Please follow us on Social Media

Board Members

Click on the members below to see more information


Stephanie Samuels is a psychotherapist who works exclusively with police officers. Ms. Samuels has lectured all over the country on PTSD and vicarious trauma, including undiagnosed PTSD and the fallout from departmental silence after officers are involved in critical incidents as well as how traumatic pasts play a part in an officer's career. Ms. Samuels is part of a renowned National Research Team looking into the role concussions play in the mental health of law enforcement officers and the potential connection to suicide.

Ms. Samuels began her career as one of the teens in the first focus group of Teen Line Cares, a mental health helpline for teens. Ms. Samuels understood that teens only trusted and confided in other teens. With this same concept in mind, Ms. Samuels went on to create two law enforcement officer hotlines. She is the Founder and Director of COPLINE, Inc., the first Confidential National Law Enforcement Officers' Hotline in the country answered by retired officers.

She is the general partner of The Counseling and Critical Incident Debriefing Center, LLC, which specializes in debriefing and long-term counseling of first responders and their families. She taught at the Monmouth County Police Academy for 16 years and has been a guest lecturer at The FBI Academy in Quantico. Ms. Samuels was hired after the Boston Bombing as the Clinical Director of the Boston Police Department Peer Support Unit and co-founded the LEADER (Law Enforcement Active Duty Emergency Responder) Program at Harvard's McLean Hospital.

Ms. Samuels has co-authored Under the Blue Shadow: Clinical and Behavioral Perspectives on Police Suicide with Dr. John Violanti and a chapter entitled "Police Trauma: Past Exposures and Present Consequences" in the book Managing Traumatic Stress Risk: A Proactive Approach. critical incident debriefings for law enforcement officers. Ms. Samuels writes the "Dear Steph" column for the New Jersey State Fraternal Order of Police Newspaper. Ms. Samuels got her Bachelors degree from UCLA, a Masters degree in Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and a Masters degree in Social Work from Rutgers University, New Brunswick.


Jim has 30 years of Law Enforcement experience. He began his Law Enforcement career with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in 1986. He joined the LAPD in 1988 fulfilling his childhood dream of becoming a Los Angeles Police Officer. Jim has worked a variety of assignments throughout his career; Patrol, Vice, Training Division and Detectives. As a Sergeant he worked a variety of field assignments such as Patrol, Vice, Undercover Operations and as a Lieutenant he held several administrative positions.

In 2013, Jim was promoted to the rank of Captain and held several Commanding Officer positions; Patrol Operations, Criminal Investigation Division and Special Operations Division. In his last command he was responsible for leading approximately 300 sworn and civilian personnel.

Jim was a member of the United States Navy Reserve and was mobilized for active duty after September 11, 2001. He was honorably discharged in September of 2005. He received an Associates of Arts degree from Southwestern College in San Diego and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Studies from California State University Long Beach. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Association of Police Organizations, the Peace Officers Research Association of California, and the Los Angeles Retired Fire and Police Association.

Jim has been engaged with COPLINE since he first volunteered as a peer support member in 2018. He has been fortunate to assist in training new volunteers in the area of active listening. He fully supports a program that provides an outlet, in which officers and family members can utilize, in times of crisis. Our LE family is the last line of defense in keeping our society safe and what better way to give back to those still wearing the badge than to answer their call, because suffering in silence is unacceptable.


Francis Graf is a former Saanich Police Officer who left the police department to return to the University of Victoria, where he completed a BSc and MA in Counselling Psychology.  Francis’ thesis research focused on the relationship between social support and occupational stress among police officers.  After completing his Masters’ degree, Francis worked with several public and private sector agencies before founding a leading-edge digital forensic investigation and eDiscovery firm based in Victoria, BC, Canada.  Here, Francis built a team of internationally recognized digital forensic experts and he has many years of experience investigating computer misuse in criminal and civil matters of all types.

During this time, Francis was also actively involved in training computer forensics practitioners from law enforcement agencies and public and private sector clients across Canada and the USA, as well as developing best practices in computer forensics for public and private sector organizations across the country.

In 2003, Francis was sworn in as a Special Constable with the Victoria City Police Department in a unique partnership to support their computer forensics capability.

Francis is passionate about the unique psychological needs of law enforcement officers and their families and sees Copline as a critical resource to the men and women who serve our communities in this essential role.


Meg Schaul has been a certified public accountant in the state of Illinois for 30 years and has had her own practice for the past 22 years. Prior to her accounting career, Meg spent thirteen years working in the medical field. She spent six years working in nursing homes caring for the elderly as a restorative and nursing aide. She then spent seven years on staff working with a doctor of internal medicine helping patients cope with various physical and mental health issues. Meg is the surviving sibling of two brothers who completed suicide, one at age 21 in 2013 and the other age 53 in 2016. Over the years, she has dealt with officers on first response of many different personal and professional levels. After dealing with depression in her own immediate family, she saw how a help-line can play an important role in providing a "first step" on the road to recovery and being the catalyst for continued care and treatment necessary for good mental health. Her reason for involvement with COPLINE is that she feels strongly that it will fill a void that has long existed in crisis intervention by providing a specialized outreach for those individuals, our law enforcement officers and their families, who have to deal with the harshest elements in human existence on a daily basis.


