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April 4, 2023

Surviving the Unthinkable: A Law Enforcement Officer's Story of Domestic Violence- Heather Glogolich

Surviving the Unthinkable: A Law Enforcement Officer's Story of Domestic Violence- Heather Glogolich

Heather is not just a phenomenal leader, but she is also a powerful woman who has been through a lot in life. Her story is a moving tale of survival and resilience that inspires everyone who hears it. Heather managed to survive despite being assaulted by her former spouse, who was also a law enforcement officer, for four hours in 2008. He held a knife to her throat and a gun to her head, but she fought back and emerged victorious.

Heather's story needs to be heard by everyone, and she has found a unique way to share it. She teaches for Street Cop and shares her experiences with others, going into great detail about how it all occurred. Her remarkable story is not just about survival but also about what she has accomplished since then. Heather is a fantastic advocate for women and anyone experiencing domestic violence, and her message is important and needs to be heard.

Her story will leave you in awe of her strength and courage. Heather's resilience and determination are truly inspiring, and her story is a reminder that anything is possible if you believe in yourself.

In conclusion, Heather is a remarkable woman who has overcome incredible challenges in life. Her advocacy for women and anyone experiencing domestic violence is commendable, and her message is important and needs to be heard. Her story needs to be shared with the world, and she is doing just that by teaching for Street Cop and sharing her experiences with others. So, if you want to hear Heather's story, head to the podcast website and prepare to be inspired.

Heather is a phenomenal leader and a powerful woman. Her former spouse, who was also a law enforcement officer, assaulted her for four hours in 2008, holding a knife to her throat and a gun to her head, but she managed to survive. Heather will give a remarkable story, but she also teaches for Street Cop.

She will go into great detail when she explains how it occurred. It's a highly moving tale; you'll learn what she has accomplished since then. She is a fantastic advocate for women and anyone experiencing domestic violence.

First responders play a critical role in keeping our communities safe. However, the stress and trauma of the job can take a toll on their mental health. Peer support and mental health professionals are critical in supporting first responders and addressing the stigma and shame associated with seeking help.

If you're interested in peer support training, contact Jerry Lund at 435-476-6382 with The Complete First Responder Trainings or visit www.completefirstrespondertrainings.com. Let's work together to support our first responders and ensure they have the resources to maintain their mental health and well-being.


[00:00:00] Hi everyone, and welcome to this week's episode event Enduring the Badge podcast. I'm host Jerry Dean Lund, and I don't want you to miss an upcoming episode, so please hit that subscribe button. And while your phone's out, please do me a favor and give us a review on iTunes or our Apple Podcast. It says, Hey, this podcast has a great message and we should send it out to more people.

[00:00:20] So please take that 30 seconds to a minute to do that review and just maybe by doing that, it'll push this up into someone's podcast feed that really needs this message. Everyone, I'm super excited to announce that I've teamed up with an incredible person, and that person is Dr. Tia White. She is a public safety, wellness, and empowerment specialist.

[00:00:41] Together, we have combined our knowledge and expertise to create. Five day training course. Now that training course, you can attend different days of that training course, whichever ones fit you. But day one would be peer support and how to structure that and get your team up and running and maybe some of the legalities about that.

[00:00:59] Days two, three and four are going to be about advanced wellness and sleep and finances and family dynamics and diet and nutrition and retirement and mindfulness and meditation, and how to be that complete first responder. But we did not want to leave out the significant other in your life and that is gonna be on day five.

[00:01:21] Feel free to bring that significant other with you. And we are going to do a training that's gonna empower the both of you to have a better relationship. and successful relationship and one that is going to stand the test of time as a first responder. For additional information, please go to the Instagram page called Complete First Responder for More Details.

[00:01:49] My very special guest today, Heather, is an incredibly powerful woman and an amazing leader. She also teaches for Street Cop, but Heather is going to share an incredible story. A story from back in 2008 when her then husband, a law enforcement officer as well, abused her for four hours, including putting a knife to her throat, a gun to her head, and she survived the incident.

[00:02:23] She, she's going to tell you how that happened, and she's going to go into great detail. It's a very emotional story, and you're gonna see what she has done with her life since then, and she's an incredible advocate for women and those going through domestic violence. Now let's jump right into this episode with Heather.

[00:02:44] How you doing, Heather? I'm good. How are you? I'm doing great. And I'm gonna be honest, Heather, I could not pronounce your last name so I didn't say it, so could you repeat it for the audience? Sure. It's Heather Glogolich. I did, like I told her, I was like, I don't wanna botch in that saying of her last name. So thank you Heather.

[00:03:05] I appreciate that. I'm just gonna be real about how I'm not great with names and so it's okay. Heather is awesome. Heather is gonna talk to us today about a lot of different things, but Heather, tell the audience a little bit about yourself. Well, I am in my 20th year in law enforcement. Uh, I work for a municipal agency in New Jersey, so it's Morris Township Police Department.

[00:03:30] I. We have about 44 people on the agency. It was the first female who's ever stayed, first female who's ever had kids while working for the agency, first female to ever be promoted. I used should kind of shy away from those firsts, especially when it would separate me from the guys. Cuz you know, you work so hard to be a part of this career, which is male dominated and you don't really wanna be segregated for that.

[00:03:52] You don't want, yeah. You don't want people to just assume the things that you've earned are because of your gender. Sure. So I kind of just shied away, but now I kind of embrace it. I'm like, whatever. Uh, and you know, a lot of my story comes from some of the struggles that I had being a police officer and being a female, but my personal life regarding my ex-husband who is also a cop and, and being a survivor of domestic violence and how that's come full circle with, you know, the therapist that I have and the kind of leader that I've become and the way that I am able to impact victims of domestic violence on and off the job.

[00:04:27] Yeah, that's super awesome. What, what do you teach for a street cop? I teach a course called the Complete Female Cop, and let me just say it, it, I, I don't consider myself the complete female cop. It kind of sounds like that the way they put, we put it together. Really, it's just me attacking everything that helps complete us, right?

[00:04:44] Bringing in all the dynamics and all the aspects of the things that most people don't talk about cuz they're either nervous to bring it up or they're worried that they're gonna rock the boat. And just bringing in things like dealing with infertility and domestic violence and sexual assault and P T S D and how we handle things differently as women sometimes.

[00:05:03] And pregnancy, maternity nursing, you know, sexual harassment. All the things that sometimes we, sometimes we deal with. Hopefully not as much as it used to be, but it, it's just kind of really encompassing everything that has to do with, you know, a female on the job. It's a completely different perspective than most.

[00:05:23] People on the job because it's like you said, male dominated and let's be honest, right? We h how could I possibly understand all the things you're going through and how it would be to like, be on the job and have kids, you know, why, you know what I mean? Being pregnant on the job. I, I, that's not a challenge I face.

[00:05:41] Yeah. You know? Yeah. You know, even just little things that are so different. I think the one thing I'm the most envious of when it comes to men on the job is that I gotta take my whole gun belt off to go to the bathroom and you guys can just, you ready to go in two minutes was a little bit longer. So that's literally the only thing I'm envious as far as, uh, Being a female on the job.

[00:06:02] But yeah, there are definitely gender specific issues that we talk about. But my class is not just for women because, you know, again, we send our police officers for training so they can, you know, understand mental health and addiction and those things, and understanding how women think and how we lead and how we embrace certain things and react.

[00:06:22] It's all encompassing of who we are as a culture in law enforcement. So that's really the goal. I like, I love when men are in my class and they, they walk away and they're like, man, I would've never thought about it being harder for you to pump breast milk after you're coming back from maternity leave just because you don't have a comfortable place to sit, or your locker room's right outside the processing room, or, or those little tiny things.

[00:06:43] And you know, you, those are the things that you wanna make a change with. If we're being honest about what's going on in law enforcement right now, the biggest crisis we're facing is not necessarily recruitment, it's, it really is retention of qualified people. There are so many more people leaving the field, and so why don't we focus on not just the retention of qualified females and, and I have to be really adamant about that word qualified because I am the last person who will promote dropping standards for anybody to get into this profession.

[00:07:12] Keep the standards the way they are, even raise them if you need to, to make sure that we're getting qualified people. But in order to retain them, you have to make people feel that, one, it's okay to be human. It's okay to fail and to fail forward. Because if you allow them to fail, they're going to come to you when they need help.

[00:07:27] A little bit easier. It's okay to be a person and have emotions and you know it's okay to be both a parent and be great at it, and be a cop and be great at that. Sometimes we make way too many sacrifices on either end of that because we feel like we can't succeed in one if we're doing both. Yeah, that's so, so true.

[00:07:47] And I, I, I love your perspective, um, as a leader. I love the perspective that you have about, you know, keeping the standards high. I mean, I have my personal feelings about that. Well, I mean, what's your personal feelings? Why would we want to keep people with high standards and let the other ones go? Yeah, I mean, when we look at incidents, and I don't know the whole story, so part of me is a little hesitant to bring it up, but when we talk about what just happened in Memphis, and I hear stories about the fact that some of those officers were hired after they lowered the standards in order to check a box, it, it bothers me.

