Thomas Sweeney Chairman of The Board of Trustees
Irene Fisher, Esq.
Yeou-Cheng Ma, M.D.
Kevin J. Dwyer, Chairman of The Board of Directors
James P O'Neill
Jane Stewart Saffran
*Chairman of The Board of Directors Emeritus
As a police officer, Robyn was initially assigned to patrol duties and plain clothes assignments in Patrol Borough Manhattan South. Later Robyn worked in the Early Intervention Unit, located in Police Headquarters, where she provided peer counseling and training for officers of all ranks. Robyn’s responsibilities expanded to include the restructuring of the early warning and monitoring systems and of the Early Intervention Unit’s responsibilities. Robyn facilitated conferences on many topics in law enforcement, education and mental health. Robyn worked as part of a team to initiate an outreach program for peers in the NYPD to utilize peer services.
Subsequent to retiring from the NYPD, Robyn became the founding Director of COP CARE, a nonprofit organization that provided services to police officers inn the Tristate area by means of a help line. Her organization was hosted by the New York Patrolmen’s Union and received in-kind services from that organization.
Robyn consulted to the New York State Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), leading a feasibility study for a pilot help line project for the FOP.
Robyn acted as a consultant and clinician for Delta Airlines and other commercial carriers, and served as the lead mental health professional on the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) team for the northeastern United States. Robyn has trained pilots and crews on topics including acute stress, post-traumatic stress, anxiety and panic.
Currently Robyn maintains a professional practice as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (L.C.S.W.) who is Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) certified and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) certified. Robyn currently trains individually on “Brainspotting” (a new, highly effective treatment method) technique, with Dr. David Grand. Robyn provides psychotherapy to children and adults. A substantial part of her practice includes law enforcement officers and their families. Robyn’s awards include the Police Self Support Group Humanitarian Award and the Brooklyn Union Gas Person of the Year Award. Robyn is a Board Member for several not-for-profit organizations. She is also currently completing research for her doctorate.
Robyn and her colleagues recently developed a protocol for trained law enforcement officers to process daily post-tour events that they encounter during their shift. This protocol of a reverse roll call, facilitated by trained peers, has established a mechanism to diminish police stress and thereby promote the well-being of officers and the communities that they serve.
Chris’ interest in this stems from his 23+ years in the New York City Police Department, eight of which were the Department’s Early Intervention Unit.
Since retiring as a Deputy Inspector, Chris has held a number of positions in the security and business continuity arenas, currently serving as the Senior Manager, Office of Business Continuity, for an international law firm.
Chris is the former Global Crisis Management Officer for the Citigroup Office of Business Continuity, the former Deputy Commissioner - Homeland Security Liaison at the New York City Office of Emergency Management (NYC OEM) and the former Chief of Staff at the New York City Police Pension Fund.
In addition, Chris has been awarded the following degrees and certification: Juris Doctor, St. John’s University School of Law Master of Arts, Security Studies, Naval Postgraduate School Certified Business Continuity Professional, Disaster Recovery International.
Jeannie Kelly retired from the New York City Police Department in February 2005 after 24 - years of service. She currently works as the Director of 9/11 Outreach and Education assisting 9/11 first responders and their families. She formerly worked as an Outreach and Education Coordinator for the World Trade Center at the Mount Sinai Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health in New York City for ten years. She conducts presentations, coordinates World Trade Center Health Program enrolment assistance, provides benefit eligibility information and counseling, and educates all 9/11 responders from Federal, State, and local first responder agencies, including the NYPD, FBI, US Marshals, NYS Police, Task Force Urban Search and Rescue Teams, Fire Departments, and volunteer organizations with enrolling in the federally funded program. She attends meetings with World Trade Center Clinical Care Centers, Stakeholders, and labor unions, in regard to the implementation of criteria for eligible enrollees. She also plans and schedules events, assists in developing new concepts for outreach, and facilitates support for 9/11 responders with all aspects of the World Trade Center Health Program.
