About Us

VALEAP was established in 2008, following the 2007 Virginia Tech mass shooting and the 2006 tragedy at the Fairfax County Police Sully Station. Since the first PCIS retreat in the summer of 2009, more than 1,100 officers from over 100 Virginia agencies have participated in 30 PCIS events. VALEAP has also worked with over 22 federal and out-of-state agencies, including participants from Connecticut, Ohio, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, and Arkansas. Additionally, VALEAP has welcomed participants from Australia and New Zealand.

VALEAP is an accredited CISM team through the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Office of Emergency Medical Services. Thus, CISM services provided by VALEAP are considered privileged communication which is protected under Virginia Code § 19.2-271.4. Privileged communications by certain public safety personnel (

In the News

“After Virginia Tech: Guns, Safety, and Healing in the Era of Mass Shootings” by Tom Kapsidelis discusses the origins of VALEAP and our continuing work with police officers.


Meet the Directors


Operations Director

Adam Blevins, LPC-R, M.A., CCISM

Adam is VALEAP’s full-time salaried Operations Director and a certified Critical Incident Stress Management (CCISM) professional who joined VALEAP as Operations Director in January 2022. He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling, and is pursuing a PhD. in trauma informed care, all from Liberty University. He has formerly served the Commonwealth of Virginia as a State Trooper and Correctional Officer. During his time with the Virginia State Police, he served as a peer on the department’s Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team. He is a Licensed Virginia Resident in Counseling, a provider in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, an approved instructor for the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF), and an auxiliary police officer with the Saltville Virginia Police Department. Adam holds certifications in advanced assisting individuals in crisis, advanced group crisis intervention, suicide prevention, applied suicide intervention skills training, psychological body armor, and assisting veterans in crisis. He has provided CISM services throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, Tennessee, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New York.

Adam is best contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

Co-Founder, Convening Director

Alexander W. Evans retired in 2023 from 35 years as a Presbyterian (PCUSA) pastor who served three different congregations – Pickens, SC, Blacksburg, VA, and more recently, Second Presbyterian Church in downtown Richmond, VA. His priorities in life and ministry have been strengthening congregations to worship and serve God locally and internationally. He is a graduate of Davidson College (BA), with master’s degrees from both Union Presbyterian Seminary and Yale University, and a doctorate from Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur GA, where his focus was on leadership and care for police officers. 

Since 2004, significant aspects of Alex’s life have been as a police Chaplain, and as Co-Founder and Director of VA Law Enforcement Assistance Program (VALEAP), which emerged from the horrific shootings on the campus of VA Tech in April 2007. VALEAP has evolved into a significant organization serving and supporting the law enforcement community in the Commonwealth of VA and beyond. 

Alex has also served as lead chaplain for the FBI, Richmond Division. He has published articles in national and international journals related to his work, spoken at national and international conferences. As part of the VALEAP team, he has also responded to traumatic incidents in the Commonwealth, with the US Capitol Police in Washington, DC, and more. He has led the Board and served as the Convening Director of VALEAP since its inception in 2008. He has been married since 1980 to Ginger Taylor Evans and they have 3 adult children and 8 grandsons. 

Alex currently serves as Pastor, Second Presbyterian Church, in downtown Richmond, and as Convening Director of VALEAP by leading the 10-member volunteer Board of Directors.


ALEX (1)

Co-Founder, Operations Specialist

Christopher D. “Kit” Cummings is the Operations Specialist for the Virginia Law Enforcement Assistance Program (VALEAP). Kit retired from the Blacksburg Police Department in 2014 after 25 years of service and enjoys a semi-retired second career in the public safety mental health field. While with the Blacksburg Police Department, Kit served as a patrol officer, sergeant, and lieutenant in uniform patrol, in Special Operations, and as the Professional Standards and Accreditation Lieutenant. Having worked in public safety peer support since 1994, Kit was a founding member of the Virginia Law Enforcement Assistance Program in 2008. Kit has been a Crisis Intervention Team officer with the New River Valley Crisis Intervention Team since the team’s inception in 2004 and, from 2014-2023, served as liaison between the Community Services Board and fourteen partnering law enforcement agencies. In his work with VALEAP and NRVCS, Kit has been deployed to numerous communities in the wake of significant events, including Charleston, SC (Emanuel AME shootings) and Houston, TX. (Santa Fe HS shootings) and Virginia Beach (VB Public Works shootings), the US Capitol (January 6th Riot), and he was among the first responders to the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007.
Kit is also the spouse of a retired law enforcement officer – his wife Valerie is a 23-year police veteran with the Vinton Police Department. They and their three children make their home in the Roanoke Valley.

