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Jessica Murphy, KANSAS

Board Chair

Jessica Murphy, LMSW got her start in the mental health field in 2006 and started at Johnson County Mental Health Center in 2007. Jessica became the team leader for the Johnson County Co-Responder program in 2017 and currently supervises eight programs with 13 different agencies.

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Jessica “grew up” in community mental health with positions as attendant care, case manager and crisis clinician. In her current role, she has helped three programs start-up, expanded four others and collaboratively launched the first school co-responder in Johnson County. The Johnson County Co-Responder program received the “Excellence in Community Service” award from the United Community Services of Johnson County, KS in 2017. Jessica received two county recognitions in 2019—the “Leadership in Action” Award and the “Pillars of Performance and Development” Award. Jessica has her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Kansas State University and Master’s in Social Work from University of Missouri-Kansas City

Jay Kernkamp, Washington

Board Vice-Chair

Jay Kernkamp is a Spokane native who graduated from Whitworth University. He is currently the supervisor of the Spokane, WA Police Department Behavioral Health Unit and its co-responder teams.
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Jay started his law enforcement career as a volunteer for the Spokane Police Department. This is where he has spent the last 16 years of his career. He has worked in a variety of fields including the Regional Drug Task Force, Anti-crime Team, SWAT, and the department's PEER support team.

Lindsay Kroll, Nebraska

Board Secretary

Lindsay Kroll is a Licensed Independent Mental health Practitioner with 13 years of experience working in the mental health and criminal justice fields. She is the Mental Health Coordinator with the Omaha Police Department developing the Behavioral Health and Wellness Unit and implementing the Co-Responder program along with other mental health related initiatives for the department.

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Lindsay received her Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. While being a native to Nebraska, Lindsay has worked in Chicago, Denver and Omaha within various forensic settings including juvenile prison, jail-based adult behavioral health programs and outpatient settings. She spent 8 years developing the continuum of Crisis Response Services with Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska to include mobile crisis response, post-crisis stabilization services, co-responder program and peer support. Lindsay is an executive member of CIT of the Heartland in Omaha. She is a Vicarious Trauma and Compassion Fatigue trainer. Lindsay currently serves as a member of the Region 6 Behavioral Health Task Force, Douglas County School Threat Assessment and Management Team, Nebraska Violence and Risk Assessment Cadre, Metro Area Suicide Prevention Coalition and is a member of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP).

Robert McKeirnan, Kansas

Board Treasurer

Robert developed and supervises the Advanced Crisis-Intervention Team (ACT) at the Olathe, KS Police Department, teaming CIT trained officers and Co-Responders for primary response to behavioral health emergencies, follow up, and advanced problem solving for complex cases.

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Robert started his career with the Olathe Police Department in 2009, starting in the Patrol Division. He has worked with the Field Training Program, the Explorers, Peer Support and CIT Unit. He is the agency CIT Coordinator for Olathe, KS PD and serves as the Vice-Chair of the Kansas Law Enforcement CIT Council. He began working with co-responders early in his career and teamed with them to institute mental health diversion at the Olathe Municipal Court, develop and teach courses to mental health professionals about law enforcement (Cop Culture), expand the scope of the co-responder program and develop ACT as a new unit at the police department. Robert also teaches courses for the 40-hour CIT training and Mental Health First Aid for the Johnson County Regional Police Academy.

Annie Burwell, Texas

Board PIO

Annie Burwell currently serves as the Program Manager for the newly formed Round Rock Texas Fire Department Crisis Response Unit and previously led the Williamson County Mobile Outreach Team, a division of Williamson County EMS. Ms. Burwell has been working in the behavioral health field for 30 years and received her degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Her experience includes psychiatric acute care with children, experiential therapy with adolescents, school-based mental health services, and crisis intervention and management. She has significant training in grief, loss, and trauma interventions, substance use disorders, disaster response, and crisis negotiations. She is the recipient of several awards including the Heroes in the Fight Award (Mental Health America), Outstanding Team (Central Texas 100 Club), Exemplary Program of the Year (Texas Corrections Association), and the Behavioral Healthcare Professional of the Year (CIT International). Recent presentations regarding emergency behavioral health and overdose response include: “Crisis Response - Which Model is Right for Your Community?” at the 2022 Emergency Management Association of Texas Conference, “Leveraging Paramedicine Teams to Solve the U.S. Overdose Epidemic” at the 2022 Texas Substance Use Symposium and “Managing Mental Health in EMS” a national webinar for EMSWorld in 2021. Ms. Burwell provides training at the state and national level and was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the International Co-Responder Alliance. She enjoys traveling, wandering in nature, and taking care of her geriatric horses.

Sarah Abbott, Massachusetts

Board Member

Dr. Abbott is a Massachusetts based licensed social worker, Associate Professor, and Director of the Center for Crisis Response and Behavioral Health at William James College. Dr. Abbott is the Founder and Principal at Abbott Solutions for Justice LLC.

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Abbott Solutions for Justice LLC's mission is to advance effective and safe law enforcement responses to individuals in a behavioral health crisis. Dr. Abbott holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Work from Bradford and Ilkey College in England, a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from U-Mass Lowell, and a Ph.D. in Law, Policy, and Society from Northeastern University. In 2003, Dr. Abbott joined with the Framingham Police Department and served as the first clinician to embed in a Co-Response program in Massachusetts and has led the replication of model in an additional 20 police departments. In 2018, she designed and directed the first state-wide Co-Response Training and Technical Assistance Center. Dr. Abbott has developed and delivered dozens of law enforcement training modules, experiential workshops, undergraduate and graduate courses and has provided consultation and technical assistance on the Co-Response model internationally. She currently serves as a project implementation Advisory Group member supporting a multi-year project Co-Response program for the An Garda Síochána in Ireland.

