Columbus Division of Police Officer James Poole, and his son, Jonah, are on their bicycle journey across the United States. They have faced bike wrecks, physical challenges, running out of water in the desert, and the largest forest fire in New Mexico history. But they're still at it to raise awareness of the mental health of first responders.
They've made many friends along the way, and Officer Poole took the time to tell us about two. The gentleman in the first picture is Lieutenant Stephen Clark with the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office. He has the distinction of also being a retired firefighter--from Scotland no less (yes, the country). In the second picture is Officer Jonathan Martinez of the New Mexico State Police.
Officer Poole says, "We shared the reason for our cycling journey, First Responders' Bridge mental health awareness, and how Starfish Assignment, and especially the program Books & Badges, has helped not only the community, but how they have helped the officers bridge the gap with the community, and how much some officers have said it means to them. They were excited and are going to share it.
"All officers and firefighters that we've spoken with said they have never heard of programs like Starfish has. Officer Martinez especially said he'd love to read to kids.
"During our cycling journey, Jonah and I are excited to share what we're doing, and especially how programs like the Bridge and Starfish help us improve the community."
Please consider making a contribution to the First Responders' Bridge in honor of the Poole's journey.