October was a busy month, but I truly saw some of my hardest work pay off. A big first for me was training with Chris Dumont, a Trooper with the Massachusetts State Police. Chris and I go back to 2013, on the fateful night where I was wounded in the line of duty. When we “met,” I was in dire condition. Luckily for me, Chris is a trained paramedic and he jumped into action, making critical decisions that saved my life.
On October 15, Chris and I presented at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in San Diego. This was the first time we put together a presentation where we talked candidly about the situation that brought us together and our lessons learned. Chris walked the audience through the Watertown shootout and the steps taken to save my life. I then took over and talked about the challenges of recovery, resilience, family and what police executives can do to help their officers. These lessons learned are incredibly important for officer survival and ultimately success.
For me, sharing our story was incredibly special. The last few weeks have been challenging for many police officers, but we want to show our profession and the world hope, resilience, and perseverance.
The “payoff” from the conference was the interest in our story and what we can contribute to the police community. Chiefs, officers, police families, and community members all approached us over the weekend of the conference to learn more about our situation. We all play a part in creating an environment and getting officers the tools to succeed both in the street and in the community.