Dr. Richard Zumwalt is a neuropsychologist specializing in brain related disorders in addition to psychological evaluations, psychotherapy and pre-employment psychological evaluations for law enforcement. Dr. Zumwalt is a California Police Officers Standards and Training (POST) approved psychological evaluator. He provides one on one therapy, assessments and annual mental wellness check-ins for first responders, is part of the critical incident response team, and provides training to law enforcement, fire and probation departments. Dr. Zumwalt specializes in trauma, anxiety, depression and addictions. His extensive experience allows him to accurately assess individuals, crisis situations, and treat first responders.
In addition to working for Premier, he works with Southern California Neuropsychology Group providing adult and geriatric neuropsychological assessments for traumatic brain injury, addiction, neurodegenerative brain diseases, neurodevelopmental disorders and psychological assessments.
Before Dr. Zumwalt became a licensed psychologist, he spent 18 years at Huntington Beach Police Department working various assignments: Beach Liaison, Detention Officer, Patrol Officer, drug recognition expert (DRE), Special Enforcement Team, Arrest and Control Instructor, Patrol Rifle Team, and Peer Support Team.
Prior to and during his law enforcement career, Dr. Zumwalt was a therapist and a professor. He spent seven years at College Hospital where he provided individual and group therapy for high risk chronic mentally ill patients from children to geriatric populations. He opened his own substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders outpatient program, LEAD Recovery Center where he worked as the clinical and program director. Dr. Zumwalt has been the clinical advisor for Hired Power for over 18 years providing national and international transition services for substance abuse and mental disorders.
Dr. Zumwalt spent five years working as a community college professor, counselor and coach for Orange Coast College, Santa Ana College and Golden West College. Dr. Zumwalt’s education and training include: PhD from Northcentral University (General Psychology), Post-Doctoral Neuropsychology Program (Clinical Neuropsychology) at Fielding Graduate University, Southern California Neuropsychology Group (Clinical Neuropsychology), University of California Berkeley, Neuropsychology Continuing Education Certification, Bachelors of Science in Sociology and Masters of Science in Counseling from Arizona State University and California State University Long Beach.
Personal History: Dr. Zumwalt was a member of Arizona State University’s only Rose Bowl Champion Football Team and spent three year playing professional football for the Los Angeles Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, and Sacramento Surge. He also played for the Orange County Lawmen Football Team. His older son didn’t fall too far from the apple tree being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has been married for 30 years, has four married adult children and has traveled to the Seven Wonders of the World. He is a self-taught pianist and loves getting outdoors.
Lisa Mercier holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Indiana Wesleyan University. She has a diverse background in various fields within the helping profession. Lisa worked as a Mental Health Worker in an elementary school, where she provided para-professional behavioral services to at-risk children and their families. In this role, Lisa was a member of the Gang Reduction and Intervention Program (GRIP) where she worked alongside the Anaheim Police Department and OC District Attorney’s Office to identify at-risk students to provide mentoring, support, and resources.
Working with the police department and DA’s office led Lisa to the world of victim advocacy and crisis response. For several years, Lisa was a victim advocate at CSP, Inc. and was assigned to general felony crimes, where she provided resources to crime victims and accompaniment to court hearings. This grew into a new partnership with the DA’s office to create a specialized victim advocate position for family crimes in North Orange County. Lisa was the first person to hold this position. Through the success of this assignment, another specialized role was created for Lisa as the county’s first designated vehicular homicide advocate. In addition to the role of victim advocate, Lisa was a member of the Crisis Response Team. Under the direction of Dr. Heather Williams, as part of the Crisis Response Team, Lisa responded to critical incidents throughout Orange County to provide crisis intervention to victims and witnesses. Lisa also assisted in the debriefing of first responders. She responded to fatal traffic accidents, homicides, suicides, and the mass shooting at Salon Meritage in Seal Beach in 2011.
