Mike Swihart is a retired Army combat veteran and police officer who survived two police shootings while working in Fort Collins, CO. In one of those incidents, Mike was critically wounded, but survived. In this episode, Mike recounts not only the stories, but what he credits with his survival physically, mentally, and regarding his marriage. He offers practical advice and encouragement for officers who may have endured similar critical incidents.
After telling about the shootings and alluding to difficulties resulting from his combat deployments, Mike says that he suffered from depression, trauma, frustration, and other struggles.
He said, “I understand that there is a pain so hurtful that you could want to die.” He goes on to offer this encouragement. “Everything in this life is temporary, and if you hang in there long enough, you can overcome it if you do the right things.”
Mike stresses the importance of job related skills training and proficiency, and physical fitness. He also talks about the emotional support from his wife, as well as the strength he gained from his faith.
This episode is part 1 of 2. In episode 2, Jonathan speaks with Mike’s wife, Linda, to gain the spouse’s perspective and needs during critical incidents.
Jonathan Parker is a professional communicator, trainer, podcaster, and pastor who is passionate about serving law enforcement officers and their families.
Jonathan was raised in Savannah, GA, and after earning a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, he moved to Cleveland, TN to complete his graduate studies. He graduated from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in 2006 with a Master of Divinity.
Jonathan began working with the Chattanooga Police Department in 2007, and has served on Patrol, as a School Resource Officer in an inner-city high school, and as an adjunct training instructor for multiple agencies. He was twice named “Officer of the Year” for the Chattanooga Police Department, received two life-saving medals – one of those for performing CPR on his wife Meredith who was clinically dead for over 15 minutes after suffering a massive heart attack eight (8) days after the birth of their daughter, and he also received the Tennessee Governor’s Homeland Security Award from former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredeson.
Jonathan is the host of the “Watch Your Six” podcast, which serves law enforcement and first responder families by providing practical resources in six critical areas to help them successfully navigate life and their career.
Jonathan, Meredith, and their daughter Olivia are the founding Pastors of Cop Church Chattanooga, a worship gathering for law enforcement families that launched in February 2015.
Jonathan can be reached via his website at www.JonathanOParker.com or www.CopChurch.com.