First Responder Staff & Peer Support



Ken Beyer, FF/EMT-B, IV TECH, President and CEO (Back)

Ken co-founded Harbor of Grace and created the First Responder Program after 15 years of providing Peer Support to various police and fire agencies.  Ken continues to work part-time as a firefighter-EMT-B/IVT and volunteers for another agency. 

Ken is currently the EAP for Harford County Fire Volunteer Fire Association and the Peer Support Coordinator for the Harford County EMS Foundation.  He is a consultant for many police departments and career fire companies for addiction related matters.  Ken has assisted various regional career and volunteer fire companies with chemical dependency issues and he has performed countless structured interventions, which include assisting several law enforcement agencies. His professional interests include Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and Peer Support.

Ken is married to Laurie (33 years), and they have four children and two beautiful granddaughters. They reside in Havre de Grace, MD.

Sgt.  Chuck Hart (Front)

Chuck is an active duty Police Officer with a large Regional Police Department.  Graduating from the Police Academy in March of 1986, Chuck’s career has spanned over 33 years and include assignments in “Foot Patrol” to his present-day assignment as the Commander for the Hostage Negotiating Team.  From March 2012 to the present time, Chuck is also assigned to the Behavioral Assessment and Crisis Management Unit, where he supervises a Team of Mobile Crisis Police Units.  Chuck’s many years of valuable training includes, but is not limited to Conflict Negotiation, Dealing with Crisis and Loss, Law Enforcement Trauma and Wellness, De-Escalation and Conflict Resolution through Crisis Intervention Tactics and Mental Health First Aide.  The affects of Critical Incidents on Law Enforcement Officers, grief, trauma and PTSD are several areas where Chuck is an expert. 

Chuck’s rewarding career has graced him with over 53 Awards and Unit Citations for his remarkable commitment and service.  Harbor of Grace is blessed to have Chuck and his passion to serve on our Team to help our First Responder Program become the regional leader in the treatment of our Nation’s heroes.  He is a Harford County resident where he lives with his wife of 31 years and two sons.



 

Dr. Brian Lerner, MD

Medical Director, Chief Psychiatrist

Dr. Brian Lerner is board certified in psychiatry and addiction psychiatry.  He is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  He completed his general psychiatry training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital where he served as Chief Resident.  He has also completed an addiction psychiatry fellowship at the University of Maryland.  Dr. Lerner comes to psychiatry with over two decades of clinical experience as a board certified ophthalmologist who is now following his long-time passion for psychiatry with interests in Depression, Anxiety, and Substance Use Disorders. He has participated in numerous medical investigations with scientific writings in professional medical publications.

Dr. Lerner works closely with our First Responder community by meeting their individual needs. He has expanded his knowledge of the complexities of public safety by attending regional Peer Support Meetings and participating in “ride alongs” with Fire & EMS providers on busy shifts.



Kathleen “Kat” Kennon, LCSW-C

Clinical Director, First Responders Program

Kat is a board certified Social Worker Supervisor. She received her MSW from University of Maryland School of Social Work and has been a Mobile Crisis Clinician with the Baltimore County Police Department through their Mobile Crisis Response Unit for six years. Two of those years she has been a clinical supervisor.

Kat is trained in CISM, is a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor and helped train police officers and recruits in Crisis Intervention.

She is a Baltimore native, is married and has a one-year old daughter.



Joe Weker, MS, CADC, ACRPS

Joseph Weker is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) and an Advanced Certified Relapse Prevention Specialist (ACPRS). He has earned a BA degree in psychology from the University of Oklahoma, and a MS degree in Clinical Community Counseling from Johns Hopkins University. Joe has over twenty years experience counseling addicts and alcoholics, and is skilled in several evidence-based treatment approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. Joe is a primary case manager that conducts individual and group therapy at Harbor of Grace Recovery for our First Responder’s Program.

He served our country honorably as a part of the 2/75th Ranger Battalion in Ft. Lewis Washington.



Mike McDermott, Peer Support Counselor, NYPD (Retired)

Mike was born and raised in Queens, New York.  Joining NYPD is January 1987, his various assignments include:  NSU5, 34 Precinct, Police Academy Instructor, Street Crimes, Warrant Squad, CWIT, Joint Apprehension Warrant Squad (JAWS), 71 PDU.

During Mike’s amazing career, he was awarded the Combat Cross medal and various Commendations and Meritorious police duty citations for exceptional police duties.  He retired from NYPD as a second grade Detective out of the 71 PDU.

