balances her time
between work at Nike and supporting Paul and their two sons Russell
(13) and Matthew (10).
Mike Vermace is a Chaplain
with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and Clackamas County Fire
District #1. He has been the Pastor of Abundant Life Church for
nearly 9 years. Vermace is devoted to supporting first responders
and community members by responding to critical and traumatic incidents
throughout Clackamas County.
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