In 2014, Lisa worked as a Civilian Investigator at Placentia Police Department, where she assisted with investigations of sexual assaults, missing persons, family crimes, and property crimes.From 2015-2020, Lisa worked at The Regional Center of Orange County, a non-profit agency providing support services to people with developmental disabilities. Lisa was the Quality Assurance Coordinator for the adult day programs in the county, where she conducted audits of the programs to ensure compliance with state regulations. Lisa was also responsible for investigating all special incident reports, including but not limited to personal rights violations and allegations of abuse.
Presently, in addition to being a member of Premier First Responder Psychological Services, Lisa owns a business providing spiritual coaching to clients. Her focus is on helping individuals learn to recognize the power and accuracy of their intuition and how to use that innate knowing to make everyday decisions in life. Lisa is also a Reiki Master, offering energy healing services to clients.
Dr. Leslie Dobson has been in the field of psychology since 2005. She studied in Colorado, England, New York, Lithuania, and eventually settled in Southern California receiving her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Forensics from Loma Linda University.
Leslie started her career in the field of forensic psychology, working in maximum security settings with individuals who committed felonies and were found to have a severe mental illness. Leslie enjoyed the assessment and treatment of individuals in the judicial system, and it helped her realize her passion for treating trauma.
Over the past 2 years, Leslie has worked with veterans at the VA in Long Beach and was able to pivot her career and focus toward first responders within hospitals, especially those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leslie chooses to help first responders because she understands the unique challenges given her experience on the frontline in jails and prisons. She has been assaulted by inmates and rescued by correctional officers/deputies. She has felt the fear, vulnerability, and utter appreciation for her work family in saving her life. She recognizes that working in public safety isn't just a job, but a calling.
Those moments changed Leslie’s life, and they changed the direction of her career. Leslie comes to Premier to focus on the treatment of first responders, giving back to those who give so much of their emotional and physical being. Leslie is funny, grounded, and authentic. She believes that we are all people, doctor or not, and need to be able to talk at a real level because pain and shock are real. Her philosophy is, “Together we dive into the mud.”
Leslie offers individual and couples counseling, specializing in trauma, psychosis, anxiety, depression, infertility, and personality disorders.
Allie is a registered psychological associate (PSB #94026467) in the state of California and has received her master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Forensic Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Allie has a passion for first responders and a personal investment in their well-being. As the daughter of a law enforcement officer, she has personally experienced the unique impact of growing up in a first responder family. Allie hopes to not only offer her assistance to first responders but to also provide a place of understanding for the families and children of first responders. At this time, Allie is directing her focus towards the children of first responders, as she facilitates a peer support group exclusively for this population.
Allie provides therapy to all populations, including couples and families, and facilitates co-occurring disorder groups in Los Angeles. She has experience treating a wide variety of mental health issues and uses an eclectic approach to appropriately gauge each client’s needs.
In addition to providing therapy, Allie administers psychological, neuropsychological, and psychoeducational evaluations for a broad array of presenting problems, including autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, emotional issues, and traumatic brain injuries.
In 2018, Allie graduated from Youngstown State University in Ohio with bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and criminal justice. She has over 6 years of experience working in the legal field as well as with law enforcement. In 2019, she worked with the VIDA program through the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for low-risk at-risk adolescents and their families. Allie is a Registered Alcohol and Drug Technician (RADT) and has previously served as the lead student researcher for the Los Angeles County Child and Adolescent Suicide Review Team and Assistant Director of Outreach and Media Relations for the Script Conference.
Tori Knowlton, a recent college graduate received her bachelor's degree with a double-major in Criminal Justice and Psychology in the fall of 2021. Tori grew up in a military home with extended family in law enforcement and has always had a passion for serving the people in these fields. This passion led to her interest in the work of Premier First Responders Psychological Services. In the spring of 2021, she became Premier’s Intern. That fall, her internship transitioned into a part-time position as Premier’s Administrative Assistant. Tori aspires to go to graduate school and become a mental health professional serving public safety and their families.