As a police officer with the New York City Police Department, she was the first responder on September 11, 2001, and continued to work at Ground Zero until March 2002. During her career as a law enforcement officer with the NYPD, she worked on various assignments including Auto Crime, Vice, Anti-Crime, and Dignitary Protection. She was also a Tactics Instructor with INTAC Specialized Training Unit and conducted training at various locations throughout New York City. In March 2002, she then became instrumental in developing, instructing, and mentoring the Chemical, Biological, Radiological Awareness (COBRA) training, the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment, and Counterterrorism training to over 25,000 NYPD officers, Federal and State agencies, and the private sector.
In addition to training, she has participated in the planning, mitigating, and coordinated response of major national and international events including the United States General Assembly, Papal visits, the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C., the World Series, and the U.S. Tennis Open.
She retired after twenty-four years of service from the NYPD in 2005 and immediately signed on as a sub-contractor/instructor with FEMA/DHS at the Center of Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama, and was assigned to the Mobile Training Team in the central and eastern regions of the United States. Her primary responsibility as an instructor was developing and implementing diversified training for such subject matter as Weapons of Mass Destruction, Improvised Explosive Device Detection, Counterterrorism for Law Enforcement, Hazmat Technician, Respiratory Protection, and all aspects of the Incident Command System. She delivered Mobile Team Training to our nation's first responders, the United States military, federal and state agencies as well as the private sector and volunteer organizations.
Judy D. Newton
Judy D. Newton was born to Dorothy and Ivan Newton, of a poor family on the island of Barbados. From an early age, Judy learned the value of a good education and the importance of public service. In the summer of 1976, her mother migrated to New York City to enable Judy to continue her education. Judy became a police officer in the New York City Police Department in 1984. Her tenacity, drive, and force of will, while performing meritorious service, led her to advance through the ranks, to detective–special assignment and then detective.
After her retirement from the police department, her service to this ethnically diverse community did not end. She recognized the need for continued community involvement, planning, organization, and liaising for the community with elected government officials, business leaders, fellow citizens, civic and larger community stakeholders. Judy enlisted public support to identify issues that merited law enforcement action. These associations assisted with a community outreach program, which offered a list of educational tools, with a primary focus on presentations to community groups (senior citizens [elder abuse and scams perpetrated against the elderly], student organizations, providing tip sheets and demonstrations on crime and safety issues).
Judy continued her formal education, attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice and earning an Associate’s Degree in police science, a Baccalaureate in business administration, and a Master’s in public administration. She earned a Master’s degree in philosophy from Cardiff University (Wales, UK), and a Doctorate in Education from American International College (Springfield, MA).
Judy contributes to a weekly radio program discussing the latest immigration and mental health issues; additional informative community issues, and participates weekly as a mentor and instructor to school-age children, assisting them in their studies. She sits on the Parks and Recreation Committee of Community Board 18, and actively participates in civic meetings. She assists with, and is a big sister and mentor to children in Cape Town, South Africa (providing for their tuition and future education needs); has performed community service at the Cape Town YMCA and at Pollsmoor Prison (mentoring incarcerated juveniles who displayed mental health issues); and participates in mentoring and assisting students from Monument Park High School, Cape Town on their yearly trip to several states in the United States. Judy has performed charitable work in South Africa, Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia, and continues to provide and assist with a breakfast and bible study program serving an average of 100 school children per day at a church school in Barbados. Judy is a proud Lion from the Brooklyn Jefferson Lions Club and is actively involve as the Chairperson of the Service committee at her Lions Club.
She has performed charitable work for the poor and less fortunate for more than 4 decades, beginning with her perspicacious leadership as Head Girl at Kayes Academy and Preparatory School in Barbados; including volunteering at soup kitchen; coordinating, or assisting at food pantries in Brooklyn; and elsewhere, and coordinating Christmas Eve dinner for almost 2 decades at City Hall Restaurant for families living in the New York City Department of Homeless Services’ shelters; and has continued the tradition at The BKLN Diner for Thanksgiving luncheon/dinner. Judy and her husband Richard Baxt, retired Department of Probation Commissioner established The Newton Foundation, Inc. to allow them to expand their charitable work to less fortunate families living in city facilities in Brooklyn and help those in need of assistance, such as, providing funds for electricity usage for less fortunate seniors. The Newton Foundation is the proud architect of the Canarsie 9/11 Memorial.
