The Asher Model: Turning Tragedy Into Hope – Officer Wellness Symposium – Postponed

Please note, due to the COVAID – 19 Crisis, this event is postponed.  Details to follow.

The Contra Costa Police Chiefs’ Association will be hosting a dynamic, two-day symposium on Officer Wellness. Several nationally recognized keynote speakers will be on hand presenting the 7 point approach to a culture of wellness; Awareness, Solution-Focused Approach, Peer Support, Resiliency, Healthy Habits, Spirituality, Family, and much more! These concepts apply to anyone who works in the law enforcement profession, whether you are sworn, corrections, or a professional staff member.

We are excited to have Kevin Hines as our featured speaker. In the year 2000, Kevin attempted to take his life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.

Other featured speakers include Dr. David Black, Javier and Kathy Bustos, Chief John Carli, Dr. Felicia Gomez, Chief Neil Gang, Shannon King, Dr. Dara Rampersad, Karen Solomon, Jeremy Wade, Dr. Rachelle Zemlok.  See below for the speaker bios.

Join us in starting a movement to change outcomes.

Proceeds from the event will fund programs related to officer wellness.

For more information about the Asher Model, click here.

Date and Time: Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 8:00 AM – Thu, Apr 2, 2020, 5:00 PM PDT

Location:  Northgate Christian Fellowship, 2201 Lake Herman Road, Benicia, CA 94510

Cost:  $79 – $99


***NOTE: The symposium is limited to Law Enforcement personnel only. All attendees will be required to show their department ID at check-in.

Featured Speakers

About David Black

David Black, Ph.D. is the CEO of Cordico, serving hundreds of public safety agencies nationally. Dr. Black is a Board Member of the National Sheriffs’ Association Psychological Services Group, serves as the Chair of Technology and Social Media, is an Advisory Board Member for the National Police Foundation’s Center for Mass Violence Response Studies, serves on the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Police Psychological Services Ethics Committee, serves on the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Officer Wellness Committee, serves on the California Police Chiefs’ Association Human Behind the Badge Committee, is an Officer Wellness subject matter expert for the California Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST), and earlier served on IACP Police Psychological Services committees tasked with updating the standards for fitness-for-duty examinations and officer-involved shootings. Cordico is partnered with the California State Firefighters’ Association (CSFA) to strengthen firefighter mental health and well-being. Dr. Black has been serving first responders since 2002.

About Javier and Kathy Bustos

Cathy and Javier are certified in Law Enforcement Peer Support. Throughout their careers they have experienced many critical Incidents separately and together. On August 18th, 2010 they experienced the trauma of a line of duty death for a fellow officer and friend at Cathy’s police department in Cedar Park, TX. A month later on September 25th, 2010, Javier was in an Officer Involved Shooting in Austin, TX. Cathy & Javier were thrust into a new and changed world. They had to adjust their lives for the “new normal”. It is important officers get help in the early days after a critical incident. The days of the macho “shaking it off” are in the past. With a combined 46 years of law enforcement experience their mission is to help other officers and their families deal with the stress of Critical Incidents. They serve as Peer Support Team members at the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX for quarterly Post Critical Incident Seminars, have several Texas certifications and publish articles for Law Enforcement Publications

About Chief John Carli

John Carli was appointed as Chief of Police in April of 2014. His career started with the Vacaville Police Department in 1989 and he attended the Santa Rosa Police Academy. Upon graduating he spent his early years as a police officer patrolling the streets of Vacaville with his K9 partner.

John promoted to Lieutenant in 2010 and joined the ranks of the command staff. During the last four years he managed both the Field Operations Division and the Investigative Services Division. As the SWAT Commander during this period of time, he provided extensive tactical supervision and managed all special response teams within the Department.

John holds a Master of Science Degree in Strategic Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice Management. Additionally, he is an instructor at the Napa Community College and teaches various law enforcement topics including computer crime investigations and Internet intelligence at conferences and training events nationwide. John and his family have lived in Vacaville since 1989.

About Dr. Felicia Gomez

Dr. Felicia Gomez has a Ph.D. in Exercise, Metabolism, and Nutrition.

With over 20 years of experience in the fitness and wellness field, Dr. Gomez has unparalleled expertise in transforming personal health. Her passion for fitness developed from her successful career in elite sports as a professional cyclist and triathlete. Her favorite saying: “If you love something, with all your heart do it,” captures how she lives her life – dedicating herself to excellence in every endeavor.

Dr. Gomez is an Associate Professor at Fresno State in the Department of Kinesiology and has over 20 years teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level. She has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at National and International Conferences on topics related to nutrition, supplements and exercise performance.

Dr. Gomez balances her work with community service, putting on events to benefit charity such as the Pinnacle Pup Run, which raises money for local animal shelters. Dr. Gomez enjoys most things athletic, wine and spending time with her dogs.

About Chief Neil Gang

Police Chief Neil H. Gang began his career with West Windsor, NJ Police Department in 1988. After several stops along the way to include Pembroke Pines, FL and Surprise, AZ, Neil was selected to become the Police Chief for the Pinole Police Department in 2014. With over 30 years of experience at all levels of a full-service agency, Gang’s policing strategy is progressive and innovative. He is an action-oriented problem solver who believes that leadership is all about building relationships and relationships build trust; without a community-oriented focus and partnerships, success could not be achieved.

