Loading Downloads
42Episodes
Non-Profit

The first responder community is stronger when they understand and support each other.
Follow veteran Dallas Police Officers and Assist the Officer Foundation Board members Joe King, Josh Hertel, Misty Vancuren and Danny Canete as they provide a stage to all first responders and their many incredible supporters to tell their stories of heroism, struggle, perseverance and redemption.

Episodes

 

Episode 40

”Command, Control, Communication “

The History and Evolution of Dallas SWAT: Part 2

This episode is the conclusion to the history of Dallas SWAT. We touch on the failed February 1993 Dallas Cowboys’ Championship parade. This incident magnifies mob mentality as a celebratory day turned to rioting when agitators swayed Cowboys fans.

We also tell the story of a car jacker from January 24, 2006 that held a female driver, at gunpoint, and led Dallas PD on a multi-city chase.

Finally, mob mentality once again appeared in Dallas, Texas in 2020 when the city was under threat of destruction as three days of protests and riots stretched Dallas PD to the limits. 

Sit back and hear the founding fathers of SWAT and the active operators that are training the next generation of this exemplary unit finish telling their incredible evolution and history.

IG: ATO_Bridging_Divide

Play Now

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.

 

Instagram: dallas.swat

ATODALLAS.ORG

Play Now

Hello friends

This our second message and we have a new guest cohost….
We want to give the listener a heads up on more upcoming episodes and say Thank You. 
Special thank you to Surah for her incredible feedback and supporting us.
If you have an idea…..gripe…..guest or topic suggestion let’s us hear from you at Atobridging@gmail.Com
Also if you want to look up information on the ATO and donate to our cause in helping your first responders go to ATODallas.org 
Again thank you for the incredible feedback and love. 
So Until next time…keep listening…be safe and lets take care of each other.

Play Now

Episode 38

The Assist the Officer Foundation sits down with one of the most genuine human beings that Dallas PD has to offer.

Kevin was born in Orange County Texas and grew up in Houston and became a die hard Astros fan. Living a fans dream in becoming a Houston Astros batboy then climbing that sports fan  ladder and becoming an Assistant Equipment Manager for the Houston Rockets.  Kevin finally pursued his dream to go into law enforcement and becoming a true public servant. 
Joining the Department in 1991 Kevin quickly obtained a reputation for being a “project guy” and spearheaded the Dallas Police Department newest project known as Interactive Community Policing.  This model of policing is now used in every part of the country. 
Kevin tells his story of true friendship, partnership, and tragedy as he tells the listener about how his own personal guardian angel saved his life. 
In memory of  Kevin “KJ” James 

Play Now
June 16, 2022

A Message from the Host

Hello friends

This is just a little message from our hosts to talk about the Assist the Officer Foundation and some podcast projects we have in the hopper. 
This is also an opportunity for us to talk directly to the loyal listeners and tell you thank you and we want to hear from you. 
If you have an idea…..gripe…..guest or topic suggestion let’s us hear from you at Atobridging@gmail.Com
Also if you want to look up information on the ATO and donate to our cause in helping your first responders go to ATODallas.org 
Again thank you for the incredible feedback and love. 
So Until next time…keep listening…be safe and lets take care of each other.

Play Now

EPISODE 37

The Assist the Officer Foundation is honored to sit down with the Texas Radio Hall of Famer Mike Rhyner as he shares his many stories on the history of Dallas, Texas that span seven decades of change, tragedy, and reform.

Born in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas in 1950 Mike observed so many changes from the Civil Rights Movement, the Kennedy assassination, the birth of the Dallas Cowboys, to the creation of the national radio juggernaut known as The Ticket.

He is known as the Godfather of the Little Ticket, the four time Marconi Award winner for National Sports Radio of the Year.

The Old Grey Wolf is now enjoying retirement in Dallas as he still plays in his band PETTY THEFT and has his own podcast called YOUR DARK COMPANION that can be heard on all streaming platforms and watched on VOKAL.COM.

So ATO fans its time to heed to, trice up, mill about smartly throughout the premises and enjoy Dallas history story time from the Great Mike Rhyner.

Play Now

Episode 36

Dallas Police Department Deputy Chief Teena Schultz

”We have tomorrow….”

Straight from Council Bluffs Iowa Teena always has had a passion for helping others and being a protector for those who could not protect themselves.

Teena had a childhood hero….a person that grew up in a small town, was raised by parents of high character, had impervious skin, was faster than a speeding bullet, could leap tall buildings in a single bound, and was a guardian of all.

The world knew this hero as Superman.

