First Responder Initiative

First Responders Empowerment Group

Manny Gonzalez
First Responder Liaison for Hands Across the Bay

Manny Gonzalez is a former Hillsborough County Law Enforcement Deputy who served his community for twenty five years. Throughout his career, he held positions as a detective and a supervisor. He brings with him many years of dedicated police work devoted to maintaining public safety through proactive community engagement. 
During his law enforcement career, Manny was awarded the Medal of Distinguished Service. He was also the recipient of the Hillsborough County East Side Deputy of the Year Award (2014), and was recognized by Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, as a Distinguished First Responder. 
A strong believer in the power of positive thinking, Manny regularly gives his time to assist retired and active first responders. He offers effective mental health techniques to help deal with the stressors of everyday police work and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Through his role as the First Responder Liaison, Manny Strives to share his vision of mental and emotional strength for our heroes.      
Currently, Manny serves as the Director of Security at Gold and Diamond Source. 

A born people-person and highly credentialed leader, Dr. Allison Agliata (Dr. A) has always been passionate about helping people reach their highest level of personal mastery. She uses her wide range of expertise as a licensed psychologist, military/educational leader, and a board-certified executive coach helping others to do what she does best: connect, communicate, and collaborate.  She believes these skills are the foundation to creating healthy, productive personal and professional relationships.
Although most of Dr. A’s work is focused on first responders and their families (including teachers), particularly in the area of trauma recovery, she works with a variety of individuals, teams, families, and organizations to improve their emotional intelligence, resiliency, interpersonal skills, and sense of personal freedom and responsibility.  Her goal is the same with every client: to meet them where they are, help them gain a greater understanding of their own strengths and challenges, and use that insight to push them towards their highest level of potential.  Everyone has to navigate obstacles through their personal journey, Dr. A intends on supporting others to make their journey smoother, more enjoyable, and incredibly meaningful.

Hands Across the Bay is excited to introduce a new initiative prioritizing bay area first responders. Periodically, our organization will be holding empowerment group sessions aimed at targeting the day-to-day stressors that our local heroes face. We understand oftentimes, our first responders are forced to deal with disturbing and painful occurrences while on-duty. Studies have proven that the pressures of law enforcement put officers at risk for high blood pressure, insomnia, heart disease and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As a result, we are offering our center as a gathering place for both active or retired first responders to feel safe and comfortable discussing their experiences in a confidential private setting. These empowerment sessions are led by former Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Corporal Manny Gonzalez, who also faced challenges of his own during his career.  

At these assemblies, each attendee is provided a catered meal along with a random act of kindness. Please help us spread this message to your troops, and feel free to reach out to our organization with any questions or concerns.

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