Neil is a graduate of the prestigious Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command, where he was both the president of the class and the recipient of the Franklin M. Kremel Award for excellence in the field of leadership. Neil has a Bachelor’s of Applied Science Degree in Administrative Justice from Wayland Baptist University and is a graduate of the California POST Management School. He is also member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Police Executive Research Forum, International Hostage Negotiators Association, California Police Chiefs Association and the National Association of Police. Neil was also a past Northern California representative on the California Peace Officer Memorial Foundation Board and the Chairman of the West County Police Chief’s Association.

About Kevin Hines

Kevin Hines is a storyteller at heart. He is a best selling author, global public speaker, and award winning documentary filmmaker. In the Year 2000, Kevin attempted to take his life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Many factors contributed to his miraculous survival including a sea lion which kept him afloat until the Coast Guard arrived. Kevin now travels the world sharing his story of hope, healing, and recovery while teaching people of all ages the art of wellness & the ability to survive pain with true resilience.

About Shannon King

As a resilience coach, I work with law enforcement professionals who are being impacted by the stresses and demands of their job to help them build resilience and teach them how to better maintain optimal physiological and mental fitness, allowing them to respond more healthily, recover quicker, and perform more effectively in their professional and personal lives.

Dr. Dara Rampersad

Dr. Dara Rampersad is a licensed psychologist in both Arizona and Hawaii and specializes in first responder crisis intervention. He is certified in Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) as a CIT Coordinator, and is trained in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), and FBI- Crisis Negotiator Teams (CNT). In addition, Dr. Rampersad is licensed as a professional counselor in Arizona and Colorado, and is nationally board certified in counseling, with over 20 years of experience in the mental health field.

As the past Senior Director of crisis services for an integrated healthcare company, he led approximately 200 behavioral health crisis staff servicing over 4 million people in Arizona. He is also a CIT instructor for many police and sheriff departments, and trains on crisis and mental health to fire departments, paramedics, and other first responder agencies.

Dr. Rampersad currently serves on the CIT International Board of Directors, and was also involved as a team leader for an International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) policy group; revising policies and procedures for how law enforcement respond to people with mental illness or in crisis. Dr. Rampersad also serves on the mental health advisory board for Mesa Police Department, and on the paramedic training advisory board for the Phoenix Fire Department.

About Karen Solomon

Married to a police officer since 2001, Karen understands today’s challenges and puts her knowledge to work on behalf of the entire profession. She is the co-Founder of Blue H.E.L.P. and the creator of Karen is a passionate advocate for suicide prevention and has chosen to bring that intensity to law enforcement.

Since 2014, Karen has been giving a voice to the thousands of officers in the field who can’t or won’t speak out. She has interviewed hundreds of law enforcement officers and their families to gain insight into trauma, stress and emotional survival. Bringing the human side of the profession to the forefront is her specialty. Her books Hearts Beneath the Badge and The Price They Pay are used in citizen’s academies throughout the country and endorsed by law enforcement leadership. Karen’s articles can be found on Calibre Press, PoliceOne, LawOfficer and Law Enforcement Today.

Karen has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Eckerd College. She’s a member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE), and the Public Safety Writers Association.

About Jeremy Wade

Jeremy has been married to his wife Ketryna for 15 years and has 4 wonderful children. He has been a sworn officer with the Seattle Police Department for 11 years with a long list of accomplishments along the way. He has worked patrol for both evening and morning shifts and understands the demands shiftwork hours put on officers and their families.

In 2013, Jeremy was awarded the Medal of Valor for his involvement in a shooting incident and in 2014 he was awarded SPD’s Officer of the Year along with East Precinct Officer of the year. During this time, he was also awarded officer of the month for Washington’s Most Wanted on Q13 FOX. He and his patrol partner successfully started and ran a community outreach program for 4 years which raised over $220,000 to provide 1,100 new beds for local children in the community who were sleeping on the floor.

For 2 years Jeremy was a full-time training officer in the field training unit, focusing his time on new recruits ensuring their success through both academy and post academy training. He is currently a full-time peer support coordinator, and has helped build a successful program that focuses on supporting officers through both work and personal challenges. He is passionate about serving his fellow brothers and sisters in blue, and has worked to offer a proactive wellness approach to tackle tough issues in law enforcement. He is an approved instructor with the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, and developed the first Seattle Police Resilience Program that is now being continued annually. In 2018, he co-instructed over 70 mandatory resilience classes for every sworn officer, at every rank, in the department. He oversaw the hiring of the current SPD chaplain, helped rebuild the SPD chaplain’s program, and is currently serving as the executive director for its non-profit association. He started a local FCPO (Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers) Chapter and serves on their national board of directors. He is also very involved with the Navigators outreach to first responders.

About Dr. Rachelle Zemlok

Dr. Rachelle Zemlok is a licensed clinical psychologist in California specializing in working with first responder families and supporting parents with children diagnosed with ADHD or pose behavioral challenges. For more information on Dr. Zemlok or to connect with her please visit her website at