ATO: BRIDGING THE DIVIDE

ATO:BRIDGING THE DIVIDE

The first responder community is stronger when they understand and support each other. Follow veteran Dallas Police Officers and Assist the Officer Foundation members Joe King, Misty VanCuren and Danny Canete as they provide a platform to all first responders and their many incredible supporters to tell their stories of heroism, struggle, and redemption. Instagram: ato_bridging_divide ATODALLAS.org Contact us at atobridging@gmail.com #firstresponders #mentalhealth #policestories #firefighters #firstresponderpodcast #dallaspolice #police

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Episode 47 The Story of the Dallas Police Dept’s Wellness Unit, The OWL
2d ago
Episode 47 The Story of the Dallas Police Dept’s Wellness Unit, The OWL
Episode 47 Dallas Police Department Wellness Unit OWL episode   Officer Wellness Longevity is the OWL This story is a different type of episode as the ATO is happy to sit down and give the listener a look behind the curtain of Dallas PD’s brand new wellness unit. In 2021 Chief Eddie Garcia tasked Assistant Chief Reuben Ramirez with creating a new robust unit to take a proactive approach to ensuring its officers have the support and education to be better versions of themselves in mind and body. This profession is a never-ending story of tragedy, violence, understaffing, and in some cases, underappreciation for the women and men that show up daily to serve their citizens. Dallas PD, with its long history of traumatic events, carries the scars from decades of these events and the daily grind of putting on that uniform and their iconic Dallas Police badge. A robust, all hands of deck proactive approach is long overdue to help our profession normalize the conversation on mental health and overall fitness so our officers understand, and more importantly, feel they have support to know its ok to NOT be ok.   In late August 2022 the Dallas Police Dept rolled out their new unit with Lieutenant Lisette Rivera, Sgt. Omar Figueroa, David Massey, Demarquis Black, Nacole Glass, and Joe King to provide support to their peers. Dr. Heather Twedell, DR. T,  is back with the Bridging the Divide podcast to give her incredible insight and expertise in the mind of the first responder and speaks on the beat practices and paths for officers to take on their journey in resiliency.   In Dr. T’s own words: The police profession is like a bad human experiment as we expect a human being to sit and watch bad vision after bad vision and terrible experience after terrible experience for decades and expect them to be normal in their own lives and have healthy relationships. #police #wellness #policementalwellness #f1rst #dallaspolicedepartment
Episode 47 The Story of the Dallas Police Dept’s Wellness Unit, The OWL
2d ago
Episode 47 The Story of the Dallas Police Dept’s Wellness Unit, The OWL
Episode 47 Dallas Police Department Wellness Unit OWL episode   Officer Wellness Longevity is the OWL This story is a different type of episode as the ATO is happy to sit down and give the listener a look behind the curtain of Dallas PD’s brand new wellness unit. In 2021 Chief Eddie Garcia tasked Assistant Chief Reuben Ramirez with creating a new robust unit to take a proactive approach to ensuring its officers have the support and education to be better versions of themselves in mind and body. This profession is a never-ending story of tragedy, violence, understaffing, and in some cases, underappreciation for the women and men that show up daily to serve their citizens. Dallas PD, with its long history of traumatic events, carries the scars from decades of these events and the daily grind of putting on that uniform and their iconic Dallas Police badge. A robust, all hands of deck proactive approach is long overdue to help our profession normalize the conversation on mental health and overall fitness so our officers understand, and more importantly, feel they have support to know its ok to NOT be ok.   In late August 2022 the Dallas Police Dept rolled out their new unit with Lieutenant Lisette Rivera, Sgt. Omar Figueroa, David Massey, Demarquis Black, Nacole Glass, and Joe King to provide support to their peers. Dr. Heather Twedell, DR. T,  is back with the Bridging the Divide podcast to give her incredible insight and expertise in the mind of the first responder and speaks on the beat practices and paths for officers to take on their journey in resiliency.   In Dr. T’s own words: The police profession is like a bad human experiment as we expect a human being to sit and watch bad vision after bad vision and terrible experience after terrible experience for decades and expect them to be normal in their own lives and have healthy relationships. #police #wellness #policementalwellness #f1rst #dallaspolicedepartment
Episode 46 Dallas PD Rodney Harrison #11961
Sep 16 2022
Episode 46 Dallas PD Rodney Harrison #11961