Chief Schultz joined the police department to be a guardian however, learned very quickly, that her skin was not impervious, her bones were not indestructible, and All could not be saved from evil.

Teena’s body has been broken, she has lost a mentor to a tragedy however she has persisted in her professional and personal life to become the person she is today.

Listen to the inspiring tale of survival and professional growth as Teena Schultz went from a small town in Iowa, to playing college basketball, to the Dallas Gang Unit to becoming a Deputy Chief in Dallas Texas. 

Play Now

EPISODE 35

DALLAS PD SEXUAL ASSAULT DETECTIVE ALAN HOLMES

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

Play Now

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.

Play Now

EPISODE 33

DR. CHASE TWEDELL AND NATE BORUNDA OF F1RST& SPORTS ACADEMY

“Your body IS your job”

PERFORM-ENDURE-RECOVER

Today the bridging the divide crew sits down with Dr. Chase Twedell and Nate Borunda of F1rst and Sports Academy.

F1rst and Sports Academy have teamed up as partners to commit to care for the first responder community. they take a unique and holistic approach to treat first responders as they would treat professional athletes.

Meet Dr. Twedell and Nate Borunda…..

Dr. Chase Twedell, licensed physical therapist since 2013, was a two sport NCAA athlete, playing both football and baseball. His family ties to law enforcement and military, as well as being married to a first responder psychologist (Dr. T), gives him an understanding of the physical and mental demands of first responders.

Dr. Twedell is a firm believer that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind and creating optimal

physical health is the foundation for optimal well-being. He is dedicated to utilizing his

experiences and knowledge to objectively assess First Responder physical health, provide

solutions to address physical impairments and develop resiliency to the rigorous demands of

the First Responder.

Nate Borunda-F1RST Co-Founding Partner of Sports Academy.

Nate Borunda has worked inside the world of human performance since 2012. He has an

extensive background as both a collegiate basketball athlete and as a leader in human

performance. At the Sports Academy on the West Coast, he worked collaboratively with local

Fire Departments to create all aspects of diagnostic testing, performance training and recovery

for Fire Academy Programs. He currently manages all human performance activities, events and

programs at the Sports Academy located at the STAR in Frisco Texas.

F1RST
Training - 469-525-6482
Therapy (TX residents) - 469-352-7491
Email - dr.t@htwedell.org
www.F1RST-tx.org

Instagram: f1rst_per  

Play Now

“Just don’t give up….”

On April 24, 2018, two rookie officers responded to police call for service at a nearby Home Depot to begin their shift. This call had no detailed information and most likely was a shoplifter detained by a loss prevention officer.   These two officers were classmates in the academy, the best of friends, and partners, no matter how brief. They were embarking on their career as Dallas Police Officers. One survived this incident, one did not. Officer Rogelio Santander was shot and killed in that small loss prevention office by a detained suspect. The loss prevention officer, Scott Painter, was left critically wounded.  Officer Crystal Almeida, Rogelio’s partner, survived after suffering a crippling gunshot wound to her head.

The bravest of souls chose to share her story of partnership, survival, and recovery with our listeners. She begins with her humble upbringing in El Paso, the start of her career in the Texas Prison system and getting hired by Dallas Police Department in 2014. Crystal describes her journey from the academy to Northeast patrol where she reunited with Rogelio.

Officer Almeida has been awarded the Medal of Valor, Police Shield, and the Blake Anderson Public Service Award. She is a Star of Texas and Theodore Roosevelt Award recipient and was selected as the Adaptive Training Foundation Athlete of 2019. Under this chest full of medals is an enormous courageous heart of service.

This episode frames the special connection endeavored in police partnership. Crystal’s determination will ignite your conqueror spirit. Her kinship with Rogelio will clench your grasp on divine connection. She came to the microphone to dauntlessly bolster the memory of her friend, Rogelio. Her wife, Samantha Baquera, joined Crystal in our studio to fearlessly share the reality of perseverance and healing.

The ATO Bridging the Divide podcast released Episode#32 on April 24th as a remembrance of Officer Rogelio Santander, #10934, and how the memory of his smile continuesto embrace Crystal.

This episode is hosted by Misty VanCuren and special guest host Detective Angela Arredondo. Angela is a 24- year veteran with the Dallas Police Department. She played the vital role as the lead detective in the Special Investigations Unit by interrogating the suspect on this incident subsequently leading to a conviction. 

Play Now
"Your reputation isn't what you think of yourself, it's what others think of you."
 