[00:08:20] And, and on a personal level, as a female, if I didn't have to do the same amount of pushups or the same running time as a man, I would feel like I was coming in here as less than equal to start. And I'm not someone who feels that pushups is gonna make me, are, are gonna make me a great cop. That that's not how I feel.

[00:08:37] But it's like, There are jobs out there where you have to co complete certain educational requirements. And so for me, the idea of those standards, especially the physically physical ones, should be part of those educational prerequisites. That, that's where my mindset is. Yeah. I mean, and, and retain and to change it.

[00:08:59] Like I totally agree with you on what, what you're saying. I think I, I wouldn't wanna come into any job no matter what it was, if they had to lower the standards to get me in there. It feels like you would always be trying to fight an uphill battle in everyone else's eyes. That, especially in the first responder role, they would definitely probably, you know, look down on you.

[00:09:17] Yeah. And you don't want that, especially starting your career. Right. You don't want to have to battle that, let alone all the other things that come in, come into play with starting, you know, a career in law enforcement. Absolutely. So keeping, what could we do to like, keep. Qualified people. What in your eyes, like what could we.

[00:09:41] Oh, that's a great question. So I am very blessed to be the president of New Jersey Women and Law Enforcement. We are an organization that's a nonprofit and we promote and help mentor women in New Jersey specifically through training, through connections, through networking, through relationship building, and.

[00:10:00] I really think being inclusive, that old mindset of, Hey, you signed up for this so you knew what you were getting into just doesn't work. So for one instance, or one example, New Jersey just came out in August through our attorney general, he put in place mandatory minimum guidelines for all agencies regardless of whether or not they have females employed to implement a maternity and pregnancy policy.

[00:10:22] And this is a really great start because for me, when I got pregnant back in 2006, my agency, I was the first female to stay, the first female to have a baby. And they were like, I don't know what to do with you. And I'm like, I don't really know what to do either. I've never had a baby before. And there's this balance and sometimes you don't have the opportunity to go on modified duty.

[00:10:41] So as a woman who's carrying a baby, As officers, we put ourselves at risk every single day regardless of where you work. I don't care if anybody here says, I work in a little town and there's nothing going on and I'm safe. You could get in a car accident, you could slip and fall. There's, and granted that could happen on an everyday basis no matter what your career is.

[00:11:00] But we're in the car more 12 hour shifts normally on, on the regular. We're exposed to people with, you know, illnesses that we could catch that could affect things. There's just all the little things, and when you don't have a modified duty or a light duty, Uh, opportunity for somebody who's pregnant that forces them to stay on the road longer than they might want to.

[00:11:21] Which, not to say that that could lead to a miscarriage, but our bodies don't always carry babies easily. And so miscarriages are a lot more common than people admit. And as women, we will take that on ourselves regardless of, of if it's anything that we did or didn't do, that comes onto us and it changes our mindset and it makes us harder and sometimes more emotional and sometimes less emotional.

[00:11:44] And there's all these things that go with it. And so one way that we did it is we try to attract. A mindset of inclusivity and understanding that everyone should be able to have grace and patience for other people. That's, that's my phrase, right? Grace and patience. Yeah. For the people that you work with.

[00:12:03] Especially going up. So many times I see young officers come in and they see old salty officers and they're like, why are they so angry? And, and they give them a hard time. Well, you haven't worked their career, you haven't lived their life. You don't know how they were treated. So I try to personally teach my team that, you know, when a new sergeant comes on or a new lieutenant, Let them have the grace and patience to learn that role.

[00:12:26] Like, don't have an automatic expectation of who they should be for you and for everybody. You know, let them fail a little too. Because while you think that we have this, uh, automatic, you know, formal leadership role and, and knowledge, we don't, we're, we're still kind of swimming through it just like the rest of you.

[00:12:43] And again, let's, let's give grace and patience to the people that are new and let's give grace and patience to ourselves. Cause we don't do that. We are very hard on ourselves. We're supposed to be superhuman. We're not, we're not supposed to be people that have feelings. We're not supposed to cry on calls.

[00:12:59] We are, we're not supposed to make mistakes. And we are held to a very high standard, which I believe is an integral part of our professionalism in this career. But it's also unrealistic, and we're building a mindset of having to just deal with things. We're very, very lucky in Morris County, which is where I work.

[00:13:18] My town is in the county of Morris and we have a critical debriefing response team. So when we have a critical incident, and really there's no threshold of what that could be, we have a team of officers trained throughout the county and we work with. A priest and they come out and it's all confidential and they bring us in within a week and they talk us through it.

[00:13:40] And I think the best thing I've ever taken away from it is that all of us as police officers carry this backpack around and every time something happens, and it could be little, it could be just someone yelling at us on a car stop and we're just having a bad day or, yeah. You know, we've been really tired cuz we, we've been working overtime and we, you know, crash into somebody by accident and it's minor but it's still gonna open up an internal affairs complaint and it have these issues or we're studying for the promotion or, or we do CPR on a kid and they don't make it.

[00:14:06] Or even just all the little things dealing with dead bodies. We take those little things and they're rocks and we keep filling this backpack with rocks. And the old school mentality is don't talk about it, just go call to call to call, to call. Because if you talk about it, they're gonna send you for a psych and possibly a fitness for duty and then you have to worry about your job.

[00:14:23] And that's more, yeah. And so what they really taught us is that by talking about it in these groups with people who are like-minded, cuz we all know sometimes cops don't wanna go see shrinks. Sure. Or because they're not cops and we think they don't get it. But by talking to a group of cops that, that fuel the conversation with pointed questions, we're kind of unpacking those rocks out of our backpack.

[00:14:43] Right. We're making it a little bit easier to carry. So I think those things being inclusive, being understanding that. You know, we're all not the same and we'll all have different things and it's okay. To be human is, uh, is one of the best ways to not only get but keep qualified people in this profession.

[00:15:01] Yeah. Wow. There's a lot to unpack there. I was like, Heather, you should write a book. This is great. Like I'm writing a book. Oh, you are. Perfect. I am. Yeah. So I'll be, uh, graduating with my doctorate in May. And honestly, I've been kind of waiting just to finish it so I can throw that on, on as my author title, but we'll see.

[00:15:20] Well, what are you getting? Your doctorate? Like what are you doing here? Hire. Okay. Yeah. Very, very nice. So I want to go back a little bit because you, I, you said something that I've, I'm very passionate about and that it's talking about leadership and like we have these people come into different leadership roles, um, and are they trained to be good leaders?

[00:15:45] Have they gone to enough stuff to. Like the competent and good leaders and mentors. I love that question. So one of the things that I've been really teaching is, or preaching maybe, is that you should start leadership training as soon as possible, right? We shouldn't be sending our officers who are about to be promoted to the next rank that like a formal leadership role of sergeant or whatever that might be in an agency.

[00:16:12] That first level of command. We shouldn't be waiting until they're right there or are there to be teaching them how to be good leaders because, Our role as law enforcement officers is to be a servant leader. And immediately when you come out of the academy or whatever training you have, you have to make decisions for other people.

[00:16:28] We are called to people's homes, to, to scenes, to make decisions that either other people don't want to or they don't have the capability to do. And I can't think of a better definition of servant leadership than to be able to make decisions for people that are in their best interest. And that's leadership, right?

[00:16:43] That's instilling confidence to make decisions, to, to be a better person, to love ourselves enough to have that confidence and have that self-image enhancement to be the best versions of ourselves so we can be the best versions of other people. And I think that the biggest fault that we have as leaders of organizations that are paramilitary in essence, is that we do not put our people first.

[00:17:07] I, I realize that a lot of our mission statements say that we do, but there's a very big mindset that. Our customers, our clients, our community should receive excellent customer service and they should. How do we, yeah. How do we allow our officers to be the best versions that they can be professionally if we are not treating them the best that we can professionally, if they come in and they're having like a horrible personal experience, and maybe we don't know about it, but they come in and there's an envelope for an ia, or we give them an attitude or we just pull them in and I mean, I've been yelled at by supervisors where I've been like, not to be disrespectful, but I'm not your child.

[00:17:44] Like this is a professional agency. We can talk about this. Yes, I was wrong, but I don't need you to yell at me like I'm a child. You know, if we can stick up for our people in a way that's respectful to the public, who, who are talking down to us, all those little things, building our people up in a way that we are giving them the best of us, us, and we're building them up to the best they can be professionally, they're gonna put that out on the road to the people.

[00:18:07] And, and that's the core of, of positive leadership. That's the core of it. Yeah. Yeah, I like that. I like that taking care, like recognizing like the best asset that you have in departments are the people. And so not everybody fits in and yeah, there's times that people need to, to leave and stuff like that.

[00:18:29] Yeah. But I mean, the people that have been there and committed to being there, like give them the tools to be successful and I feel like it just like, um, you know, like, okay, Heather, you're gonna be a great F T O officer because you've been here for 20 years. Um, I know you went to that F T O class, uh, 10 years ago, but you know, we're gonna put you out on the road as an F T O officer.

