About The Team

Dr. Richard Zumwalt

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

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

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.

Dr. Allie Roddy

Allie is a registered Psychological Associate (PSB #94026467) and has received her master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Forensic Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles.

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.

Allie has experience working with adolescents and families, as she previously worked with the VIDA program through the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department where her efforts were focused on at-risk youth. As a result of her professional experience and upbringing, Allie facilitates a teen peer support group for youth of law enforcement officers.

In addition to working with adolescents and families, Allie provides individual, and couples therapy, crisis response, critical incident debriefing, and annual wellness check-ins. Allie is trained in eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), as well as neurolinguistic programming.

While she has experience treating a wide variety of mental health issues, Allie enjoys working with trauma - specifically developmental trauma - and seeks to assist her clients in the process of healing. Allie uses an eclectic approach to appropriately gauge each individual’s needs, but often promotes a neuropsychological lens to encourage the integration of the brain, body, and nervous system.

In addition to therapy, Allie administers psychological, neuropsychological, and psychoeducational evaluations for a broad array of presenting problems, including neurodevelopmental disorders, neurocognitive disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, personality disorders, functional impairments, and emotional issues.

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. Allie is a Registered Alcohol and Drug Technician (RADT) and has experience facilitating group therapy for substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders. She has previously served as the lead student researcher for the Los Angeles County Child and Adolescent Suicide Review Team and as Assistant Director of Outreach and Media Relations for the Script Conference.

Allie prides herself on her approachability, humor, and welcoming nature. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her dogs, and being outdoors.

Tori Knowlton, B.A.-Administrative Assistant

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.

Julie Ann Goode

Julie Ann Goode, LMFT, PsyD, and Registered Psychological Associate (PSR#94025983) arrived at Premier First Responders with 11 years of counseling experience. She started her healthcare career in admissions at a Long Beach emergency room in 1984 while pursuing an AA in music. In 1988, she moved to Phoenix, continued hospital work and music, and volunteered as a rape hotline counselor for three years.

She began her 14-year academic journey at Argosy University in 2008 and finished her Doctorate in Applied Psychology in June 2022 at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. Practicum and internship concentrations included individual and group work with children, adults, couples, and families.

Returning to ER work in Orange County in 2011, Julie Ann formed a new appreciation for first responder teamwork working alongside medical, psychological staff, law enforcement, and fire department personnel. A pre-doctoral internship in 2021 near Hoag Hospital presented an opportunity to counsel first responders who experienced burnout, anxiety, depression, alcohol addiction, and unique pandemic-related symptoms. She utilizes CBT, narrative therapy, solution-focused therapy, trauma-informed techniques, and EMDR to assist in relieving stress and symptoms quickly and efficiently. Julie Ann is dedicated to healing and educating first responders whether they are currently working or retired.

Kendra Williams

Kendra is a registered Psychological Associate (PSB #94027161) with the State of CA. Kendra received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at San Diego State University. Kendra has a MA and PsyD in Clinical Forensic Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Prior to making the change to psychology, Kendra worked in law enforcement for 16 years. She began her career at Los Angeles Airport Police Department where she held several positions such as field training officer, K9 officer, and Sergeant. She then lateralled to Ventura Police Department, where she spent 5yrs before medically retiring.

Having experienced the stressors of the job and dealing with her own psychological response following an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS), she understands the importance of seeking help. Given that first responders are typically communal and tend to not seek treatment from “outsiders”, Kendra felt a calling to help heal the first responder community.

Kendra provides individual and group therapy, couples/family counseling, annual wellness check in’s (AWC), and critical incident response.

She has previously worked at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology Counseling Center, Trauma & Wellness Center, and Overland IOP. She has worked with a diverse population ranging from adolescents to adults with various issues such as mood disorders (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, borderline personality disorder), trauma, PTSD, domestic violence, grief, relationship issues, sexual issues, self-esteem, and suicidality. She has also worked with several clients within the LGBTQIA+ community. In addition to providing therapy, Kendra has conducted assessment testing for children and adults needed for educational purposes, IEPs, disability evaluations, and personality disorders.

In addition to working for Premier, Kendra is an adjunct instructor at College of the Canyons and a recruit training officer at Rio Hondo Police Academy.

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