Peer Support

The Mission of the Peer Support Team

The mission of the Pueblo County Peer Support Team (PST) is to offer confidential assistance and support to our staff in times of personal need or due to traumatic stress from the nature of their work. Traditionally, first responders have turned to each other for support during difficult times. Peer support is based upon the philosophy that, often, the best person to help is another person who does the same job. Members of the PCSO-PST are specifically trained in peer support techniques and are available to all agency members and their immediate family members. 

Our PST members volunteered for this duty and offer their time, their ears, and their hearts to others in the agency who need to speak to a peer about their thought when professional or personal circumstances threaten to overwhelm them. All members of the Peer Support Team are all current PCSO employees, and represent all three of our bureaus - Detention, Patrol, and Emergency Services!  Some of the additional requirements to be a PST member are time, confidentiality, and compassion. 

For more information about how to contact one of the members listed below, please search for the "PCSO Peer Support Pamphlet" in PowerDMS. 

Dawn Ballas ImageMichael Fields ImageCassandra Gonzales Image

Dawn Ballas

Michael Fields

Cassandra "Gonzo" Gonzales

I’m extremely proud to be 20 year veteran of the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office! I’m also a very active mom and wife to a fellow LEO. I have worked in both detention and patrol and have enjoyed my time in both.  

Most will say I’m outgoing and approachable, a lover of people (especially those who give and sacrifice so freely for others).  I take great pride in being a part of Peer Support and assisting my fellow LEOs/first responders in their time of need, and I’m always willing to listen and or provide guidance when asked.

"I’ve been a Detention Deputy for the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office since June of 2014.  Currently working in the Intake/Reception area of the Jail.  Before that, I worked in television production for 21 years with KOAA Television.

I joined the Peer Support team to help make a difference in the lives of my brothers and sisters in the times when they need it most.  After the loss of my 13-year-old nephew to suicide, I realized just how important it was to have the support of others to both processes and move through loss.

None of us can carry every burden on our own, and that’s where we should be able to lean on each other.  That’s my goal as part of the Peer Support team, to be there to help when needed."

Hey Guys, I’m Gonzo! I’ve been in law enforcement since 2006. I’ve spent seven years as a detention deputy, four years as a federal police officer, and currently, I am assigned to patrol. 
I come from a family of first responders; with that said, I know the stressors this job, relationships, and family life can bring. 
It’s important to share your experiences with someone. Through sharing common experiences, struggles, and feelings, people gain strength, support, clarity, and hope.

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Josh Johnson Image
Tyler Johnson Image

Ashley Graff

Joshua Johnson

Tyler Johnson

"Hello! My name is Ashley Graff. I have been with the Department for 6 1/2 years. Before I came to the agency, I worked at DOC at CCF and CSP. 

In my off time, I enjoy playing video games, watching new movies, reading books, and spending time with my family. 

I am an animal lover. My Pug is the older sister of my baby. I have 3 cats who I force love upon (because that's what you do with cats)"

My name is Josh & I have been in fire/EMS for over 20 years; the last four have been here at the Sheriff's Office doing CSEPP, Emergency Management, and training. 

I'm not married, but I have two dogs and love spending time & doing things with them and close friends. During my career, I've seen many first responders struggle with what we do, and ultimately burn out, which has made me determined to be there for anyone who needs someone to talk to.    

I have been working in law enforcement for 4 years. I enjoy swimming, camping, and fishing!

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Rachel Lenn Image
Rachel Marquez Image

Cassandra Jones

Rachel Lenn

Rachel Marquez

I work in Administrative Services, and I am a mother of two beautiful teenage daughters. I have always relied on my faith, my family, and connections with peers to get me through the stressors that life can present to us. 

It is important to me that everyone knows they are never alone. I became a peer supporter of a genuine desire to help people, no matter the need. 

I like to share what I've learned about resiliency and healthy ways to cope and be there for others by just listening. We can all make connections and relate to each other through shared experiences, and learn that things do get better and easier with time, patience and support. 
I have been a Communications Officer for 19 years with the Sheriff's Office. I previously worked as an EMT on the streets and in the ER. I have been married to my Firefighter/Paramedic husband for 21 years, and we have 3 boys ages 21,18, and 16. 