Like the rest of our grieving nation, Mike was devastated by the terrorist attacks on 9/11.  He was detailed as a detective at “Ground Zero” on occasion and witnessed first hand the importance of Peer Support.

Mike is a trained Peer Support Counselor and helped coordinate the weekly hybrid 12 step meeting in Bowie, Maryland.  He is an instructor in Mental Health First Aid and member of the regional CISM Team. Mike is currently a patrol officer in Maryland where he continues working the road.  He is married 27 year to his wife Jeanne, and has three children.



Mitch Brooks, Firefighter/Paramedic (retired)

Mitch’s firefighting career began in 1991 in the US Navy where he served four years as an E5 Shipboard Firefighter.  Mitch’s civilian career with the Baltimore City Fire Department included eight years with a Truck Company, another eight years as a Paramedic on a medic unit including being selected as one of two firefighter/paramedics to serve as a Tactical Medic for the Baltimore City Police Department S.W.A.T Team.  He also served one year at the Fire Academy training new recruits.

Mitch’s personal journey in recovery from alcoholism began 23 years ago.  His Peer Support Skills and his ability to work with people in early recovery make Mitch a tremendous asset to our clinical team.  He lives in Havre de Grace with his wife of 26 years and his three daughters.



Lt. Daniel E. Gosnell (Retired)

Dan’s law enforcement career began in October 2000 with Aberdeen City Police Department. He graduated from the Maryland Law Enforcement Training Academy in Westminister, Maryland.

During Dan’s impressive career, he served as a SWAT Operator, Team Leader and Team Commander of the Harford County Municipal SWAT Team. He quickly rose through the ranks to Lieutenant. Dan was presented with many departmental awards and countless Letters of Appreciation during his time of service.

Dan has been very public about how his addiction to pain medication cost him his career in 2017, after being charged for stealing drugs form the evidence property room at Aberdeen Police Department. His riveting story was featured in the Baltimore Sun in December 2018, so he could help other First Responders who are struggling with the secret life of being a drug addict.

Dan joined Harbor of Grace National Law Enforcement and First Responder Wellness Program as a Counselor Aide, after receiving treatment for his addiction. His Peer Support skills and his desire to help other officers and First Responders with addiction, make Dan a valuable asset to our team.

Dan is married to a First Responder, has one child and another on the way! He and his family reside in Aberdeen, Maryland. We are blessed to have Dan as a Supervisor in our Clinical Department.



Ben Becker, Firefighter/EMT

Ben is a life-long resident of Harford County. After receiving a degree in telecommunications and electronics, Ben worked for Northrop Grumann in their Airborne Surveillance Division. He pursued his passion for the fire service beginning in 2000, when he joined the Bel Air Fire Company as a Firefighter/EMT-B. He has been employed at Aberdeen Fire Department for the past 15 years as an EMT-IV Tech. In addition, Ben works full time for the Harford County EMS Foundation, where he’s served since 2010

Over his nineteen-year career, Ben has received numerous life-saving awards and Commendations for extraordinary patient care. His exemplary patient-care skills make him a perfect fit for our Peer Support group at Harbor of Grace First Responder National Wellness Center.

Coming from a family with alcoholism, Ben’s heart is in the right place while working with the chemically dependent. We are blessed to have Ben on our team.



Bruce Snyder, Paramedic, Rescue Tech (Retired)

Bruce began his fire department career in Baltimore City in 1981 as a firefighter/medic.  In 1982, he was hired on at Baltimore County Fire Department, where he had a great 35-year career as a firefighter, medic and rescue specialist.  During his career, Bruce was a Maryland State certified Fire Academy Instructor, Nationally Certified Haz-Mat Technician, Search Dog Handler and Fire/Arson Investigator, CMTF Search Team Manager for FEMA and designed, implemented and directed a Health & Wellness, Physical Fitness Hiring Agility Program.

Bruce has dedicated his life to working with programs that support and benefit the culturally underprivileged, our global environment, LGBTQ interest, indigenous peoples and natural wildlife.  He is a competent life coach, with an educational background in art therapy, music therapy, EMDR and psychodrama.  He currently serves as a CISM Peer Support Responder and educational chaplain within the fire service.  Bruce’s certifications include Mental Health First Aid, CISM, Federation of Fire Chaplains and Internal Family Systems.