[00:18:53] Is that setting you up for success and the other person? Yeah, I think we. We also have the mindset of let's make decisions for people instead of seeing if that's the best decision for them. So I, I use the example of my field training officer. I love Carmen. Him and I are still very, very close. I'm now his lieutenant and he's a, like our senior patrol guy.

[00:19:16] Never wanted to be promoted. Just really loves being a patrol officer. And I got hired with five other people almost at the same time, like almost. Uh, consecutive order, and I was right kind of towards the tail end, and I got in the car with him the first day and he is like, I'm be really honest. I'm tired and I'm exhausted, and I've shared a car with people for a year and a half, and you're not gonna get the best out of me, so I apologize in advance.

[00:19:39] Right? And those are the things that we need to recognize. We need to check back in with our people and, and see like, is this gonna affect your personal life if we move you? Because we don't have to. There's no reason to right now. This is why we're doing what we're doing what we want. But is it what you want?

[00:19:52] Am I, I gonna get the best out of you because you have the buy-in, right? So, yeah. I, I, you know, have you internalized this as much as we have for you? Yeah. Yeah. I, and I love that. I mean, as a supervisor, you're, and as we talked, we're not perfect. None of us are perfect and we're gonna have those days that we don't show up at our best.

[00:20:17] And I, and our, the people that are under us, You know, they don't either. And I think, I think it's totally fine. Like I'll tell my guys like, I'm sorry I'm tired. Like I tried to get a bunch of sleep last night, but I didn't, things didn't work out. I'm really tired. I may be short, you know, and, and I just want them to tell me the same thing.

[00:20:37] I'm okay with that. Then I, then I know, then I'm like, okay, well you're kind of snappy or you're secluded, or you're, you know, different things. And I'm like, oh, that makes sense. I get it. Like, so I'm not so like quick to maybe judge like uhoh what's wrong? I mean, other than yeah, you're just not filling your best today.

[00:20:55] That's okay. Yes, absolutely. We don't have enough time off, right? To just not show up when we're not filling our best. Agreed. And our personal lives affect how we show up to. Yes. And the people we choose to keep in our personal lives. Yeah. So one of my favorite sayings, Tom Rezo says all the time, it's, if the people around you don't inspire you and make you a better person, you do not have a circle, you have a cage.

[00:21:21] And how accurate is that? And yeah, in my 42, almost 43 years of life, it is taking me a very long time to let go of relationships that did not serve me. I kept relationships in my life because they had been people that had been in my life forever, and I felt that I owed them that. But you know, uh uh, I had a very close friend from sixth grade, and when I went through my divorce and everything I went through with my first husband, it was very much about her.

[00:21:47] And she would just throw comments in and she would constantly bring it up. And she just, she didn't have a growth mindset. And I saw myself evolving. And whenever I got on the phone with her, I just felt drained in a really bad way. Yes. And then there were some other things that happened and I was like, you're really not the kind of person that.

[00:22:05] I wanna move forward with as, as an integral part of my life, which was very hard because her oldest son is my godson. So her and her husband got divorced and she had been my friend forever. And I chose the husband in the divorce because like he just, him and I just still had the same mindset. Yeah. And some of the, some of the actions she did, I just weren't in alignment with my core values as a person, but even family members, I've had to be like, I didn't choose you to be in my life and we're here and, you know, you're, I just, I can't continue to have you in my life.

[00:22:35] And that, that's been hard and driven by addiction and, and some other things that, you know, not just jeopardize my career, but jeopardized who I wanted, my fam my kids around to grow up. And, and that was, that's really what I gauge everything on. Like once I left my home and I, I found my husband now, and we have this incredible relationship with my kids.

[00:22:54] I just, I want them to see the very best that can happen in people. And I want them to see what, what real love is like, and I want them to. Understand that I have to put myself first and be like, I am my number one priority. And it took me a long time to say that out loud without feeling selfish. Yeah. But self-care is not selfish.

[00:23:13] It's selfless. Because if my glass is completely empty, I have nothing to give them. And it makes me a worse mom. It puts me on edge. I don't give them the quality time that they deserve, and above them is my husband. And I'll be the first person to tell anybody, even my children, that it's me. It's me and my relationship with my husband, and then it's my kids.

[00:23:35] Because if me and my husband aren't good, my kids aren't going to have that, that foundation with us. Yeah. And we never argue. I know people do not believe me at all, but we're gonna be married 10 years and we'll disagree on stuff. But we have never argued, we have never called each other a name. We have never done anything outta disrespect just to push anybody's buttons.

[00:23:57] We listen to each other. And we are a team that's re, and my kids are part of that team and when they're like, oh, why don't we get an allowance? And I was like, because you're part of this team and I need you to be part of the team and make it work. So when I say clean your room or I say, go help do the laundry and take the dogs out, it's because it's part of your responsibility as the team, not because I'm going to pay you as an incentive.

[00:24:20] Right. So I, you know, my household is probably a little different than most people, but it works for us and my kids are fantastic. My marriage is fantastic. So I think I'm doing something right. Yeah, yeah. Props to you. I lo I love the team effort because yeah, I mean that is huge at home. I know you've had in the past some difficult.

[00:24:40] Challenges, um, you know, in your past marriage. And I, I really would like to like dive down into that because I think it's, as we talked before we got on the podcast, domestic violence is not being reported really accurately or at all since 1970. So we know the numbers are really off unfortunately, but you have some, I hate to say, like real life experience with domestic violence and so can you share some of that with us?

[00:25:13] Yeah, I'll give you the quick and dirty version. There's a whole lot. So I went into the police academy when I was 23 years old. I have zero law enforcement history in my family at all. Um, my family was very blue collar. I grew up pretty poor cuz my dad had to file bankruptcy. He had bought. Uh, an Exxon station.

[00:25:35] He and had his own thing, but that was right when Exxon Valdez hit. And, uh, so people started boycotting. So we didn't really have the money growing up, but I never knew I was poor. I mean, my parents were like, leave it to Beaver dinner at six Church on Sunday. Never argued it, it was, it was unbelievable.

[00:25:52] And so I knew nothing in domestic violence. I knew nothing about alcoholism. I really led the most sheltered, wonderful life I could ever, ever ask for. And uh, I mean like, I didn't even really know that kids like drank and smoked weed in high school. Like that's how sheltered I was. So, I mean, I took my psych exam and they did not believe me.

[00:26:11] That's how vanilla my life was. So I get into the police academy and my ex-husband, Keith, uh, was there for West Orange Police Department and I was there for the sheriff's office at the time, and it was just a culture shock for me. And he really was somebody who. Automatically just we synced our families were a lot alike.

[00:26:33] Uh, his mom had died when he was younger, when he was early teens, like 14 or 15. And he had his Irish background and just Catholic and, and all these things that we kind of just clicked immediately. Oldest of four, I was the oldest of three, and so I fell really hard, really fast. He was very, very good at, uh, at pulling people.

[00:26:54] And when we, we broke up after the academy for a little bit. Uh, I started to see some controlling behaviors that I really couldn't articulate. I was in the sheriff's office. I really wasn't working hands-on with responding to domestic violence incidents that were happening. And it wasn't mandatory for domestic violence training like it is now in New Jersey.

[00:27:11] So while I kind of understood what it was and I would stand in domestic violence court and do TRS one, I would never think that would happen to me. I really just thought him checking in on me and texting me and showing up places was cute, right? Like, oh, he is so interested. This is wonderful. Uh, and then we broke up for a little while and then we got back together and everything was great.

[00:27:32] We moved in together. He proposed and we got married. So we graduated the academy in June of 2004. We got married in actually on St. Patrick's Day, March of 2006. And we're on our honeymoon and we are at an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic. So we are liquored and we are at. The table at, at the bar one night with this other couple we ran into that were from New York, and it was such a great conversation.

[00:28:00] As we go to leave, the guy is with his wife and he turns to my husband at the time, Keith, and says, man, you really lucked out. She's awesome. Congratulations. I hope you have like a blessed marriage. Well, something set him off and I don't know whether he thought that he was hitting on me or said something nice.

[00:28:15] And as we're walking back to our room, he pushes me against the wall and he starts to strangle me and he says, I could kill you down here. And no one would know. I was like, what is going on? Yeah. And he's very drunk and I'm very drunk. So we go back to the room. He obviously lets me go, we go back to the room and he fall, he passes out, he doesn't fall asleep.

[00:28:33] He passes out drunk. And I'm like, I don't know what to do. Like this is still prepaid cell phone time for me. Right. So not like I could just be like mom. Right? Yeah. And uh, the next day he woke up like, nothing happens. And I was like, huh. I'm like, Maybe it didn't happen. Maybe I was really drunk. Like I kind of just wrote it off because I had seen warning signs before, but this was just really outta control.

[00:28:56] And then I got pregnant really quick and looking back, I realized that when I was pregnant, I was a walking sign of ownership. So nothing really happened. And you know, he on the pedestal, it was, you know, there was nothing for him to really be concerned about. Had Amber in, uh, January of oh seven and we were about to have her christening in May of 2007.