EPISODE 46 ”everybody deserves a second chance “ Today the ATO is proud to present our “rookie” episode as we sit down with young Dallas Police Officer Rodney Harrison. We wanted a rookies perspective in starting this profession in today’s climate of culture change as well as public perception in law enforcement. However we got more than we bargained for in booking young Rodney as he has an interesting life story that started well before career putting on a gun and badge and taking an oath. He attended Berklee College of Music, that gave us talents such as Quincy Jones and John Mayer, and put this degree to use in starting a music therapy program for an inpatient facility that specialized in dialectical and cognitive behavioral therapy. This program afforded him the ability to a music studio where he would either find musicians who lost their love of music due to addiction or provide a learning environment to those who wanted to get into music.   Most first responders have a “why” they choose to serve and protect and Rodney explains that moment when life directed him to serve and truly take evil off of the streets as he tells the story of his grandmother was visited by pure evil when he was 16 years old. This senseless crime fueled him to follow his heart to becoming a protector and why he chose the City of Dallas to pursue this passion.   Rodney joined the DPD in January of 2020 and a few months later the world shut down and the Dallas police department found itself, like the rest of the world, in uncharted territory as the police department could not shut down as the fear and uncertainty of Covid had to be navigated. Rodney has a quote from his bio that I love: “My biggest thing was to find my why and to chase what I was passionate about….find something that fuels you so you can always use to embers when you need a push” I think these are pretty wise words to live by….especially from a “Rookie”. – J. King
Episode 45 Dallas SWAT Dr. Jeffery C. Metzger
Aug 31 2022
Episode 45 Dallas SWAT Dr. Jeffery C. Metzger
Episode 45 Dallas PD SWAT Dr. Jeffery C. Metzger The Assist the Officer Foundation is sitting down with a “white coat” in this episode as our guest is Dr. Jeffery Metzger. Dr. Metzger went to UC Riverside for his undergraduate, majoring in Biomedical Sciences, finishing a 7 year Bachelor/MD program at UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Metzger then went to Duke University for Emergency Medicine training before coming to Dallas/UTSW for a fellowship in Government Emergency Medical Security Services before starting to work in the new DPD SWAT Dr. program. He is here with us to talk about his incredible journey from a small town in the Mojave desert in California to working on the Dallas PD underwater rescue team to being involved with the city of Dallas response to Ebola and Covid-19 in 2020. Dr. Metzger was behind the scenes in closed door meetings with city leaders to formulate a  plan to keep the city of Dallas Emergency services functioning during a new deadly virus that the world knew little about. Dr. Metzger has saved lives in the civilian world as well as the first responder world as he was on scene performing field triage, during an active scene, as a Dallas SWAT Commander fell during a warrant. ATO fans enjoy listening to the story of a humble hero that has dedicated his life to saving lives and service……meet Dr. Jeffery Metzger MD. EOW: 3/23/2007 Dallas Sr Cpl Mark Nix  Critical Incident discussed: Dallas SWAT LT Carlton Marshall was shot by a suspect during a warrant entry on October 17th 2007   #Dallasswat #dallaspolice #firstresponders
Episode 44 Dallas Assistant District Attorney Michelle Shughart
Aug 24 2022
Episode 44 Dallas Assistant District Attorney Michelle Shughart
Episode 44 Dallas Assistant District Attorney Michelle Shughart The ATO is excited to bring the listeners the story of one of Dallas’ most respected and accomplished prosecutors, A.D.A Michelle Shughart. Michelle, an SMU Dedman School of Law grad, hired on with the Dallas District Attorney’s office in June of 2005 and remains there to this day.   From 2015-2017 she investigated and prosecuted the notorious Dr. Death, Christopher Duntsch case in Dallas.   Dr. Death covers the case of the Dallas neurosurgeon who maimed, paralyzed and killed patients during his operations. In his 18 months in Dallas, he operated at four hospitals, injuring over 30 patients. This is the story from the prosecutor that presented this case to the citizens of Dallas and after thirteen days of trial it took these Dallas citizens only four hours to convict Duntsch and on February 20th2017 he was sentenced to life in prison. The conviction of Duntsch has been called a precedent setting case as it is believed to be the first time that a physician has been convicted on criminal charges for actions in the course of their medical work. ADA Shughart has also prosecuted criminals for homicide and child abuse cases as she is one of the offices “go to” veteran attorneys. The citizens of the city of  Dallas demand justice and Michelle pours her heart and soul into the cases she presents so the victims and families of these crimes get some semblance of peace and justice. The city of Dallas is lucky to have someone like Michelle Shughart fighting for them.
