Responding to First Responders

Responding to First Responders



Barry University School of Social Work is offering a full-day virtual conference dedicated to first responders. Featuring veteran law-enforcement officers, trauma-informed mental health providers, and other integral members of the Miami-Dade and Broward communities, this day-long event will speak to frontline first responders who deal routinely with difficult, stressful situations that put them at risk for secondary, or vicarious, trauma. First responders are encouraged to attend and should expect to gain valuable insight into the daily scenarios they face, particularly amid systemic injustice and pandemic-related concerns. Clinicians and public administration professionals will also benefit from this virtual event.

  1. Building tools for responding in mental-health situations
  2. Understanding the nuances of responding to individuals with autism
  3. Recognizing the prevalence of vicarious trauma and suicide among first responders
  4. Applying knowledge of systemic racism and injustice to affect positive outcomes

About The Speakers:

Sergeant David Sims

Sergeant Sims is a veteran of Law Enforcement. He has served at the local level, state level, and military level. He is an Honorably Discharged U.S. Air Force Veteran. Sergeant Sims is a former Assistant Public Information Officer, K-9 Officer, and is a trained Traffic Homicide Investigator. He is an adjunct instructor at the Florida Highway Patrol Training Academy, the Florida Public Safety Institutes, Palm Beach State College, The City of Miami Police Department, and the Orlando Police Department. He is a Certified FDLE Subject Matter Expert, and a Drug Recognition Expert. Sergeant Sims is the recipient of numerous awards and citations.

Major Bart Barta

Bart is a retired law enforcement commander from the Coral Gables Police Department with more than 31 years of experience. The proud father of Daniel, a teenager with autism, Bart founded Autism Safety 101. He understands many of the challenges faced by individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorder, and, as a certified law enforcement instructor, has trained more than 7,000 officers to successfully interact with people who have autism. For more than 10 years, Bart served as an instructor for the nationally recognized Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training Program for Florida’s Eleventh Circuit Court’s Mental Health Project in Miami-Dade County. Bart is a former SWAT and Crisis Management Team (Hostage Negotiations) commander. He also has more than 20 years of criminal investigative experience and served as a former commander of the Criminal Investigations Division for the Coral Gables Police Department. For six years, Bart served as a member of the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) Constituency Board. In 2017, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) requested that he assist with the development of an autism curriculum for Florida law enforcement officers.

Allyson Tomchin, LCSW

Allyson earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from University of South Florida in 1992 and her master’s degree in Social Work from Barry University in 1993. She is an LCSW, a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, a Qualified Parenting Coordinator, and a business owner. In 2003, she opened Directive Energy, where she has served hundreds of individuals, groups, and couples. She provides Solution Focus counseling services for individuals 12 and up. In addition to the counseling practice, she works as a Family Mediator and Parenting Coordinator in the field of high-conflict divorce, assisting with co-parenting efforts, and drawing up Parenting Plans. She trains professionals on how to be Parenting Coordinators and Family Mediators. She is one of only four trainers approved by the Florida Supreme Court to train in Parenting Coordination. She is an avid public speaker, a past contributor to South Florida Parenting Magazine, a past co-host of 3 Loud Women, an internet talk show, a past Board member of the National Association of Women Business Owners, a past President of Sisterhood at Temple Solel, and has served on the Florida Bar Grievance Committee. She is currently a proud Adjunct Professor of Social Work at FAU. She lives, works, and plays with her family in Hollywood, Florida.

Rand Leiber, Esq.