[00:29:19] And we had just bought a house. We were both low on the, on the pay scale for our agencies working overtime, super stressed. And he was drinking a lot. And we were getting, we were prepping. And he came in and I must have done something or said something that pissed him off. And again, he throws me against the wall and he is like, strangling me and I can't breathe.

[00:29:36] And I start, like, tears start coming outta my eyes and he lets go and he goes into our bedroom. And I don't know why I went in there, probably because it was like, Right next to my daughter's room. And as I go to the door, he is sitting there with a shotgun under his head or under his face at the edge of the bed.

[00:29:53] And me being me, I'm like, please don't do this. Like, she's next door, like, what's wrong? And he starts spewing all this. What I now know is bullshit. Like, you know, my dad used to beat me and I said horrible things to my mom before she died. And I was molested by a priest. And like his mom died, his, his dad had a hands-on approach to discipline.

[00:30:10] I don't think it's as extensive as he made it seem out to be, but he was never molested by a pre priest. It was like all this manipulation. And I guess there were things happening at work that I didn't know about either. And so I said to him, I go, listen, we're gonna go to counseling. And I was thinking about getting out of it.

[00:30:25] I like, I knew I didn't wanna be in this relationship anymore cause I was scared, but I didn't know how. I, I was worried cuz I had like a hundred people come in and he had this christening, I was like the first person in the family ever to have a grandbaby or anything. So I was more worried about everybody else and he is like, let's go to counseling, which he had never said before.

[00:30:40] He is like, I'm gonna stop drinking. He had never said that before and he agreed to leave all the guns at work or at my father-in-law's cuz we used to hunt. So I was like, all right, cool. Well, what most domestic violence victims don't talk about, especially when they're married to the person or in a like serious relationship, is that sexual assault is a very, very big part of.

[00:31:01] Domestic violence. And while we're don't, we don't necessarily say no, we do it to appease the other person, to not get hit again, or not be berated or not have to deal with it. So that's what ended up happening. I appease the situation and we ended up having, you know, sex and hu I, I got pregnant with Hunter and I was like, well, shit, I, I don't know how to do this.

[00:31:23] And again, nine months I was on a pedestal and I was a walking sign of ownership. So I was like, oh, we never went to counseling. There were no guns. He did stop drinking it, at least I thought. And then we had Hunter in February of 2008. So very close. My kids are 12 and a half months apart then I'm working days, he's working nights.

[00:31:43] I'm not really seeing him. We are fighting all the time. I never knew which Keith I was gonna get. Like it was just Jekyll and Hyde all the time. And when he was drinking, I, I couldn't put my finger on it because what I found out was that, He was taking bottles of vodka and on the way home he would chug them and he was hiding them in the insulation of our detached garage.

[00:32:03] So I wouldn't see it in the recycling and I wouldn't see it in his truck if I went for something. So it was, it was a lot of deception. He was also being investigated for excessive use of force and planning evidence on someone. And I had no idea. Right. We don't, it just, it, you know, it was confidential.

[00:32:20] Mm-hmm. So they didn't feel the need to tell me, which I, I get, but maybe that would've helped. I, I don't know. Yeah. So he comes home October 16th, 2008. He is liquored up. He got mad about, I guess the, the bears had knocked over the gar the garbage or whatever, and he comes in and he slams the door open and I'm sleeping.

[00:32:38] Cause I was working, I had to get up in the morning and he works nights, afternoons, I should say. He was done by like 10 30. He was home at 1130 and. He, he's like, I'm done. And at that point I was like, good, I'm done too. And that was the very wrong thing to say because he grabbed me by my hair and, and dragged me into the living room.

[00:32:57] And for four hours he just beat me. And I mean, he whipped me with a belt on my legs saying This is what my dad used to do so nobody can see the marks. Uh, he bit my face. He headbutted me, he strangled me twice. And this was before strangulation laws were a thing in New Jersey. So back then it was just assault still cuz we didn't really understand the lasting effects of strangulation.

[00:33:17] But like he strangled me for so long that I urinated myself and he took a knife and tried to get me to kill myself. He told me that if I made a sound and wake up, the woke up the kids, he would kill me and them said he couldn't go to jail for this. He needed to look like a suicide. And there are some things I've worked through with therapy that I, those are obviously the, that incident is the most helpless and most weak I've ever felt in my life.

[00:33:41] And after like four hours, he, uh, He goes, here, call out, call your dad and say goodbye. And I was like, I'm not calling my dad. Because I knew if I called my dad and said that he would either come or he would, uh, call the cops. And at the time, what I haven't hadn't mentioned is that I saw that my ex-husband had his gun in his waistband.

[00:34:03] And so I was like, well, that's not supposed to be here. And now I look back and I'm like, man, this was premeditated, right? Oh God. Uh, yeah. And I seem nonchalant about it. I'm really not. I just, uh, it's gotten the point that I've told this story so many times and I realize new things every time. That kind of shocks me that that was my life because I've come so full circle, almost attached myself from the incident, especially as of recently with some things that have happened.

[00:34:27] But uh, after I said no, he kicked me in the stomach and I was on the ground and he is like, all right, well call outta work. So I call outta work knowing that I'm now giving him three days to basically bury my body and leave if he kills me. I call outta work and he, uh, again, pushes me to the ground and he takes his gun from his waistband and he puts the pillow over my head and I hear him rack around in like, he loads in, around, into his Beretta and he racks it back and he pushes the barrel of the gun against my head and he starts to pull the trigger cuz you can hear that little squeak, like, we all know what that sound is, right?

[00:35:03] We know that feeling. Yeah. And then he just didn't shoot me like it never clicked and he fell to the ground. He was crying and then passed out drunk and I, I laid there bruised and, and swollen and in a lot of pain and covered in my own urine and, and ripped clothes. Just hoping our kids who were 20 months and eight months old at the time didn't wake up and that he was still so drunk that I couldn't manage what was going on.

[00:35:28] The worst part of all of that, and the part that I'm the most guilty about for myself is that during that whole situation, I was definitely mostly worried about my children, but I was more worried about how I was gonna get out and what people were gonna think about me and how this was gonna affect my job.

[00:35:43] Right. Those held me back from leaving my relationship sooner because I was like, he's really good at manipulating. I've never reported this, there's no past history. I make it seem like everything's Facebook perfect. There was no Instagram then we'd just really gotten into Facebook Times, and I don't have a support system at work and he moved me away from my family and I've lost almost all my friends.

[00:36:05] And it was that typical stuff and, and I'm supposed to know better, right? Uh, like as a cop who now, because at then I was a cop at, yeah. Morris Township responding to domestics, like, I'm supposed to know the signs. I'm supposed to be strong enough to handle myself. And I was so worried about what they were gonna think about me.

[00:36:23] When I went back to work cuz I couldn't handle shit at home. How was I gonna handle stuff on the road? If I can't protect myself, how can I protect them? It was a very, very big thing for me to emotionally get through and work through in order to feel like guys weren't looking at me all the time. And I, I, I don't like being a victim.

[00:36:42] I, I just don't, it's not who we are as cops. So that word in and of itself just drives me crazy. I think I'm a survi, I know I'm a survivor, that that's how I've, you know, focused my life around it. And it's much credit to my parents for making me who I am. But, To close that portion of it out the next day we woke up and he was very quiet, so I knew he remembered what happened.

[00:37:06] And uh, the kids woke up and Hunter had been a little sick and I was like, let me call the pediatrician. I'll take them to the pediatricians. He's like, I'll take him. So I knew, cause I knew I made the decision. I was calling the cops that day in my head and he's like, I'll take Hunter. And I was like, well, I can't, I can't really call the cops.

[00:37:21] If you're gonna have our son in the car, thinking in my head, that's not gonna be good. And uh, so I was like, all right, well, you know, I got the doctor to call in something through, through through the pharmacy. And then I was like, well we don't have any food at home cuz we weren't supposed to be here. I was supposed to be working.

[00:37:33] You were supposed to be working. Everything's at my parents'. And uh, he's like, well, I'll go to the grocery store. And I was like, okay, awesome. So we live 20 minutes from the grocery store. So I wrote a whole list of shit. I know he wouldn't be able to find because I was the woman, right. I was, my role was to grocery shop and, and cook at the time.

[00:37:50] So, I mean, I got like stuff he would've never found. And, um, smart. Thank you. Yeah. Somebody's gonna use this. Somebody's gonna use, I hope you listens. I hope so. Yeah. Smart. Thank you. Um, but he left and he took my keys and so there I was stuck at home and he is like, what are you gonna do? And I was like, I need to shower, so I'm gonna put Hunter down.

[00:38:10] I'm like, I just gotta clean up. And he is like, are we gonna be okay? And I said to him, I go, we're gonna be fine. And in my head I'm thinking, that does not include you, but out loud, because I was worried about what was gonna happen. I'm like, we're gonna be fine. Everything's gonna be okay. We will work through this.