Emily Eng is a human machine engineer in Maryland after receiving her Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Lafayette College. She is currently getting her Master’s in user-centered design from Brandeis University. Emily has been a part of CopLine since 2017 and is a huge supporter of officer wellness. Through personal experiences growing up, she has unique insight into the multiple psychosocial stressors officers experience on and off the job and the impact they have on both officers and their families. Emily has interned with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington D.C. and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office in NJ where she had the opportunity to interact with multiple units as well as various community outreach programs that law enforcement is involved in.


Andrew Herschman is a resident of NJ, and a lifelong law enforcement enthusiast and supporter.  He is a NJ licensed real estate agent whose career has been impacted by a disabling and ongoing medical condition resulting from surgical complications over 10 years ago. This has provided him direct personal experience in suffering and coping with PTSD.  He has been a volunteer at events for the New Jersey Make A Wish Foundation and is also an Associate Member of his local Volunteer Fire Company.


John Sierega is the Director of Field Services for the Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA).  TMPA is a 28,000-member strong statewide law enforcement association providing its members with legal defense, local issue support, training and legislative advocacy.  Prior to going to work for TMPA, John was a police officer with the Inglewood, CA police department where he was a patrol officer, training officer, narcotics detective, patrol sergeant, watch commander, and traffic sergeant.
As the Director of Field Services, John manages of team eight full-time and four part-time field representatives, and one full-time time training coordinator.  The field services division is the largest division within TMPA and is responsible for providing member support in many areas including pay, benefits, working conditions, referenda and benevolent events.
In an effort to provide mental and physical health and well-being support for police officers, TMPA supports various programs such as COPLINE, the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) Post Critical Incident Response Seminar, Bless the Badge, and 1st Responder Conference, to name a few.        
John lives in Pflugerville, Texas.  His hobbies include cycling, reading and snow skiing.  He has two children, Katie and Johnny.  Katie has a bachelor’s degree in education from Texas Tech University and recently became a high school teacher in Colorado.  Johnny, who still lives at home with John, is currently studying to pursue a career as a commercial airline pilot.


Chris White is a seasoned public service veteran who embarked on a career in law enforcement over 25 years ago. His journey, like that of many officers, was paved with countless hours of on and off-duty jobs, all part of an effort to supplement his income. Through his experiences, Chris discovered more effective ways to manage these tasks, leading to his decision to found Innovative Surveillance Solutions, Inc. (ISS) in 2006, a company designed to manage off-duty job requests for businesses.

In 2010, after four years of juggling his responsibilities at ISS with his law enforcement duties, Chris retired from public service to commit fully to his burgeoning business and support his fellow law enforcement professionals. His innovative spirit led him to co-found RollKall Technologies in 2013, a company that modernized the cumbersome process of job searching, scheduling, and payment in the law enforcement industry.
Under Chris's guidance, ISS garnered recognition from INC Magazine as the 45th fastest-growing company in the US in 2014. Their annual INC 500/5000 awards commended the company's impressive growth of 5,605% over three years. This recognition continued into 2015 and 2016, a testament to the company's continuous evolution.

In 2016, ISS metamorphosed into the Athos Group, leading a strategic transformation through several key acquisitions. This transformation positioned the Athos Group as a top market maker and tech innovator in their industry, committed to connecting public servants with businesses in their communities.
Throughout his career, Chris has either founded, co-founded, or acquired over a dozen companies, all aimed at bringing convenience, transparency, and efficiency to interactions between the public and off-duty public safety professionals. He views his life's work as not just a business but a cause to support and improve the lives of law enforcement officers.

Today, the Athos Group, under Chris's leadership, and its affiliated "extra-duty" law enforcement companies are committed to serving officers, agencies, and the communities they represent. They strive to bring clarity, transparency, and accountability to the services and programs outlined by licensing agencies and requested by community members. In doing so, Chris and his teams are setting new standards for the off-duty and extra-duty law enforcement security industry, promoting values he believes will resonate with the dedicated public servants who pledge to protect their communities every day.


Current Position - Research professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine (SPM), School of Public Health and Health Professions at SUNY Buffalo, and has been associated with SPM for 22 years. Dr. Violanti is also a member of the SUNY Medical School graduate faculty. He is a police veteran, serving with the New York State Police for 23 years as a trooper, The Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), and later as a coordinator of the Psychological Assistance Program (EAP) for the State Police.

Description of work - He has been involved in the design, implementation, and analysis of numerous police related stress, suicide, and health studies over the past 17 years. Recent projects at Social & Preventive Medicine include a 40-year retrospective police mortality study and studies on police stress and health, the most recent involving collection of data on physiological stress and subclinical cardiovascular and metabolic consequences in police officers.