Episode 42 Aaron Conner of Legends Fit Gym
Aug 2 2022
Episode 42 Aaron Conner of Legends Fit Gym
FOCUS - INSPIRE - TRANSFORM The ATO is honored to sit down with one of the owners, the great Aaron Conner, of Legends Fit Gym in Rockwall, Texas. Aaron is a co-owner, along with Chip Kelley and T.J. Clark, of this true first responder gym and they are dedicated to providing a welcoming haven to all walks of life and especially the military and first responder community.  From the moment you walk in the door you see Police, Fire, every branch of the military, and yes our very own Dallas SWAT flag hanging from the ceiling. Aaron is an Air Force veteran and a  2nd degree Brazilian Jiujitsu  Brownbelt under Master Carlos Machado. Master Machado has a law enforcement tailored Jiujitsu course that Aaron instructs at Legends Fit. Only first responders are allowed into the MMA room when this training is being instructed to our warriors.  He is also a father of 3, bodybuilding competitor, bull rider, and trail running coach at RunOn. This gym caters to every level of fitness, body type and are completely dedicated to their members as they provide access to the best trainers in the DFW area. Legends Fit is located on the E/B 1-30 frontage road just East of John King Blvd. in beautiful Rockwall Texas and is opened 24 hours, 7 days a week. Fit | Facebook Legends IG: @legendsfitrockwall, @legendsfitrockwallmartialarts Chip Kelley IG: @andabagofchip TJ Clark IG: @tjclark81 Aaron Conner Facebook:  AARON CONNER, Jiu Jitsu Instructor in Rockwall - Legends Fit
Episode 39 The History and Evolution of Dallas SWAT: Part 1
Jun 30 2022
Episode 39 The History and Evolution of Dallas SWAT: Part 1
EPISODE 39 “Once the threshold is breached…we push on” THE HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF DALLAS SWAT: PART 1 The Assist the Officer Foundation is proud to sit down and tell a story of one of the most recognized units in the history of law enforcement. The acronym SWAT is known worldwide as it has been romanticized in tv as well as movies since the 1960’s. However real life is not pretty and the world of SWAT is not beautiful and the actors involved do not get to hear the word “CUT”and get a redo. The job is both mentally and physically taxing, the hours are long, the tasks are deadly, and the stakes are high as SWAT is rarely called when a situation is NOT dire. They are warriors that have a unique history and we have four incredible former and current SWAT operators to talk about Dallas SWAT’s origins, how the foundation was laid and some of the heartbreak that led to changes in strategy and tactics change. We speak on an incident at 3010 Arizona on March in 1993 that went terribly bad and only because certain SWAT members heroic actions lives were saved that day. Sit down with The Commander Scott Mcdonnold, who hired on with DPD in 1968, that helped lay a foundation that lasts till this day in Dallas SWAT. Steve Claggett, who helped form an intense training mindset in Dallas that helped his teammates truly harder to kill. His passion for training and dedication to building the foundation of SWAT is legendary. Sr Cpl. Matt Smith has been with Dallas SWAT for 17 years and is a Dept. expert when it comes to dissecting hazardous warrant service and training. Matt has the respect of his teammates as well as SWAT units from across the country as a proven leader and dedicated professional.  You will not find a more dedicated professional who truly cares about his teammates and the citizens of Dallas. Sr Cpl. Danny Canete has been a valued member of Dallas SWAT for 8 years, Master Breacher Certified, Sniper and Less Lethal and Rope Master and instructor for High Angle Team as well rappel instructor for TTPOA. Term used in this episode: APC- Armored Personnel Carrier Instagram: dallas.swat ATODALLAS.ORG
