Meet the Founders of Peer Support Central Our Support

We created Peer Support Central to provide consulting and training resources for first responders, military professionals, and corporate leaders in critical incident trauma response, peer support, and leadership preparation and growth.

We dedicate this site to our friends and colleagues we lost along the way and those who survived life’s traumas to grow and subsequently care for the caretakers.

Jim Hyde: Co-Founder, Trainer, and Author

Jim has 31 years of law enforcement experience with four California police departments. He was the co-coordinator of the Sacramento Police Department’s Peer Support Program for 14 years.

He is the past president of the First Responders Support Network and the West Coast Post-Trauma Retreat (WCPR) co-founder in California. The WCPR is a trauma treatment program for emergency service professionals from Guam to London.

Background as a First Responder

Jim is a graduate of the California National Guard’s Officer Candidate School and later became an OCS instructor and a Combat Life Saver instructor.

He has taught and developed peer support programs for first responder agencies throughout the country for the past 28 years.

He is a member of the Sacramento Regional Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team and the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.

Experience in Recovery and Wellness Consulting

For 15 years, Jim has provided trauma recovery consulting to the California National Guard by helping develop a peer support program for National Guard soldiers deploying to and returning from the Middle East.

He has worked with the Department of Defense to expand the California National Guard’s Combat Stress Peer To Peer Program nationwide. Jim has been a presenter at the Department of Defense/VA National Suicide Prevention Conference twice.

Educational Background

Jim has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of South Dakota and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from the Professional School of Psychology, Sacramento.

He graduated from the University of Southern California’s Delinquency Control Institute and the Senior Management Institute for Police, sponsored by The Kennedy School of Government - Harvard University and the Police Executive Research Forum.

Experience as an Executive Coach

Jim is a certified Executive Coach and Retirement Coach. He has taught contemporary policing issues for the State of California’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Program and the Management Development course.

Service Awards and Achievements

He is a recipient of the California National Guard’s Medal of Merit and the Association of the United States Army’s Patrick Henry Distinguished Service Award. Jim was also a presenter at the UN Peace Conference in The Hague, Netherlands.

Susan Feenstra: Co-Founder and Trainer

Sgt. Feenstra has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State University, Sacramento. She has helped guide many law enforcement and military organizations in building and expanding peer support programs across the country.

Sgt. Feenstra was one of the founders of the Sacramento Police Department’s Peer Support Program and Problem Oriented Policing Program. She was the Program Coordinator for 28 years.

Due to her service and guidance, she is called the “Mother Teresa of the Sacramento Police Department.”

Service Awards and Medals

Sgt. Feenstra received the California Molina Community Health Outreach Award for co-founding the C.A.S.H. Program. It is an outreach program dedicated to helping women out of a life of street prostitution and drug addiction.

She has received numerous awards for her innovative work as a Problem Oriented Policing officer, including a community policing award from the California Attorney General. She is also a past recipient of the Sacramento Community Hero’s Award.

Sgt. Feenstra has received 3 Distinguished Service Medals for her program-building talents over her 33-year career.

She is a past recipient of the California Woman Peace Officer of the Year, the California Jaycee’s Award, and the YWCA’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Current Endeavors

Sgt. Feenstra currently teaches peer support courses across the country. She is also a member of the Sacramento Regional Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team and the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.