In January 2020, Judy and The Newton Foundation partnered with the US Census Bureau because Canarsie residents had not participated greatly in the census and the response had been the lowest in the United States. Judy assisted the Census Bureau personnel to register those Canarsie residents
Judy has always been on call, whether shopping for homebound seniors; Shoveling their snow or cleaning their properties; arranging for essential food distribution to those in need; scheduling, transporting, and arranging for eligible individuals to receive their covid 19 vaccines; assisting with commercial street/neighborhood cleanups; transporting first responders and essential personnel to their jobs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic; or serving gourmet cooked meals at pop-up food carts. She brings this same effort and energy to assisting and working with all community stake
Matt McCauley entered the NYPD Police Academy in October 1990 at the age of twenty, having to postpone the junior year at Iona College. Prior to entering the police academy, Matt had already become a New York State Paramedic and was working fulltime in EMS while attending college. Upon graduation from the NYPD Police Academy, Matt was assigned to the 32 nd Precinct in Harlem, better known as the Tomb of Gloom. During his NYPD career, Matt worked in the 32 nd Precinct, the 109 th Precinct and in the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters (DCLM).
Upon retirement from the NYPD, Matt accepted federal clerkship with the United States Court of Appeals – Second Circuit, with the hopes of it being a spring board back to the US Attorney’s Office directly next door. After completion of his clerkship and leaving the Second Circuit, while Matt would not have the opportunity to pursue the work on terrorism prosecutions in the SDNY, he would be drawn more and more to important issues surrounding the 9/11 attacks and the rescue and recovery efforts, specifically the First Responders who were now becoming ill. As a 9/11 responder himself, Matt was part of an important team of first responders who lobbied Congress for the successful passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 and this team would have to go back for reauthorizations and extensions in 2015 and 2019.
While a constant quiet presence seen in the background at press conferences and hearings, upfront Matt ran teams with John Feal, Jon Stewart and many other advocates in meetings with numerous members of Congress including then Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell. As an NYPD police academy classmate with Detective Luis Alvarez, Matt had the honor of working with him, Jon Stewart and the other presenters on what would be an exceptionally emotional and forever memorable day of testimony before Congress in 2019, again being a quite constantly working presence in the background of that hearing. While mourning the death of his friend Louie, Matt was present with his son Finn in the White House Rose Garden when the President signed the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11 th Victim Compensation Fund.
His work as a 9/11 advocate continues on and his entire legal practice remains focused on assisting those in the 9/11 Community with enrollment into the World Trade Center Health Program and representation before the September 11 th Victim Compensation Fund at Turken, Heath & McCauley LLP here in Westchester County. He is the founding Co-Chair of the newly unveiled Westchester County 9/11 First Responders Memorial and sits on other foundation boards including the First Responders Children’s Foundation, the 9/11 Responders Remembered Park and several mental health organizations with a goal of reducing first responder suicides. He has received numerous awards from Federal, State and Local agencies and organizations has lectured and presented at many conferences on these topics.
Matt married his lovely wife Sabrina, who is an overachiever in her own right in the field of nursing with a clinical focus on neonatology and pediatrics and as an Associate Professor of Nursing at Columbia University where she the Program Director of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program. They have been blessed with three amazing children: Finn (Boston College); Emma (Holy Cross) and Declan (Iona Prep) and an energetic golden doodle named Maxi. With an active family life, Matt has coached baseball, football, CYO basketball and is now learning rugby and, more importantly, can expertly iron a catholic school uniform (including a skirt) without a wrinkle. In his free time …
Timothy Whitcomb is the Sheriff for the Cattaraugus County Sheriff Office in Western New York and currently serves as a Board Member for TTMPT (Talk To Me Post Tour). He is currently serving his 28th year in Law Enforcement, where he spent 7 years working major crimes in the Criminal Investigation Bureau. It was in this role that he was recognized as the Blue and Gold Officer of the Year in October 2000.
Sheriff Whitcomb possesses a Masters degree in Counseling Education for St. Bonaventure University and is a certified police instructor in the areas of Interview and Interrogation, the Investigation of Sex Crimes, and the Law Enforcement Response to School Violence. Sheriff Whitcomb is a graduate of the 206th Session of the FBI’s National Academy and his specialized training includes Crisis Negotiation with the Los Angeles Police Department, Death Scene Management with the FBI, and he has been certified as a SWAT Team fitness specialist.