Member-Board of Directors

Rob Ham – Verona, VA – Director (since 2024)

            Captain, Virginia Department of Wildlife Services

Rob has served the Commonwealth of Virginia with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources for the past 18 years, most of his career in the Shenandoah Valley.   During this time with the Commonwealth, Rob worked as a patrol officer, and district supervisor, and for the last 4 years in the Office of Professional Standards as the agency's accreditation manager.  Rob has been a member of the agency's Peer Support team since 2011 and since 2018 has been the team leader bringing significant enhancements, including expanding team membership, instituting annual meetings and training, refining peer response mechanisms, creating a Chaplaincy Program, and forging a partnership with VALEAP.

In addition to Rob’s work with the Department, he has been actively involved in various accreditation boards, serving as the Vice President of the Virginia Law Enforcement Accreditation Coalition (VALEAC) and as assistant program director for the North American Wildlife Law Enforcement Accreditation (NAWLEA). Parallel to this, Rob has dedicated over 22 years to the Bridgewater Volunteer Rescue Squad, holding various key positions including Chief of Operations for eight years and President for four. His commitment also extended to the Central Shenandoah EMS Council executive board for several years.

Throughout Rob’s more than two decades in public service, responding to numerous critical incidents has given him an intimate understanding of the profound impact that traumatic incidents and cumulative trauma can have on all first responders. It is through VALEAP's responses and their Post Critical Incident Seminars (PCIS) that he has witnessed the tangible positive effects on first responders across the Commonwealth and beyond. Rob remains deeply committed to furthering this positive impact, offering his skills and experience wherever they can be most effective.

1.Rob Ham

Co-Founder, Member-Board of Directors

Tommy McDearis – Blacksburg, VA – Director (since 2008)

            Pastor, Church on Main, Blacksburg, VA (26 years)

Chaplain, Blacksburg and Virginia Tech Police Departments (20 years)

Law Enforcement Chaplain for 47 years in various departments

Former Deputy Sheriff, State of Georgia

BA, Berry College, Rome, GA, 1979

Master of Divinity, Southeastern Seminary, Wake Forest, NC, 1982

Doctor of Ministry, Southeastern Seminary, Wake Forest, NC, 1986

Clinical Pastoral Education, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, School of Clinical Pastoral Education, 1986

Served on the FBI Task Force for Spirituality in Law Enforcement, 2008-2009

Guest Lectured at the FBI Academy, Quantico, VA, on Community Healing Following a Mass Casualty Incident, 2009

Member-Board of Directors

Carol Adams –Petersburg, VA - Director (since 2024)

Captain Petersburg (VA) Bureau of Police
36 Years Public Safety
Served 20 years as Chair Richmond Police CISM Peer Team

Bachelors of Science Degree - University of Richmond

Leadership Metro Richmond 2022
VCU - Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute 2023
University of Richmond Distinguished Women 2022

President Engine Co #9 & Associates 2023
NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement) - CVC Training Chair
Carol Adams Foundation, Inc. - CEO
ICISF Training Courses - 2000
VALEAP 2009 and other years – participant (twice) and peer on other occasions
Virginia Emergency Management Peer Support - 2004/2017

IACP Officer Safety & Wellness Conference 2022

Carol has deep connections to VALEAP, having attended numerous PCIS seminars as a participant and Peer; Carol was part of the VALEAP response and care for the Capitol Police in March 2020 at the US Capitol; she has been a key ally for VALEAP in the metro Richmond region for training, crisis response, and more.


Member-Board of Directors

Kate Matikonis – Spotsylvania County, VA – Director (since 2024)

First Sergeant Kate Matikonis has been sworn in law enforcement since 2000 but started her work career in design after graduating from University of Virginia with an architecture degree.  She worked and lived oversees managing multi-million-dollar design budgets and then ultimately her own business back in the US.  When her father in-law, who was a Virginia Tech police officer, was diagnosed with and died of cancer, she was introduced to the true character of officers and the world of law enforcement.  She proceeded to pursue that as a career in an early mid-life change and graduated from Radford University with a graduate degree in criminal justice.  The career change to become a sworn officer was the key to finding her real calling, peer support and mental health work.  She was a member of the Fairfax County peer team initially, then moved on to creating an informal peer service at ABC, and ultimately at Spotsylvania County where she currently heads their peer support team, created through grant money.  After being introduced to VALEAP in 2018, she became a peer, helping to teach around the state, participating in the PCIS weeks, going to call outs, and ultimately becoming a Board member.