Episode 35 Dallas PD Sex Assault Detective Alan Holmes #8596
May 21 2022
Episode 35 Dallas PD Sex Assault Detective Alan Holmes #8596
EPISODE 35 DALLAS PD SEXUAL ASSAULT DETECTIVE ALAN HOLMES ”Show me the survivor, I’ll show you the suspect “ IN 1887 SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE  INTRODUCED THE WORLDS GREATEST DETECTIVE IN SHERLOCK HOLMES. HOLMES WAS KNOWN FOR HIS USE OF FORENSIC SCIENCE, DEDUCTIVE REASONING THAT BORDERS ON THE FANTASTIC. THE CITY OF DALLAS HAS THEIR VERY OWN DETECTIVE HOLMES….ALAN HOLMES. GROWING UP IN BROOKLYN NEW YORK, COMING FROM A FIRST RESPONDER FAMILY, ALAN MOVED TO DALLAS TEXAS TO EMBARK ON HIS OWN FIRST RESPONDER CAREER. AFTER COMPLETING THE ACADEMY ALAN WAS ASSIGNED TO THE NORTHEAST DIVISION OF DALLAS AND HIT THE GROUND RUNNING AS HE ENGAGED IN A STYLE OF AGGRESSIVE PROACTIVE STYLE OF POLICING. HOWEVER IN 2015 ALAN FOUND HIS TRUE CALLING AS HE JOINED THE DALLAS PD SEXUAL ASSAULT UNIT. THIS UNIT INVESTIGATES SOME OF THE MOST HORRIFIC CRIMES AS THEY HUNT DOWN TRUE PREDATORS IN THE CITY OF DALLAS. ALAN HAS INVESTIGATED OVER 50 SERIAL RAPISTS IN HIS TIME WITH THE SEX ASSAULT UNIT IN DALLAS. DETECTIVE HOLMES HAS SPECIALIZED TRAINING AND EXPERTISE IN NEURO-BIOLOGY OF TRAUMA, AND SEXUAL ASSAULT RESPONSE AND INVESTIGATIONS. IN 2017 DETECTIVE HOLMES PUT HIS ART DEGREE AND FORMAL FORENSIC ART TRAINING TO WORK AS THE FORENSIC SKETCH ARTIST FOR DALLAS PD AND LOCAL AGENCIES. ALAN IS MARRIED, THE FATHER OF FOUR BOYS, ONE OF WHOM IS A PATROL OFFICER WITH DALLAS. DETECTIVE HOLMES IS TRULY ONE OF DALLAS PD’S FINEST AND WILL PROMOTE TO A SERGEANT ON MAY 24TH. CONGRATULATIONS ALAN HOLMES! WHEN IT COMES TO SOLVING CRIMES….IT IS ELEMENTARY WATSON
Episode 34  Oklahoma City PD Brian Picklo
May 11 2022
Episode 34 Oklahoma City PD Brian Picklo
EPISODE 34 OKLAHOMA CITY POLICE DEPT BRIAN “PICK” PICKLO “ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SURVIVE” The Assist the Officer Foundation welcomes on one of Oklahoma City PD’s finest in Brian “Pick” Picklo. Brian’s story in becoming a lawman took a much different path as he also is a 2 time All American wrestler for the Michigan State Spartans and was the Big Ten Champion in the 190 pound weight class in 1996.  In a testament to his rugged refusal to fail attitude Brian accomplished this a walk on at Michigan State……taking a true Spartan path.   In 2008 he made the United States Olympic trial finals in the USA Judo team and he considered this a “hobby”. Since joining the Oklahoma City Police Department he has been a SWAT sniper, Narcotics Detective, Firearm training instructor, and now currently is a Motor Jock.  Brian is a devoted husband and father to three incredible kids who are all Division 1 athletes as both of his sons wrestle for Oklahoma University and his daughter plays soccer for the Oklahoma City Cowboys in Stillwater. Our guest is resilient and determined and his Michigan State quest, alone, will motivate and inspire you. He models and inspires optimism as he has been infectious with instilling toughness and desire in the 1000’s of young wrestlers he has coached and mentored. The definition of a Spartan:   1:A native or inhabitant of ancient Sparta.  2:A person of great courage and self discipline. Phrases: Motor Jock- Trained Officer who is in the Motorcycle UnitMotor school- Police motorcycle trainingCDT - custody & control defensive tactics - Training the use of physical restraint tactics such as arm, leg control and officer body control to mitigate injury if they go to the ground.