Relevant Work - Dr. Violanti has authored over 45 peer-reviewed journal articles on police suicide, stress and PTSD, and police mortality. He has also written and edited nine books on topics of police stress, psychological trauma, and suicide. He has been an invited lecturer on topics of police stress and suicide to the FBI Academy at Quantico , Virginia several times. He has lectured nationally and internationally at academic institutions and police agencies on matters of police suicide, stress and trauma.



Nicole Eng has grown up with civilian parents who have dedicated their careers to working with both the military and law enforcement. She has unique insight into the multiple psycho-social stressors officers experience and the effects they have on them and their families. She volunteered at a local military base at a monthly event for the families of deployed airmen for four years. In addition, she has interned with the Boston Police Department, a New Jersey Superior Court Judge, and a local Prosecutor’s Office where she has had the opportunity to interact with many different disciplines within the law enforcement community. Nicole is passionate about helping law enforcement as she has a tremendous about of respect for the sacrifices they make to protect this country and is honored to be a part of this hotline. Nicole previously served as interim Vice President of Copline until she joined the United States Army as a commissioned officer candidate to protect and serve this country herself.


Mike Nevil, a 25-year retired law enforcement professional with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office in Toms River, NJ, started his career in the Special Operations Group investigating street level narcotics and eventually was assigned as a DEA Task Force Officer.  After completing his narcotics assignment, Mike was assigned to the newly formed Special Investigations Unit where his duties included Internal Affairs, Organized Crime, and Official Corruption cases. During his tenure in SIU, he was detailed to the FBI and NJSP on investigations encompassing traditional organized crime.

In 1999, he was assigned to the newly formed New Jersey State Police High Tech Crimes Unit where he focused on technology-based investigations. Upon returning to the Prosecutor’s Office, Mike created the Computer Crimes Unit, a countywide unit that included undercover investigations, a full service computer forensic lab as well as an educational component for schools and small business.  

During this time his unit was featured on “To Catch a Predator” with Chris Hansen. Throughout his career, Mike supervised multiple units within his agency and completed his career in the Administrative Services Unit. During his time in Computer Crimes, Mike was exposed to thousands of images and videos related to Child Pornography which had a profound effect on his personal and home life. Seeking a way to deal with the stress of the content, Mike sought out assistance from the Critical Incident and Debriefing Center in Freehold, NJ. Mike utilized what he learned to share his stories and coping skills with law enforcement officers through Police Academy presentations in New Jersey as well as presenting to the command staff for Boston PD and the Massachusetts State Police.

Mike believes COPLINE is an invaluable asset for those officers that are hesitant to request assistance from their agencies for fear of embarrassment or retribution and is excited to bring this tool to fellow police officers in need.


Dennis Cronin has been a police officer for 36 years attaining the rank of Captain. He served as Division Commander of the Patrol, Special Operations, Internal Affairs, and Detective Bureau Divisions. He taught at Middlesex County Police Academy and lectured recruits at the Monmouth County Police Academy about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the effects of critical incidents, and the importance of communications with family members. He has twice received his department's second highest award for Valor (Police Star) and numerous Excellent Police Service awards, Outstanding Police service awards, Life-Saving awards, Meritorious Service awards, and Outstanding Service award from the state Fraternal Order of Police. He has received recognition for service by the NJ State Senate, the Assembly, and the Governor's Office. He has also received the prestigious "10-13" Service Award by the N.Y.C. Police Department for his actions during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Living through years of the effects of PTSD brought upon by years of critical incidents throughout his police career, he realized that he too needed counseling. Having commanded a unit of 18 police officers at Ground Zero and seeing the devastating psychological and physical effects on those who served, he felt he could no longer sit on the sideline. Dennis believes had he or his peers had the support of a hotline like COPLINE, the depression and physical problems may not have manifested themselves to the degree that they have. Dennis is proud and honored to serve on the Board of COPLINE. He strongly believes in COPLINE and the service it will provide to his fellow police officers in need.


​Elaine Leader always dreamt of making a difference in this world but never knew how.  That dream became a reality with the birth of TEEN  LINE in 1980.  As its Executive Director utill May 2015, she helped the program develop into an amazing opportunity for teens to assist their peers through a hotline and community outreach service.   Leading up to this accomplishment was her previous experience as Coordinator of Adolescent Group Psychotherapy Training at Cedars-Sinai where she was a clinical social worker from 1972-1994.

While developing the TEEN LINE program, Dr. Leader also continued seeing patients in her private practice and kept busy writing articles and book reviews for professional journals.  Her chapter, “Teen Line:  A Listening Post for Troubled Youth”  appears in the book, Group Therapy with Children and Adolescents, published by the American Psychiatric Press, in 1996.  

Dr. Leader has received many honors over the years, from the 1964 University of London Mark of Distinction in Social Work to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Award in 2000.  But she is most proud of the Crisis Centers Excellence Award from the American Association of Suicidology which she accepted on behalf of TEEN LINE in 2009.  TEEN LINE is definitely Elaine Leader’s special baby.