With more than 20 years of experience as a litigator and counselor at law, Rand ensures that his clients understand their legal rights and obligations so that they can make informed decisions about their cases. He prides himself on his honesty and integrity and treats clients and colleagues with respect and civility. Rand has practiced exclusively in family law since 2001, previously at law firms and now for his own firm. He handles divorces, paternity cases, modifications of alimony and child support, and pre- or post-nuptial agreements. Rand spent six years as a prosecutor, conducting more than 100 bench trials and more than 30 jury trials. Rand can speak about all aspects of family law, including monetary issues such as divorce planning, alimony, child support, and prenuptial agreements, as well as children’s issues such as timesharing and relocation. Rand lectures several times a year on the legal aspects of being a parenting coordinator and a family law mediator. Rand, his wife, and four children volunteer for the Humane Society of Broward County, Miami Dolphins Special Teams (to fight hunger in South Florida), Sierra Club, and the American Civil Liberties Union

James DePelisi, Director/Chair, Broward County Crime Commission

James DePelisi has been an appointed Director with the Broward County Crime Commission since 2005, as sworn in by then Attorney General Charlie Crist. Over the past 14 years, he has served in the capacity of Director, President and CEO, and, currently, Chairman/CEO. Under DePelisi’s guidance, the Broward County Crime Commission has implemented a cadre of preventive and awareness programs, extending from Narcotics Distribution to Child Abuse to Identity Theft to Hurricane Contractor Fraud. The Crime Commission’s primary and ongoing programs include: Police Chief Think Tank Forums (implemented in 2006), Law Enforcement Recruitment Program (implemented in 2007), Building Bridges Mental Health Conference Series Forums (implemented in 2013), CSI: STEM Leadership & Technology Summer Camp (implemented in 2015), and High School Criminal Justice Certification Program (implemented in 2015). The Building Bridges Mental Health Conference Series was conceived with the notion of analyzing the finite details of Behavioral Health Issues Associated with Crime, so that crimes can be Prevented and Preempted. Since November of 2013, the Crime Commission has hosted and executed a body of work comprising more than 18 conferences in the areas of Narcotics Trafficking, Domestic Violence, Workplace Violence, Societal Violence, School Campus Violence, Juvenile Violence, Bullying As It Leads to Violence, Hate Crime Violence, Sextortion, and Cyber Crime Ransomware Extortion. More than 3,000 people have attended these acclaimed forums. DePelisi holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Degree in Finance and is a Veteran of the United States Air Force (USAF), receiving an Honorable Discharge, in 1989, as a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) with the rank of Sergeant.

Captain Delrish Moss

Delrish Moss is currently a law enforcement Captain with the Florida International University Police Department. Previously, in March 2016, Moss was appointed as the Chief of Police of Ferguson Police Department of Ferguson, Missouri. When Moss was officially sworn in on May 9, 2016, he became the first permanent African American chief in Ferguson. Ferguson is a suburb of St. Louis, where the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown served as a catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement. He resigned from this position in October 2018 to return to his hometown of Miami. Moss graduated from Miami High School in 1982. Growing up in Overtown, he witnessed violence in the community, and he was once frisked by a Miami police officer for no apparent reason. His motivation for becoming a police officer was to “teach police how to treat people.” In 1984, Moss worked as a public service aide for Miami Police Department and decided to pursue a career in law enforcement. Within three years he was a patrolman on the streets of Miami’s historically black communities, Overtown, Liberty City, Allapattah, and Coconut Grove. He was promoted to homicide detective in 1989. In 1995, then-Police Chief Donald Warsaw convinced Moss to become a spokesman for the city. In that role Moss gained national attention when he spoke for the police department while Little Havana suffered violence and fires after federal agents took Elián González. Moss also handled communications in 2005, when Miami Commissioner Arthur Teele, Jr., killed himself in the Miami Herald building. Police Chief John Timoney added Moss to his executive team in 2009. In 2011 Moss was promoted to major by Police Chief Manuel Orosa, who credited Moss for contributing to the improved relationship between Miami’s African American communities and the police department. Moss is active in community outreach, moving important relationships from tense to productive. He is a lover of jazz and big bands. He served as president of the Miami Police Athletic League and is a member of the NAACP.

Schedule & Pricing

  • November 13, 2020 | 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
  • One-day virtual conference: Free

CEU'S Available

  • 5 Hours of CEUs for LCSW, LMFT, LMHC