[00:38:23] Like we've worked through everything else just to try and quell whatever he had. So he takes my keys and I called the state. So the state police were the ones that used to patrol where I lived. We didn't have municipal agency. And I called and hung up a bunch of times. And when I called and I, I let that connect, I still downplayed it.

[00:38:41] I said, listen, ma'am, I go, I'm a police officer. My husband's a police officer and we had a bad fight last night. I just, can I get a cop to come here? And I'm downplaying it. And he is now calling my phone and texting me and I'm like, ma'am. And I'm sure she could hear like what was going on in my voice.

[00:38:59] Cause I was starting to get panicked and I was like, I need you to get a cop here and I need it now cuz he knows I'm calling you. It. It's a lot more than I'm saying on the phone. I know this is a recorded line. I'm just worried like, I don't know where his gun is. Like this is what's coming out. And all of a sudden she goes, ma'am, you are safe.

[00:39:14] And I go, I'm not safe. Like I'm not safe at all. He is going to come back here. He's text messaging me and she's like, no ma'am, I, I sent, I sent the cops to the shop, right. Instead, he's under arrest right now. And I was, or he is in custody right now. And I was like, this is real. Like I just had my husband arrested and he's a cop.

[00:39:33] And I, this is like, there's no going back because what I think that is cops who don't do, who don't have never been victimized. And I didn't really realize it until I worked through the process, is you don't understand that when people come forward, they're just trying to be safe immediately. They don't want the extra stuff after because we are re-victimized by having to go to court for that restraining order by, by the simplest thing of getting direct deposit, child support.

[00:40:01] And that notification coming up on our phone that morning re-victimize us because something pops into our head, whether it's, or we'll sleep and we'll know that we're gonna have to do a custody exchange the next day. There's all these things, so we just want it over. We just wanna be safe. We just wanna be, we want it to be done.

[00:40:18] And that, that process after is actually even more victimizing than the actual incident we deal with, which is why people go back. And it's what I'm really trying to change through legislation and laws when it comes to victims of domestic violence on a whole personal level. But, uh, crazy enough, the trooper that arrested him and.

[00:40:39] This is why I really say that networking is very much a huge part of our profession. You and every single person you meet, at some point you will need. So don't talk shit about them. Don't give them an attitude. You don't have to be friends with them. But you just never know when you are going to need the services of another person in this profession, no matter where they are.

[00:40:58] And I was very close with this one trooper. We had worked a case together and I lost him as a friend because of my ex-husband being jealous. And he is the one who placed him under arrest not knowing it was me, cuz he didn't know I was married. And he shows, he sees all this stuff in the grocery basket for like kids.

[00:41:15] And he is like, well, I can't let this all go to waste. So he comes back to my house, he's got all my grocery bags, and I open the door and he drops everything and he comes and he just hugs me. And I hadn't showered. I was still covered in urine and ripped and bloody and bruised, and my house was a disaster.

[00:41:30] And I'm telling you like. I, I know he hugged me because he knew me. But I needed that, like more than anything. I made two more calls. I made, I called to my dad. I said, dad, please come get the kids. I need a restraining order. And then I called my captain and I said, you know, Keith and I had a domestic last night.

[00:41:46] My gun is at work, right? Like, that's the message I wanted to get across. And I was like, my gun isn't work. It's not here. Cuz again, worried, right? Yeah. What are the ramifications of this for my job? And, uh, my, my captain's like, okay. And now my work was 40 minutes, 40, 35 minutes away, they were there and about 20, uh, which was great, but at the same time, re-victimizing because they sat with me on my couch, in my home that was destroyed with my kids crying and me just looking the way I did.

[00:42:15] And I, these were men that I looked up to, men that I wanted to impress, men that I didn't wanna let down. And I felt that I was letting everybody down. I, like, I let my family down. That was just at our wedding. I let. I'm gonna, sorry, I'm gonna cry, but I let my kids down for, you know, and at the moment I thought I let my kids down cause I was breaking my family up.

[00:42:37] But really, I like working through it. I feel like I've let my kids down because I brought them in this world with somebody who's a monster as a person. And then I felt bad about who I was and why I didn't see that. Right? So many things. Sure. My agency had no idea how to deal with it. Uh, I went back to work the next night because I knew I could not, not go to work cuz I needed my mind off of it.

[00:42:57] And my very first call was a domestic. So crazy enough. Wow. But, uh, my ex-husband was charged with, uh, aggravated assault. Third degree. Uh, third degree. Possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, jersey's weird. So in order to have unlawful possession for unlawful purposes, you actually have to be charged with unlawful possession as well.

[00:43:15] And, uh, criminal restraint, terrorist threats and harassment. And, uh, I got a restraining order. And there was a no contact order put on place cuz we had bail back then. So that was part of his bail. And when I went to the restraining order hearing, I'm standing in court and I don't have my gun on me cuz I'm there for personal reasons and I'm feeling really vulnerable.

[00:43:36] And back in, uh, 2008, all the victims were on one side and all the, uh, you know, aggressors or alleged aggressors were on one side. And let's be honest, the majority of them are women on one side and men on the other. So thinking about creating an environment where these women within 10 days, it has to be within 10 days for that restraining order hearing.

[00:43:55] You're standing in a room with somebody who has abused you. Definitely more than once mo like as far as, cuz people never come forward the first time. Right. Because they hope it'll get better. And it, and so I'm sitting in this courtroom and here comes my now ex-husband in all orange shackled when he was a police officer.

[00:44:11] Like, we don't wanna see our brothers and sisters like that to begin with. Yeah. But it's also my husband and the father of my children, and also the person who almost killed me. And here I am and the, and I'm like, In our process for a restraining order hearing if I, you get two options. And I had to stand up and the judge is like, ma'am, do you wanna keep the restraining or do you wanna go for a final restraining order or do you wanna drop it?

[00:44:32] If I said I wanted to go for a final restraining order, it was then my ex-husband's choice to say, okay, that's fine. Sure. Let her have it. Or no, I want a trial to deem whether or not it's good enough. Right. So again, the way the system allows for another layer of abuse, because they get that choice. And now we are on trial and it's just, it's so convoluted, but since there was a no-contact order in place, I stood up and I said, I, I don't want, uh, I wanna drop the temporary restraining order and the female prosecutor in front of everybody in that courtroom, and I'm talking, it was like a hundred people.

[00:45:07] And there were two people there that I had arrested previously who obviously didn't recognize me because I'm not, my hair is not back. I don't have makeup on. I didn't have makeup on that day. But you just look different. Right? Yeah. Especially and, uh, She stands up and she says, uh, please the court. I need to make sure that the victim knows that regardless of her re dropping the restraining order, that there's a no-contact order in place.

[00:45:27] And as a police officer in the state of New Jersey, she's held liable to a higher standard if she violates the civil order of a no-contact order. And I found my set of balls and I stood up and I was like, please, the court. I don't really think it's fair that one she's telling personal information about me as far as my profession in front of a whole entire courtroom.

[00:45:46] Sure. Two re-victimizing me and making me feel like I'm an idiot. But three, also not realizing that I'm educated in the fact there's, there are no contact order and only a judge can drop it. And considering it's a piece of paper, it is the exact same thing. And my ex-husband like dropped like this, which was kind of awesome to see.

[00:46:01] And uh, she got ripped right outta the courtroom. But again, I've tried to like change. And it's just, you know, he, so he goes to grand jury, he lies on the stand, comes outta grand jury and they upgrade his charges to kidnapping and they give him three counts of perjury. I tell you this because he probably should have been facing 75 years in jail.

[00:46:23] Yeah. And instead he took a plea deal for six months because he was Officer of the year passed the psych. They allege that it was, that his actions were based off the fact that he was an alcoholic. And, uh, they said that he was, uh, never an issue before and there was no reported history. And out of those six months, he did two months in one week, which meant that the no Contact Act daughter was null and void after two months, in one week.

[00:46:48] And I could not go get a new re restraining order because I, I mean, I dropped it thinking he was going to jail forever. People hate cops, right? Cops do shit wrong. They go away longer. And, uh, no. The very first call was let me see my children the day he got out. And so since. March, uh, I'm sorry, may of 2010 I have been, uh, dealing with him and trying to co-parent and him going through two other wives and actually now four and abusing them and them hating me, and now us being all great friends.

[00:47:22] And you know, you never know what anybody's going through. And he used the system. My internal affairs complaints went up. Like if I showed up for custody and I had my gun on me, which I did all the time because I didn't trust him. And, and believe me, I, if he had stepped me one more time, I would've done whatever I had to to protect me.

[00:47:39] So yes, I always carried my side, my firearm, and uh, you know, if he saw it, he would call the internal affairs investigation at my place. And they can't say no, they have to do something. It was just, I was a single parent of a 20 month old and an eight month old on low salary, like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

[00:47:55] I was poor as shit. I did not eat for days just so my kids could eat. And there was just, and I didn't have great relationships with the guys I worked with cuz now I had this chip on my shoulder, like very much a me thing, but they didn't know how to act and react. And I was just in a really shitty place.