At the request of many people, the guest microphone is turned around on the founder of the "Bridging the Divide" podcast:  Joe King.  The 2010 Patrol Officer of the Year and the 2017 Police Officer of the Year for the Dallas Police Department, Joe King is asked to share details of his life and career starting from early childhood and traveling through points of his 19-year stint at the Southeast Division "chasing dope," his transition to South Central, and the poignant moment that had him eventually retiring his door-kicking patrol boots for office-shuffling cowboy boots.  
 
Joe is considered one of the most prominent officers on the Dallas Police Department for this era, with a long history of working the streets in patrol divisions, being shrewd in case-law study, an innovative project creator, and a mentor to many throughout his time on the department.  He currently serves in the Legal Unit but in addition to his regular work duties chairs as the Dickey's Foundation board member, serves as an advisor for the Assist the Officer Foundation, underwrites and packages grants for the department, networks with community leaders, and tackles any projects brought to him by the command staff.  All this is done with the same professionalism and method of approach that Joe used in his previous 20+ years in patrol, and all-the-while still remaining at the Police Officer rank. This episode is not a memoir of war stories, but rather a genuine response from the heart on questions asked about his approach to policing, his philosophies on professionalism, work ethic, relationships, perspective of the job, and what makes him Joe King.  
 
The last 20 years on the Dallas Police Department have been full of change and evolution in policing with the times, and it is undoubted that Joe has not only actively served the department in this age of policing but has also been a key figure in being at the epicenter of evolution, expansion, and progression on the department.  We hope you enjoy listening to this episode of this incredible police officer, dope-chaser, advocate, volunteer, father, and great human being.  His reputation proceeds him through the door.  
This episode hosted by:  SWAT Officer Danny Canete, FBI Task Force Officer Misty VanCuren, and Narcotics Detective Mark Bacon.  
Play Now

POLICE WARRANT SERVICE DEFINED… PART 2 FEATURING MATT SMITH OF DALLAS SWAT

In this episode the Assist the Officer Foundation shifts gears from highlighting an incredible first responder career to taking on one of the most controversial and misunderstood topics in America today.

This is part two of a two part episode that discusses NO KNOCK WARRANTS AND SURROUND AND CALL OUT tactics used in police enforcement from two very high profile units within DPD….Narcotics and SWAT.

PART TWO will feature Matt Smith of Dallas SWAT as he gives his perspective from an operational branch of the police department and why they utilize these tactics.

Matt Smith has been with DPD for 22 years and a member of Dallas SWAT for 17 years. Matt, a Squad Leader, has been an instructor for basic and advanced SWAT, Hostage Rescue and Hazardous Warrant Entry to name a few.  Matt Smith is an exceptional and dedicated member of SWAT that strives to make his teammates better, safer and to protect the citizens of Dallas.

In order to bridge divides with the community it is important to understand the content, define the content, and have a conversation about why these tactics are used by police in the safest and most effective ways to help make communities safer.

 

We are all in this together……

Play Now

POLICE WARRANT SERVICE DEFINED… PART 1 FEATURING Dallas PD Narcotics Detective MATT BANES AND Sgt JERRY GIRDLER

In this episode the Assist the Officer Foundation shifts gears from highlighting an incredible first responder career to taking on one of the most controversial and misunderstood topics in America today.

 

This is part one of a two part episode that discusses NO KNOCK WARRANTS AND SURROUND AND CALL OUT tactics used in police enforcement from two very high profile units within DPD….Narcotics and SWAT.

PART ONE will feature Matt Banes and Jerry Girdler of Dallas Narcotics as they give their perspectives from an investigative branch of the police department and why they utilize these tactics.

Detective Banes has been with Dallas Police over 20 years and currently is in the Narcotics training division. Sgt Jerry Girdler has been with DPD over 26 years, 7 years in Dallas SWAT,  and has been a supervisor in Narcotics for the past 9 years.

 In order to bridge divides with the community it is important to understand the content, define the content and have a conversation about why these tactics are used by police in the safest and most effective ways to help make communities safer.

 

 We are all in this together……

Play Now

EPISODE 28

BASKETBALL HALL OF FAMER NANCY LIEBERMAN

Born in Brooklyn New York, Nancy moved to Queens shortly after  and was raised by her single mother. She quickly started gravitating to basketball as she taught herself skills and began playing pickup basketball games with boys in Rucker Park.

Nancy attended Far Rockaway High School in Queens and quickly established herself as one of the top basketball players in the country.

She attended Old Dominion University and in 1976 played on the very first United States Women’s basketball team. Nancy was the youngest basketball Olympian to win a medal as they took home the Silver and has been inducted into four Hall of Fames, including the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

She was general manager for the WNBA’s Detroit Shock and coached for three seasons before being hired as an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings, making her the second female coach in NBA history.

