Houston Gass is the epitome of resilience. On January 6, 2015, while working as a Police Sergeant with the Pampa (TX) Police Department, he was shot in the face with a 12 gauge shotgun. But his story doesn’t start there. At age 11, his sister was brutally murdered. In 2013, he experienced an especially difficult divorce, lost his father to cancer, and his only other sister committed suicide. In this episode, Houston shares his story, and offers encouragement to our audience about being resilient and finding purpose when life is at its worst.
Houston also shares some practical advice for cops. “Have a plan to go home, and have a plan for your family in case you don’t go home.” He encourages new recruits and veteran officers alike to have the difficult conversations with family about what could happen. He also suggests preparing a will, purchasing life insurance, and setting up your family for financial success in the case of your absence.
Houston hopes to return to active duty, and is also helping others as a peer counselor for Serve & Protect. Rob Michaels, the founder of Serve & Protect, was our guest on Episode 003 of the Watch Your Six Podcast.
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.