[00:48:10] I was really low, really, really low. And also just down on myself for allowing myself to be in that situation. Yeah. And moving through it. Was tough, but like dealing with him has been tougher. And in April of this past year, he was still allowed to see my kids, uh, my daughter. Uh, so we were talking about relationships early and I realize I'm dominating the conversation, so I'm very No, no, you're totally fine.

[00:48:36] No, keep, anytime. Uh, we were talking about relationships earlier and letting go of the ones that don't serve you. And my status as a police officer was used against me a lot, and part of our civil divorce agreement was that we could not talk negatively about the other person. And so I didn't. And I wanted to.

[00:48:55] And when they asked like why it didn't work out, I said, you know, your father and I just don't love each other anymore. But he was allowed to say whatever he wanted. But if I said anything and it got back to him, he would go and he would file a complaint against me, like at work, like, or it was crazy. And so I kind of just had to teach my kids an awareness, said, listen, if you like, even if it's me, if me is your mother, I am not doing what's in your best interest.

[00:49:15] And I don't make you the best version of yourself I'm giving you. And I hope that's not the case. I hope forever I am like this positively incredible being in your life that you only feel loved. Let me go if I'm not, I'm giving you that permission and it'll break my heart, but I'm giving you the permission to do that.

[00:49:31] And that was my way of basically letting them know that if I'm saying it's okay, and they make that choice someday, they can do it with their dad without me explicitly saying it's their father. So, He definitely verbally and mentally and emotionally abused my daughter. Uh, he's got a problem with women.

[00:49:46] Uh, he just, that's who he is. And so she chose during Covid to never see him again and spend time with him. She was uncomfortable, she was able to articulate it. In Jersey, Jersey, there's no minimum age or max or minimum age to say that you don't wanna enforce custody as far as visitation, which is fantastic, as long as she could articulate it caused a rift between her and my son.

[00:50:06] My son and I had never gotten along because, you know, my ex-husband treated him like gold. So like he was his father's boy. Like they hunted, they did the cool stuff and he only had to be a good person every other weekend. So in April, my husband actually started, I guess he's been drinking. My ex-husband has started drinking like a whole lot more again.

[00:50:25] And, uh, he was with my son and my son's half-sister. So from the, from my ex-husband's third marriage, if you can follow all that. Yeah, yeah. Uh, my, my older two have a half-sister from that. And, uh, my, he woke up drunk and he was moving in with a new girl, and Hunter didn't do what he was told. And so Keith beat, beat my ex-husband, beat him for a while against the stairs.

[00:50:49] And this was the day before Easter. He called me. He was ranting about how much Hunter is like a douche bag. I'm like, whoa, dude. Like, relax. And I, I could hear in his voice and I'm like, he's gotta be drunk. And, but I used to call and if I called for a welfare check on him, he would then open up a harassment complaint.

[00:51:04] And it was this really bad back and forth of me wanting to do the right thing. So I had safe words with my kids just in case. And he is like, he's like, he's saying I beat him and Bran's here. And that didn't happen. I smacked him on the back of the head. Cause he was being a little asshole to me. And I was like, all right, I get out.

[00:51:17] He can be there sometimes. I go, can I talk to him? He's like, no, I've got him. He put it off for like an hour and a half until finally I was like, put him on the phone, or I'm calling the cops. So Hunter gets on the phone, he doesn't say the safe word. I give him ample opportunity. I'm like, all right, he's good.

[00:51:29] Right? I was like, I'll see you tomorrow. We do the exchange. And Hunter falls asleep on my shoulder at my parents' house, and I'm like, something's wrong. Like we're gonna talk about yesterday. But I know well enough that if I talk to my son and I force it, he will shut down and he won't tell me anything.

[00:51:42] So I didn't ask. And I was like, we're gonna talk about it. He is like, he's like, uh, ah, fuck. Sorry. Oh, you can censor that. Uh, he, uh, he goes, mom, it's o it's okay. I'm, I'm, I'm safe now. And, uh, we'll talk about it later. Let's let the girls have a good Easter. And I was like, okay. And so now my heart's like broken and he takes off his sweatshirt and he, and I can see now that there's marks on his body.

[00:52:07] I was like, oh no. We're gonna talk about this a little sooner than later, dude. He's like, all right, let's just go do the East Easter egg hunt and then we'll talk. And then he's just like falling asleep and he is not acting right and he doesn't want to eat. And I was like, we're gonna go outside and we talk.

[00:52:20] And he said that, you know, for almost 15 minutes, Keith just had him up against the stairs and beat him. And so I walked back into my parents' house and I was like, thank you so much for my last dinner from out behind bars because I'm, I have to go take care of something because you don't mess with my children.

[00:52:34] Like, you can mess with me, but you do not mess with my kids. Like, I will go to jail for my children in a heartbeat. And then Hunter got sick and I was like, all right, well God is intervening right now. I have to take him to the hospital. He knows best. He's, you know, he is saving me at the moment. My parents are like, that's okay, you go get to the hospital.

[00:52:54] I call the trooper, same trooper that arrested him the first time I called him. I'm like, send me someone now, right? Like now, because I need to, this poor trooper walks in, I go, this is what you're gonna do. You're gonna charge him with this and this and this. I have not interviewed my son because blah, blah, blah, blah.

[00:53:08] Like, go ahead and talk to him. Uh, he got charged with three more things. We don't have bail in New Jersey anymore. So he got arrested, put in front of a judge, and with four days later he was let out on uh, what's called bail reform because on released on his own recognizance because they believed he was not a threat and that this was in a singular incident, and then he, and then put a no contact owner in place, they, he violates the no contact order.

[00:53:31] A week later I, again, try to get it violated and all the things, and I get a restraining order that time because he calls me. So I get it based on a one singular call of harassment. But only because I know the system now and because I'm considered an expert in domestic violence, I had to fight for it.

[00:53:47] Like, I can't even imagine being someone that doesn't have the knowledge that I have. True. And he violates a no contact order. They arrest him. He is in possession of weapons. Like I knew because, because of my son, I was able to get a search warrant attached to the restraining order, gets arrested again, released again, and he's out.

[00:54:05] And we don't hear from him from April until I am trying to go for the final restraining order, which gets granted. So it gets granted this past summer, which was amazing. And then in December of this year, like as if the story could not be anymore of like something you would see on Lifetime in December, I get a phone call or I get a text message from somebody that I have become very close to him.

[00:54:29] And I, uh, teach methods of instruction together. We literally talk every day because we are like nerds. So we do that wordle thing every day, right? So, He messages me and it's very, very short and very professional. Heather, can you do me a favor and confirm your ex-husband's date of birth and his name? And I was like, oh, he's getting in trouble for something probably dwi.

[00:54:49] I go, yeah, sure. Here you go. Like, do you want a social to you? Because I still know that. And he's like, Nope, thank you so much. Talk to you later. And I was like, oh, something's going down. So Rob, I guess, is on scene of something and then I get a phone call a half hour later from that same trooper that arrested Keith the first time and who got me the troopers to come for my husband.

[00:55:07] And I was like, well, I know what this is about. He's like, you know what's going on? I was like, no, but I know what has to do with Keith because now I've got these two phone calls and I'm at work like on a Sunday night at work. And uh, this other guy just got promoted to Lieutenant is sitting next to me.

[00:55:21] He was my sergeant, and we're, we're, we're working. He's like, I'm gonna go on the road. I'm like, okay. So Darren says to me, I can't really give you details other than that he is a barricaded subject. And, uh, he hurt another girl tonight that he's been married to. And I was like, what? So he met this girl. Two weeks later, he married her.

[00:55:39] Six weeks later, he tries to kill her. He takes a pair of scissors in a knife and goes to stab her. And s because he had just gotten what I believe is that he had just gotten the offer from the prosecutor's office for a plea agreement mm-hmm. With my son. And it was like one day shy of a year, and he was not going back to jail.

[00:55:56] So he said, you're gonna call 9 1 1, and as the cops walk in, I'm gonna make them shoot me. And she goes, please don't do this. I'm pregnant. She wasn't pregnant. Smart girl. Like, that's how she got out. She gets out, she calls the cops, he barricades himself, he's barricaded for eight hours and Darren is calling me and he is like, I'm not calling you professionally, I'm calling you personally.

[00:56:13] Like, help me know what to say to him to get him out alive. And I was like, I can't believe you're asking this of me. Like yeah. I was like, I really had to balance. Good human right then, right? Like I had to draw on everything because he asked me to save the life of the one person I've always wanted dead, right?

[00:56:35] Yeah. The one person I've always wanted out of my life, like, and he's asking me that while I'm at work and I wanted to go there so bad. And at the same time I'm thinking this is gonna be a suicide by cop. And I come to find out that Darren is there. Darren's the trooper, you know, he's become one of my best friends.

[00:56:53] He's like my guardian angel. Rob is there. Then Dave, who also teaches m o i, is there cuz he's the detective in that town and we're talking a different county. And then the guy that responded initially to be the on-scene negotiator was somebody who my ex-husband and I went through the academy with. Like, if somebody was going to shoot my ex-husband and kill him, it was gonna be somebody that I care about.