  • University of Virginia undergraduate degree – BS in Architecture
  • Owner/ Operator of England Woods Designs
  • Chief Interior Designer at Universal Furniture – International Division in Hong Kong
  • Radford University graduate degree – MS in Criminal Justice/ Public Policy
  • Universidad de los Andes in Venezuela – Comparative International CRJU Independent Study
  • Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy
  • Private First Class at Fairfax County Police Department
    • Peer Support Team, Hostage Negotiations Team
  • Special Agent at Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
  • First Sergeant at Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office
    • Peer Team Lead and founder, Behavioral Health Unit supervisor and founder
  • Icisf instructor for Group and Individual Intervention, plus Grief Following Trauma, etc.
  • Peer Support CISM team founder and lead for Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office
  • Behavioral Health Unit founder and supervisor for Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office
  • Public Safety Employee of the Quarter in 2018 for Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office

Member-Board of Directors

Jack Berry – Richmond, VA – Director (since 2024)

Jack Berry recently retired after serving in local government for 20 years and then leading a non-profit agency for 15 years.  Jack’s public sector career included 13 years with the City of Richmond, where he served as Budget Director and Deputy City Manager.  Jack oversaw the creation of the Richmond Ambulance Authority and served as its first president.  Jack was the Hanover County Administrator for 7 years, where he developed a deep respect for law enforcement officials and first responders, and was known for his strong support of their work.

Jack was the Executive Director of Venture Richmond for over 15 years, leading efforts to promote economic development in downtown Richmond, manage riverfront property and produce events like the Folk Festival.  In 2016, Jack Berry was a candidate for mayor.  In retirement, Jack has been part of a development team building 282 units of affordable housing in south Richmond.

Jack has served on numerous non-profit boards and committees, including the Capital Trees Foundation, Virginia Performing Arts Foundation, Metropolitan Business League, Richmond Real estate Group (President), and the United Network for Organ Sharing Ethics Committee.

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Treasurer-Board of Directors

Jeffrey M. Gallagher

Jeff Gallagher works in the business of life sciences.  He serves now as Emeritus Executive Director of the Alliance for Building Better Medicine which accelerates the development of the advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing and R&D cluster in Richmond/Petersburg, Virginia.  He Chairs the Board of Grow Capital Jobs Foundation for economic development in GO Virginia Region 4. Jeff served until 2019 as CEO of Virginia Bio, the statewide trade group of the life sciences industry.  Virginia Bio connects and supports universities, companies, entrepreneurs, investors, clinicians, service professionals and patients to accelerate the discovery, commercialization and clinical application of bioscience products and services.  Prior to leading Virginia Bio, Jeff was a co-founder and for ten years served as VP & General Counsel for Lyotropic Therapeutics, Ashland, VA., a small specialty pharmaceutical company.  Previously, he practiced corporate law in Richmond, focusing on new technology company formation, international business, and intellectual property transactions.  He counselled multiple biotechnology-based companies, including university technology spinouts, and managed the firm’s China practice. He holds an A.B. cum laude in Government from Harvard, a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School, and an LL.M in Public International Law from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a Ford Foundation fellow. 

He serves as a Trustee of the Raymond James Charitable Endowment Fund.  He serves or has served on the Boards and in the leadership of multiple nonprofit organizations, including World Pediatric Project, Virginia Repertory Theatre, Wintergreen Music and Second Presbyterian Church Richmond and in the life sciences on the Board of Directors for Virginia Bioscience Health Research Corporation, the Advisory Board for the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University Innovation Gateway Technology Review Committee.  He volunteers with ministries helping men who are transitioning out of prison.  Jeff was born and raised in Greater Cleveland, Ohio.  He resides with his wife Catherine Howard in Richmond, Virginia and Wintergreen, Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and has two children Nan (30) and Joseph (28).  

Member-Board of Directors

Anthony (Tony) C. Lampe – Fairfax, VA – Director (since 2012)

            USMC Infantry and Camp David Presidential Guard. (4 years)

Former Roanoke City Police Officer with 4 years of service.

Current Lieutenant, Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD.) (24)

FCPD peer member, 21 years, senior 2nd Lt. and training coordinator, 7 years.   

National Police Week Committee (NPW) member for 14 years.  Peer member and current facilitator for NPW Support Services mental health seminars, 23 years. 

FCPD Crisis Intervention Training instructor, 6 years. 

Co-Instructor ICISF CISM and Suicide Prevention, 3 courses.

Large scale Peer deployments:  Gallaudet University,  VA Tech, VA Coroner’s Office,  Florence SC, USOIG, US Capital post Jan. 6 and after their fallen officer.

Charter Peer Member, VALEAP.   

Wife, Juana (28 years) and two adult children (Erica and Tony.  Erica is an Arlington Co. Firefighter and Tony is soon to be graduate of VA Tech.)