Now an NBA broadcaster for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Nancy’s charities are dedicated to bridging divides between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Her Dream Courts and Shop with a Cop programs are some of the projects she has created in this endeavor. She is Lady Magic!!

Play Now

Episode 27

Dr. Heather Twedell 

“Silence isn’t always quiet”

Please go to www.F1RST-tx.org for more info on Dr. T

Dr. Twedell, also known as Dr T, has a Doctorate in forensic psychology and is licensed in the state of California and Texas and specializes in treating first responders. She truly understands the first responder mindset as she comes from a first responder family. She has developed a diverse and unique set of skills and tools in her arsenal to stand shoulder to shoulder with first responders to improve their physical and mental well being. Through her practice, F1RST (First Responder Stress & Trauma) she ensures first responders are provided the education, training, and support that is critical for occupational and personal resiliency.

F1RST
Training - 469-525-6482
Therapy (TX residents) - 469-352-7491
Email - dr.t@htwedell.org
Instagram: f1rst_per  

Play Now

Episode 26

Retired Dallas Police Dept Dottie and Steve Claggett
“Do you know what your problem is?”

This is a rare peek into the lives of two very distinguished careers of two true public servants that also happen to be partners in life.  Dottie and Steve Claggett are an amazing dynamic duo that their police careers, combined, spanned nearly 50 years as they served the city of Dallas.  Dottie spent 17 years working undercover in the Narcotics unit as she investigated several high level narcotics dealers. Steve also worked narcotics and finished his career as a long time member of Dallas Swat. Both dealt with success and heartbreak during their careers and managed to juggle the highs and lows of the police profession and building a healthy marriage and family.
Both dealt with tragedy in their units in December of 1991 that shaped both of them as a professional and helped them discover their “whys”.  Dottie continues to serve as an original Assist the Officer Foundation mental health counselor as she learned, early on in her career, the importance of addressing mental health in the first responder profession.  Sit back and soak in two selfless public servant’s stories as they set a high standard for the Dallas Police Department that all should strive to meet

Play Now

Episode 25
Raul Martinez Jr

"The Art of 4 Hands"

Www.rogue-methods.com
Honor to welcome on Army veteran, former Chicago PD and the Chief Operating Officer for Rogue Methods.  
Raul is a proud first generation American and has dedicated his life to service as a combat veteran, undercover Chicago PD Narcs  and now dedicates his life to training officers and civilians around the country……making them harder to kill.
Sit back and enjoy this patriots unique training philosophy and dedication to service. The Assist the Officer Foundation welcomes Raul Martinez Jr to Dallas Texas.

Play Now

EPISODE 24

"IF I DONT TEACH YOU HOW TO BE A GOOD PERSON....I FAILED"

DALLAS FIRE AND RESCUE DAVID LINDSEY

THE ASSIST THE OFFICER FOUNDATION CROSSES THE BRIDGE TO SPEAK WITH A MEMBER OF OUR RED FAMILY AS DAVID SPEAKS ON HIS NEARLY 4 DECADES WITH THE DALLAS FIRE DEPARTMENT. FROM STORIES OF STARTING IN THE 80S DURING THE ONSET OF THE AIDS EPIDEMIC TO SPEAKING ON THE REALITIES THAT MANY FORMER AND CURRENT FIREFIGHTERS FACE IN CONTRACTING UNIQUE FORMS OF CANCER FROM FIGHTING FIRES. 

DAVID PROUDLY SERVED THE GREAT CITY OF DALLAS AND NOW CONTINUES HIS LIFELONG DEDICATION TO SERVICE AS HE REMEMBERS HIS FALLEN RELATIVE LT. TODD KRODLE AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE KRODLE MEMORIAL FOUNDATION.

SIT BACK AND SOAK IN THIS EXTRAORDINARY MAN'S INSPIRING STORY......THANK YOU DFR!

Play Now

Episode 23

Dallas Police SGT Mark Rickerman

“Everybodys going to need help....you might need a little, you might need a lot”

One of Dallas’s finest Mark Rickerman’s story of survival from a unique on duty shooting in December 2005 shaped him as a person and as a professional.  The perspective gained from this incident stays with Mark as he is committed to promoting first responders mental health and wellness.  His mental preparation helped him make it home to his family In 2005.  
Special guest cohost Dr Tania Glenn sat in to assist in this riveting and inspiring story.   Enjoy ATO listeners....

Play Now

Load more

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App