I enjoy spending time with my family, hot rods, and nerding-out to musicals.  

I got involved in Peer Support because I have seen firsthand how this profession can impact our lives, and I feel it is important to have someone as a resource that really understands the extraordinary circumstances that can affect all of us in EMS and Law Enforcement.  


I have been with the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office for 7 years. 

Our job can be stressful, and I want to provide a safe place for people to be able to vent. 

I know that it can be difficult to find a person to talk to and also for someone to simply listen. 

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Kerrick Meineke Image

Michelle Martinez

Kerrick Meinecke

I am a Communications Supervisor for the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office. I've been with the agency for 11 years. My husband and I have been married for almost 7 years. 

I bring the unique perspective of being in dispatch while my husband is a Deputy Sheriff, so not only do I understand the work, but also what a spouse goes through. 

I decided to join the Peer Support Team to encourage others to reach out in their time of need.  This line of work can strain not only our relationships with loved ones but also take a toll on our emotional/mental health.  Peer support is an invaluable resource, and I want to help others understand that they don't have to fight their battles alone.

US Army veteran, family-oriented, hard-working

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Tory Pedraza ImageAshley Razey Image

Scott Moore

Tory Pedraza

Ashley Razey

I am Deputy Moore, and I currently work in Classifications at the jail. 

I have been with the Sheriff's Office since 2015.
Hey there! 

I have been with the Sheriff's Office for over 3 years working to help inmates transition into the community to reduce the recidivism rates. 

As of May of 2022, I graduated with my master's degree in Clinical Mental Health, and I am working on hours to obtain my LPC. In addition, I have been a deputy's wife for over 5 years, which means that I know the struggles the job places on a deputy's family. 

I'm available to help any deputy and/or family member that needs support. 

Hi, I am Ashley. 

I have been with the Sheriff's Office for almost 5 years, and I have an associate's degree in Psychology and General studies. I have been married for 20 years and have 3 wonderfully sarcastic children. 

Daily life can be hard and confusing, and everyone struggles with mental health from time to time. Learning to cope and accept help can also be challenging, but I am here if you want to talk.

Christine Spencer imageMalinda Gifford-Solano Image

Christine Spencer

Malinda Gifford-Solano

I am a Patrol Deputy with the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office. 

I have worked for the Sheriff's Office for over 10 years, working as a Dispatcher, a Detention Deputy, and now a Patrol Deputy. Besides the PST, I am also a member of the SWAT Team and the Threat Assessment Team. 

I am passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle by going to the gym, doing yoga, eating healthy, and spending quality time with loved ones. 

I am a widowed single mother to a 12-year-old daughter and know all too well the struggles of making time for a family outside of work. I was eager to join the Peer Support Team and play an integral part in assisting my coworkers through some of the tough days we all experience, both on and off shift. 

Focusing on our mental health is essential to leading a balanced life between work and home. First Responders carry the weight of others' trauma and tend to bear this weight alone. I want my coworkers and fellow First Responders to know they aren't alone, it's okay to ask for help, and they are seen. 

Hello, most everyone knows me as "Giff."  

I was born and raised right here in Pueblo, CO.  

I've been with the Sheriff's Office for 16 years, working in Detention and currently in Patrol. 

In my downtime, I enjoy being with my family and spending time in my yard learning how to cook in my newly built pizza oven.  

JC Williams Image
Dr. Judith Long PsyD Image

JC Williams

Dr. Judith Long, PsyD

Hello, my name is JC Williams. 

I have been with the Sheriff’s Office for 23 years. 

I’m a husband and father of 3. Most important, I’m a Christian. In the Scriptures, Jesus tells us, “Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
Dr. Long holds a doctorate in psychology and is a licensed mental health provider specializing in emergency responder behavioral health. 

She has spent the last eleven years working with more than eight emergency responder agencies in the Southern Colorado region, including 4 fire departments.  She creates and maintains peer support programs for these agencies, delivers education and training on behavioral health issues and resiliency, and develops systems of care for psychological well-being.

Dr. Long serves as the overseeing Medical Director for the PCSO Peer Support Team and is available to all members of the team to help answer questions, provide resources, and also to provide confidential, one-on-one assistance following a critical incident.