[00:57:13] And then I was like, I'm gonna have to tell my kids that a cop shot and killed their dad regardless of their relationship. Like all of that stuff is going through my head. Yeah. And I was like, Darren just talk to him about his son because, and his kids, because that's the, that's the one thing he still feels like he has a chance to own.

[00:57:31] It's not that he loves them because he doesn't know how to love anybody, but so it, it didn't work. He barricaded himself, but the state troopers went in and ripped the side of the house off and took him into custody and. One more caveat to this whole thing. Uh, it was happened in Sussex County. Sussex County does not have a jail anymore, so they transfer all of their inmates to Morris County and that is where I work and the jail is in my town.

[00:57:57] So the two times he was released for the, after the incident with my son, when he was released on his own reconnaissance, he walked into my town while I was working. If he had gotten hit by a car, I would've had to show up and I would not have done anything. I'll be very, very transparent, but I would've been there, right?

[00:58:14] Like talk about the added trauma that we have that happens to us based on personal issues that, that we don't really take into account. So now that I had a final restraining order and I knew that he was, he was not being released, like I knew right now he wasn't being released cuz his charges were astronomical with pending charges and all the things I knew he wasn't getting released.

[00:58:33] So I made a phone call to the jail and I said, I'm not asking for a professional courtesy. I go, I'm calling as a victim of domestic violence with a final restraining order for someone who has to respond to this location and it's in my town. And they were like, no, we do this all the time. It's really for his protection, not that he needs to be protected, but it's in his wellbeing as well.

[00:58:52] And they transferred him to Bergen County Jail. And uh, but he was still an inmate of Morris. So on Friday morning after this whole, this is Sunday night and a Monday he gets arrested. Friday morning, he has his, because you have to have a bail reform hearing for release no matter what. And he waives his right to release.

[00:59:09] And so I pull my kids aside and I said, guys, you really need to be prepared for what's about to happen. I go, I don't know what your father's like anymore. I haven't had to really deal with him, but he's always said he won't go back to jail. So, I mean, it's unlikely it's going to happen because it's in a jail and people don't really get to kill themselves in jail.

[00:59:26] But he's made those statements, like he said it that night and they're like, okay, no problem. And my son's like, he's dead to me anyway, so it doesn't matter. He's very much like a light switch. Uh, like, uh, my daughter is a lot more emotional. And uh, Sunday morning I got a phone call that he had hung himself at Bergen County Jail and died.

[00:59:43] Oh wow. And it was pronounced. Yeah. And the really crazy, insane thing is that. When he did it, the time that he hung himself, which was exactly at 3 31 because they did the check at three o'clock. I woke up at outta my sleep and I just like, there's, I, I almost knew it was, I like, there is this burden that was taken off of my shoulders before I even got that phone call.

[01:00:09] And as I get the phone call, I'm like, happy, like I'm legitimately happy. Like I don't ever have to do anything with him again. I don't have to fight for custody. I don't have to worry about him trying to show up at their graduation. I don't have to worry about my son testifying against him. I don't have to worry about their wedding and all these things.

[01:00:29] And then I realized now I have to worry about all these other things. I have to worry about it not being my daughter's choice anymore about whether or not he's in their life. I have to worry about her still feeling like a piece of her is missing even though she didn't want him there. Yeah, there there's just, there's the la Luckily I have a phenomenal therapist who I like love.

[01:00:49] And I work a lot with and I can't preach enough how important it is. And the best thing I can say about therapy for people who don't wanna go it, because I went to a couple and I didn't like any of them. The very first therapist I went to was like, what did you do to allow this relationship? Like, what was your family?

[01:01:05] I'm like, what do you like? Okay, goodbye. Yeah. And uh, and ther again, finding a therapist is like dating before you get married. It's true. Yeah. You gotta visit a couple to see if you all click, right? Yeah. Like that's just the best way to put it. And maybe it'll take a couple sessions to figure that out, but it's okay to walk away.

[01:01:23] But again, why do we wanna keep going through those, those emotions with a new person? I get that too. But I have an incredible therapist and I called him and I was like, I don't know how to tell my children. He helped me with that and I just did. And it's, I called my daughter's therapist too cuz she's been going to therapy.

[01:01:39] So I sent up all the resources, I did everything I could. My chief is phenomenal. Like my new chief is just. One of the most heart led leaders I've ever met in my life. I'm, I'm very proud to work for him. He's been an integral part of my mental health after this. But, uh, you know, I was the first person now to u to take off work sick for a mental health day and not have to worry about that being used against me.

[01:02:03] But, uh, you know, it's just, it's been an insane thing to navigate and also very, very, like cleansing as a person because there are little things that you don't realize. And this is for trauma with anybody, and I'll be the first person to say that. I don't think that P T S D is a disorder at all. I, I think it's an injury.

[01:02:23] Yeah. I think that's something that we have to rehab and we have to pay attention to you and we have to work at and build through to get stronger. And I'll tell you what, I just. It's this thing that I've constantly worked at and I've learned a couple things that have really helped me strengthen myself, and it happened through therapy One October 16th, 2008 was the weakest I've ever felt.

[01:02:44] Sorry, I need water for a second. You're good. It's the weakest I've ever felt. It's the most humiliating experience I've ever had in my life. It's a time of my life that I continually bring back to help other people, right? I, I, I've taken my pain and I've turned it into a purpose because I have to believe.

[01:03:04] This happened to me for a reason in order to kind of rationalize it in my head. But, uh, there are two moments that I've come to realize that I saved my own life that night. One was when he told me to kill myself, and I said, no. Uh, I realized that at that time he did not want to kill me, and he was using me as a means to get himself killed.

[01:03:28] Right. So I think he was hoping that by giving me the knife to stab myself, that maybe I would stab him or not. Having his gun in his waistband or having it in his waistband and not in a thing was a way for me to grab it. Uh, I, I was just, it was an empowering moment where I realized I saved my own life right then.

[01:03:46] Because by telling him no, now looking back, that was like, wow. She told me no. And he listened. And then the other empowering moment was when I said no to calling my dad. Like, I saved my life that night because if I had, my dad would've shown up and probably been shot and killed. And so would my, and my husband would have my ex-husband at the time, or ex-husband now husband at the time.

[01:04:08] Yeah. And, uh, or, or my dad would've called the cops and they would've shot him. So, and he would've killed me. Right. If I had called my dad, he would've killed me. Sure. In those few moments. So I just, I feel that my evolution. Is something that I'm really, really proud of and I, I try to hold onto that PR pride and I try to lead with it.

[01:04:29] And, uh, I have been able to be okay being who I am in a world where, in, in a profession where it's not really. Looked favorably on to cry on a scene and to hug my people and to tell them that I love them. Every chance that I get my squad right now is like, I can, I can retire next year. And the only thing holding me back is how much I love the people that I work with.

[01:04:56] Yeah. Because I really do feel like I'm making a positive influence with them, but they make such an impact on me. And we hug at the beginning of every shift. If like, there's time we hug at the end of every shift. We are vested in each other's personal lives. We say, I love you. We are inclusive. It's just, it, it's, it's this, it's really that family that I've always wanted from this thin, blue line my entire career.

[01:05:20] And I just, I feel blessed and honored. And so when people are like, I'm so sorry for what you went through, I'm like, please don't be because exactly where I am is where I'm so, so blessed to be on every level, who I am, what my mindset is, how I approach situations, how I can help victims on every single level.

[01:05:36] How I can help my guys, how I can help my kids, like me being in the marriage that I am and, and being able to love somebody the way I do. Uh, it's just everything that's ever happened to me in my life has brought me to this moment and, and I'm so at peace with it that, uh, that I just, I'm, I'm really just, I'm not, I'm okay with it.

[01:05:54] So I feel no, I need no one to feel sorry for me at all. Yeah. That was a lot. Sorry. That's No, don't make it dirty. And you got long and dirty. Sorry. I, I love it. I would sue, I'd like, I would reach through and give you a hug right now. I mean, you're, we can air hug. Yeah. Eric hug. Yeah. You're an awesome person.

[01:06:19] Like, thank you. Like, it was hard for me to like, keep back some tears. You know? I, like, I, I get the domestic violence cuz I, I witnessed that and as a child and how that affects you in some ways. And I like, and you, and you tell the story very, like, great. Like, it's just like, I mean, it's like, I, I don't know how to explain it.

[01:06:46] Like I'm listening to it, like, and I can see all the value, you know, in, in what you've gone through. And I think you're right. You are where you need to be. Like it's a blessing to the world that you're here and that you're telling your story and then you are the person that you are in treating your community and your kids, your husband, your, your coworkers, the way you do.

[01:07:09] Like, that's inspiring. That's like, I just cope and I know you will discontinue to share that and do that like that, right? One person can change the world. One person that's you. You're changing, like you're the, I call microcultures. Our departments are teams, are groups that we work in. They're all microcultures and our FI families, micro families.