Sheriff Whitcomb has been an adjunct professor for both Saint Bonaventure University and Jamestown Community College. He has served as President for the New York State Sheriff’s Association, and is a Past President of the State of New York Police Juvenile Officer Association.
Since Leanne Simonsen was widowed on 2.12.19 she has pledged to provide assistance and
smiles via the Simonsen Foundation formed after the death of her husband, Detective Brian
‘Smiles’ Simonsen. Its main goal has been to build bridges between the community and police
and to smile and do good. Since inception the foundation’s donations have provided K9s ballistic vests, funding to the LI marine aquarium during the pandemic, awarding scholarships, and donating to the church/school where Brian’s memorial masses are held. The foundation also
hosted a family fun day in Richmond Hill for the community and police to come and get to know
each other by sharing smiles. Additionally, Leanne has directed funding to the warrior ranch
which is for wounded veterans aimed at assisting those with PTSD. PTP welcomes you and
commends you for all your efforts.
Philip Schoppmann is a 11 year veteran in law enforcement, having transitioned from the New York City Police Department to the Suffolk County Police Department, on Long Island, N.Y. He received a baccalaureate degree in Police Science (operations) and a Security Foundations Certificate from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Manhattan, N.Y.
A former firefighter and current emergency medical technician, he currently also serves as an independent contractor and instructor for various organizations including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Command Logic 360, LivingWorks (one of the founding committee members of the 1st Responder Committee), and the National Council for Behavioral Health. (Philip has provided training for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, the New York State Office of Mental Health, and various schools and mental health associations throughout New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia.
Presently, he holds several instructor certifications and provides instruction in numerous areas of interest including suicide prevention, suicide intervention skills training, peer support development, verbal de-escalation, mental health first aid and life skills training. He functions as a consultant for various law enforcement departments regarding the development, growth and maintenance of law enforcement peer support teams, and is trained is Critical Incident Stress Management.
Philip serves as co-coordinator for the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Long Island and has helped to create and currently serves as coordinator for three other groups:
It is Philip’s honor to serve on the board of directors for Post Tour Processing and functions as the Director for Peer Development- providing training, development, guidance and evaluation for the maintenance and growth of peer support personnel.
Charles L’Hommedieu Jr.
Charles L’Hommedieu Jr. is now in his 28th year with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office in Long Island, New York. He currently serves at the rank of Deputy Warden and as Commanding Officer of the Academy Bureau and Community Relations Unit.
Charles is a graduate of the National Jail Leadership Command Academy (NJLCA) and the first to receive certification by the American Jail Association (AJA) as a Jail Manager on Long Island. He led the opening of their newly constructed “state of the art” facility and served on the board of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association (COBA). He led several Commands during his tenure, which included the First Responder Assistance Team (FRAT), the Critical incident Team (CIT) and served as the interim director of the Sheriff’s Addiction Treatment Program. Charles is an EMT, certified as a general topics instructor by the department of criminal justice services (DCJS), Basic Life Support instructor by the American Heart Association (AHA) and a Prevention and Management of Crisis Situations instructor by the Office of Mental Health (OMH).
Charles has been an RN for the past 32 years. The majority of his hospital experience has been in the Emergency Department with the past 12 years working per diem at Stony Brook Hospital in their Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP). Charles received his Bachelor’s degree; Summa Cum Laude from Stony Brook and continued on there to receive his Master’s degree in Nursing as well. He is now a NYS licensed and board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC). He now serves on the board of TTMPT and hopes to continue his journey in the field of caring for those who suffer from trauma, addiction and mental health issues with specific interest in helping those in Law Enforcement.
Experienced professional with a demonstrated history of working in the security and investigations industry. Skilled in Private Investigations, Physical Security, Personal Security, with law enforcement background. Strong problem-solving ability and protective services skills with a M.A focused in psychology from Adelphi University.
Dennis J. McCreight
Dennis J. McCreight, CAMS, is a highly decorated recently retired Lieutenant from the New York City Police Department, leveraging 20+ years in investigation, management and law enforcement. He was the Commanding Officer of the Brooklyn South Homicide Task Force in addition to multiple precinct detective squads throughout NYC. Dennis has investigated and supervised violent and white-collar crimes including over 1000 homicide and criminal investigations pertaining to long term organized crime, gang, police shootings/murders, enterprise corruption/money laundering, State and Federal RICO cases. He is a recipient of 'The Medal of Valor' in addition to numerous commendations throughout his career. His experience in personnel management, critical infrastructure, asset protection, and emergency incident planning and response have made him an invaluable addition.