Robert Cook, Colorado

Board Member

Robert is a Sergeant with Larimer County, CO Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) currently assigned to the Patrol Section of the Operations Division. He supervises the LCSO School Resource Officer Unit and the LCSO Mental Health Co-responder Unit.

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Sgt. Cook began his career in 1987 as a wildland firefighter at Larimer County Sheriff’s Office. In 1988, he became a Dispatcher for the Communications Unit. While working as a dispatcher, he attended and graduated from Aims Community College Basic Peace Officer Academy and immediately joined the LCSO Patrol Reserve Deputy Program. In 1991, he became a full-time deputy assigned to Patrol. In 1997, he was promoted to Sergeant in Patrol. He also later served in the Professional Standards Unit and Investigations-Crimes Against Persons Unit. Collaterally, Sgt. Cook served on the K9 Unit, Arrest Control Tactics Team, and SWAT. In 2004, he was promoted to Lieutenant, assigned to Patrol. As a Lieutenant, he also worked in the Executive Services Division assigned to Training, Background Investigations,Concealed Handgun Permits, Professional Standards, Fleet Services. In 2009, he retired from SWAT as the Team Commander. In 2010, he became a certified Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO) with CIAC and built up the LCSO Team of TLOs. He joined the Colorado Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors in 2016 as a Board Trustee. In 2016, he returned to Patrol as a Platoon Commander and began supervising the new LCSO Mental Health Co-Responder Unit. In 2019, he voluntarily reverted to his previous rank of Sergeant to spend more time in caring for his severely ill daughter. In 2019, he was also elected to be the President of the Colorado Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors and is currently serving in that capacity. In addition to serving as a Lead TLO, Sgt. Cook is also the Assistant Coordinator of the LCSO Peer Support Team and the lead LCSO TLO. Sgt. Cook is a graduate of Northwestern Police Staff and Command School (2012), and the National College of Police Staff and Command (2019). He has also studied at Colorado State University, Columbia College, and Front Range Community College.

CharMayne Jackson, Florida

Board Member

CharMayne is a Law Enforcement Clinical Specialist for Meridian Behavioral Healthcare in partnership with the Gainesville, FL Police Department. CharMayne is excitedly working within her community to connect individuals coping with mental illnesses to the best possible care and treatment.

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CharMayne obtained her bachelor's degree in psychology from Purdue University in 2013. Shortly after graduating, she began working as a Family Case Manager for the state of Indiana, where she investigated instances of child abuse and neglect. During her interactions with families, she observed a dire need for mental health services within the community. Equipped with this knowledge, CharMayne relocated to Huntsville, Alabama, where she completed her master's degree in counseling psychology with a concentration in clinical psychology. She then relocated to Gainesville, Florida, where she continued her work as a Clinical Staffing Coordinator with Partnership for Strong Families. CharMayne worked within her staffing coordinator position for two years, ensuring that children within the child welfare system, could gain access to much needed mental health services at higher levels of care.

Megan Johnson, Pennsylvania

Board Member

Megan L. Johnson, LPC serves as the Director of Crisis Intervention Response Services for Elwyn. Founded in 1852, Elwyn is the nation’s oldest private nonprofit human services organization and has remained at the forefront of developing innovative services to support individuals with diverse challenges.  

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In her current role, Megan oversees the co-responder program and mobile outreach team within Philadelphia Police Regional Operations Command South. Additionally, Megan provides leadership for mobile crisis response programs within Northwest Philadelphia and Delaware County. Prior to this role, Megan served as a civilian Division Commander for the Chapel Hill Police Department in North Carolina providing clinical oversight of the Police Crisis Unit, a 24-hour co-response program, Police Peer Support Team, Crisis Negotiation Team, and Criminal Justice Debt Relief Program. In 2019, Megan was presented with the Meritorious Conduct Award by the Chapel Hill Police Department for her leadership and development of the Crisis Negotiation Team. Megan was the LGBTQ+ Police Liaison serving as the main contact for addressing and elevating the concerns of the LGBTQ+ community related to public safety and policing. Megan began her clinical career as an Emergency Services Clinician at the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Assessment Center, an extension of Colonial Behavioral Health's Emergency Services Unit in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she provided assessment and intervention services in community, correctional, and hospital settings to adults, children and families in crisis situations. Megan’s exposure to behavioral health service delivery within multiple states has informed her advocacy for nationwide improvement of access to behavioral health services and the ways in which current barriers to access impact community safety. Megan holds a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from the College of William and Mary and is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in the State of North Carolina and a Licensed Professional Counselor in the Commonwealths of Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Brian Schaeffer, Washington

Board Member

Brian Schaeffer is the Fire Chief for the Spokane, WA Fire Department. He has spent a significant time of his career developing programs and teams that challenge traditional tactics and beliefs.
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Chief Schaeffer’s professional life has spanned over 32 years serving in Fire Departments in the Midwest and Northwest in progressive ranks up to and including Fire Chief. While in the Midwest he also served as a flight paramedic with a flight team in the Kansas City metro area and has maintained his Paramedic credentials to date. Academically, Brian has earned a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science and a master’s degree in public administration. He is currently in the final stages of his doctoral education from Creighton University. He serves on numerous local, state, and national public safety and health-related committees. He frequently lectures on issues involving innovation, leadership, and contemporary issues in public safety technology. He has spent a significant time of his career developing programs and teams that challenge traditional tactics and beliefs. He has a strong background developing successful solutions with an inter-disciplinary focus that address ever-changing problems in urban environments. Brian’s passion from an early age has been to contribute to the community through public service.

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