James H. Banish
James is currently a Patrol officer for the Warren County Sheriff’s Office in New York State. In April of 2017 James was promoted to full time Peer Support Coordinator for the Agency due to the work that he was already doing throughout the state, providing peer support to other officers in need in any agency. James travels throughout the State and Country to provide Law Enforcement mental health and suicide prevention training. On April 1st of 2008 his brother Lt. Joseph J. Banish New York State Police, took his life. It was after that he discovered the drastic need for peer support.
James is a 19 year veteran and has worked in many roles during his career as a police officer. James has been a Narcotics Officer, DWI interdiction Officer, a member of the Northeast Regional Police Dive Team, CISM coordinator, and is currently an instructor for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services for the TRAUMA seminar, and the Mental Health curriculum for cadets James is the founder of NYLEAP, the New York Law Enforcement Assistance Program which is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization designed to bring continuous mental health assistance and training to any first responder in New York. James also sits on the Executive Board for the Warren/Washington Association for Mental Health, and for TTMPT “Talk To Me Post Tour a 501 c3 nonprofit organization
As a result of James’ bother Lt. Joseph J. Banish taking his life on April1st 2008 James commits his life to law enforcement officers in need of assistance. His commitment includes reviewing current policies for law enforcement mental health. The current policies in place (if any) for Law Enforcement mental health are not working. The biggest hurdle to overcome is the stigma attached to an officer getting help. It became clear as James started his work in this field that officers only felt comfortable speaking and opening up to a fellow officer. Since 2010 James has worked nonstop to provide officers assistance when dealing with crisis or the cumulative stress associated with this line of work. James has developed a peer support program within his agency and continues to assist other agencies throughout the state and country.
James works with mental health clinicians and treatment facilities in an effort to bring insight to them regarding the Law Enforcement Community because it is a unique skill set which exposes officers to many horrible, and tragic scenes and experiences on a regular basis. This culture requires specific methods of treatment, and by working together we have been much more successful in treating first responders. James plans on continuing his role for in this field many years to come.
Jerry served as the New York City Police Department Sergeants Benevolent Association Health and Welfare Secretary, representing the interests of 5,000 active and 5,500 retired NYPD Sergeants. During his service, he created True Health Benefits, the SBA's internal nonprofit union-based pharmacy benefit consortium, which has grown to expand to other police unions. Prior to, he served the Police Department of the City of New York for 27 years: first as a police officer, then as a sergeant, then as an SBA delegate. Jerry was a first responder during the September 11th terrorist attacks, then later served on the Mt. Sinai Hospital World Trade Center Law Advisory Board. He also serves as Director of Law Enforcement Relations for the American eHealth Collaborative. Jerry earned an Associate’s degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, as well as numerous certificates from the Labor Relations Information System and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. He has also attended the Cornell University Union Leadership workshop series.
Paul is a retired NYPD sergeant. Paul worked in both plain clothes and uniformed assignments. Paul’s career in the NYPD included working in both patrol boroughs, Brooklyn North and Brooklyn South, being assigned to OCCB, and working as a sergeant in the intelligence division. Paul had a successful career in policing.
Paul is active in many law enforcement clubs and fraternal organizations.
David Grand, PhD is the developer of Brainspotting, the groundbreaking relational brain-bodymindfulness based method. He is the author of Brainspotting: The Revolutionary New Therapy for Rapid and Effective Change and the co-author of This is Your Brain on Sports. Dr. Grand is involved in humanitarian activities with survivors of 9/11, Katrina and Sandy Hook/Newtown. He is a member of the board of directors of Talk To Me Post Tour Processing(TTMPTP). He has accomplished breakthroughs in performance and creativity with Brainspotting Sports Work and Brainspotting Acting Coaching. Dr. Grand has been widely featured in the media including The NY Times, NBC National News, The Discovery Channel, CNN, MSNBC, Sports Illustrated and Sirius Radio.