[01:07:35] And then that extends out on what you do and how you treat them, right? That's affecting the way they're treating their family and they're treating, you know, the people on the road. And like it can have a snowball effect. Uh, you know, I'm trying and I, I have failed a lot and I don't want like, Where I am right now probably looks easy to how I got here, right?

[01:07:57] Like no, it doesn't, it doesn't. I don't, I don't mean like the things I've been through. Yeah. I mean, like my mindset and who I am as a, as, as a leader in my agency. I failed as a sergeant. I will be like, I'm very, very transparent about that. I was a shitty sergeant. Like I just, I came in and I was like, I got here, right?

[01:08:15] And I worked hard and, and I, I, I, me, me, me and how can I do this better? And I just failed. I, I really did. And I ate a lot of crow for it, right? And I, and I've, I've failed my community of women in law enforcement before. I've, I've, I've been that shitty, shitty girl. Like that was shitty to others because I heard rumors, right?

[01:08:34] Because I was the butt of rumors. And I figured, well, if that's that, right? So I, I, I've worked so hard, especially within the. Four or five years as being a lieutenant to, to realize that none of this is about me, but all of it greatly can affect me. And that's, that's what a heart led leader should do. Like, I, I've let go of that autocratic type of leadership.

[01:08:56] I've realized that there's a time and a place, and when I have to get shit done, I'm the first person to be like, I don't need to tell you why right now. Like, I need it done now, and I'll tell you why later. Just trust me. Yeah. And that's, that's a big part of it. And, uh, but I, I failed, I failed a lot and I, a lot of self-growth.

[01:09:10] I've done a lot of work. I do a lot of reading. Uh, I've, I've stopped apologizing for who I am. That was a really big thing. I've, and I've really embraced that. Nobody else needs to be like me and I don't need to be like anybody else as long as when we come together. We are working together to really, really succeed in the mission of our agency and, and the mission of our own lives, right?

[01:09:32] Like, yeah. We, we should all have our own mission statement of our, of our lives and our family. And you walk out my door and what you see is the, are these books and it says, come home safe. And in one of the emails you sent me, you talk about how being a first responder affects our families. Yeah. And I don't think enough people focus on that because we think that we're holding onto so much, but the way we come home affects them in ways that they will never articulate because they don't want to put more on our, on our plate.

[01:10:01] A really great example though is that. Uh, I put a thing up on my Instagram, so I'm very, very blessed to be a main stage speaker at the 2023 Street Cop Conference in April in Nashville from, from April 23rd to the 28th. I'm going on like before Kyle Carpenter, right? Like, he's the youngest medal of ever and I'm right before him.

[01:10:22] Like, what is my life right now? And, uh, you're pumping everybody up for that. Like you're, you freaking know it. And, uh, and I put up there and, and the title of my most people are probably gonna come there thinking I'm gonna talk about chick shit. I'm not talking about chick shit. I'm talking about like all of the guys and all of us is people and humans.

[01:10:40] And so the title of my presentation is Be the Change. Yeah, because love this. That's a scary word for cops. Change and commitment. Two really scary words for cops. Yeah. Yeah. So I'm talking about being the change and not just in this profession in your organization and, and your team, but really in yourself and, and just embracing what you can be.

[01:10:58] So. I put up this question on Instagram and I said, in law enforcement, if there was one thing that you could change, what would it be? And out of nowhere, my son answers it and he goes and he goes, the time that they spend away from their families. Yeah. And man, that sucked cuz he's now 15. He, he was 14 when he went through everything last year.

[01:11:17] And, and so I sent him a message. I'm like, buddy man, I, I'm, I'm sorry that you don't think I'm around enough. And he's like, no, it's not bad. He's like, I just miss you. He's like, I'm really, really proud to fuck this kid. Whoa. Like, I'm really, really proud to be your kid and I'm so glad that you're being recognized for everything that you're doing and, and like my mom's impactful.

[01:11:37] Like that's. That's incredible. And I was like, well one, I'm really glad to hear that you missed me because I thought you hated me forever. Cause again, before last April, we were not like good. Yeah. And uh, he's like, I really didn't like anybody, including myself for a really long time, so I'm sorry if that was projected on you.

[01:11:54] And I was like, who is this kid? And I'm like, well that's my kid. You know? So it affects our family, this job. Yeah. Like those little things. And I, I think the one thing that I bring to the table that I really hope people can embrace is that I give permission to people to be a really great cop and be a really great parent.

[01:12:14] Cuz you can be both. Yeah. And you shouldn't have to sacrifice, but also be honest with your family. When you're having a bad day, it's okay to say you're having a bad day. I will come home and I'll say, cause I only have live like 11 minutes from my house. I'll say, I had a really rough day. I, and I, I can't have you hug me right now because.

[01:12:31] That's what I need. And I know you need a hug and I will hug you, but I need to like, just, I'm like physically just on fire right now, and if you touch me, it's going to do something that I'm not ready at the moment to handle. So just give me some time. Let me, let me, let me have a timeout and then give me like 15 minutes.

[01:12:47] I think that's all I'll need. And I'll sit in my, I'll sit by myself and I'll sit and I'll let myself be in my feelings for five minutes and then I'm like, these are things I can no longer control. And what I can control is how I react. And then I take another five minutes just to start to think about things that are positive and then I'll, if I need to, I'll put a, a game plan in place about like resources I need or what I need to do to kind of get my mind refocused and or if I did something wrong, how to refocus that.

[01:13:12] And I, I just, I let go of the outcome and I embrace the journey and, and that, you know, I, I lead my life with grace and patience, but sp specifically for myself. You got a lot to offer. Keep going, keep going, keep doing, keep going. I like, I, I mean, we could run this podcast for hours and listen to him like, and you could, I'm like, oh yeah, you should write a book about that.

[01:13:37] You could write a book about that, like in, and which I hope you do. Uh, like, I, I mean, I think what, what is your book? Can you tell like a little it's easier? Oh, I can, yeah. So it's about my story. Uh, most of what you heard, but a little bit in more detail, more things. But it's, uh, it's just my journey through policing and through my personal life.

[01:13:57] And it's gonna be a self-growth book, self mindset growth book. But it really just, hopefully, Debunk some things and allows others to take accountability for breaking stigmas. You know, through New Jersey women and law enforcement, we really attack the stigmas o of women in policing. One were two, emotional, two are not as tactical, and three we're not as strong.

[01:14:17] And while that might be the mindset of some people, like, we really need to take ownership and accountability to break that stigma just as much as others need to allow the stigma to be broken. So yeah, that's in there and back and forth between a title. But I, I'm pretty sure, and nobody better steal this, but I think that the name of it is gonna be Shades of Blue.

[01:14:36] Oh, I like it. So don't anybody steal that. Yeah, I just copyrighted it. Don't do it. I'll, I mean, I'm sure there's probably another book out there named that, but I'll, I'll, but yes, that's probably what I'm gonna do. I'll talk to you about something after we turn this off. Okay.

[01:14:53] Thank you so much for sharing your story. I mean, it's. Incredibly impactful. I know. Like I wish I could just broadcast this out to the world, which I I do. And we're have seen about 30,000 listeners downloads. That's amazing. A month. Amazing. So, I mean, I think anybody that listens to your story, male, female, has a lot to learn.

[01:15:17] Um, from you and i, I hope you continue your leadership. If even if you decide to retire, you still can make an impactful difference in something else. I think you probably would also make a great chief. So, I mean, not in.

[01:15:34] I appreciate it. I'm good where I'm at. I really, really just make the impact then on the leaders. Then you, there you go. There you go. Don't have to. I'm love being a road dog. 20 years on. I'm like on patrol working night shift. I just, I love it. I, I don't wanna give it up. I love it. But thank you so much for the platform to be able to tell my story and, and hopefully even if like one person just doesn't feel alone, like, I hope that's impactful and, and I just please share my info.

[01:15:58] You can ha my email, my Instagram people can absolutely reach out for anything. Yeah, share it right now and we'll put it. All right, so my Instagram, which is really all I really communicate on from people I, I don't really know, is Heather at street? Uh, no, I'm lying. That's wrong. Heather underscore. S c t for street cop training.

[01:16:16] So Heather underscore, s c t I'm on LinkedIn, Heather Glogolich. I'm sure it'll be spelled right on the thing so I don't have to spell it out like I'm, you know, in court. Uh, and uh, my email is heather @street cop.com. Awesome. Awesome. Yeah, we'll get it in the show notes and it'll be in the audio here and uh, we'll have some incredible sound bites coming out of this.

[01:16:39] So thank you so much, Heather. I really appreciate it. Thank you. Yeah. Thanks again for listening. Don't forget to rate and review the show wherever you access your podcast. If you know someone that would be great on the show, please get a hold of our host, Jerry Dean Lund through the Instagram handles at Jerry Fire and Fuel, or at Enduring the Badge podcast.

[01:17:07] Also by visiting the show's website, enduring the badge podcast.com for additional methods of contact and up to date information regarding the show. Remember, the views and opinions expressed during the show solely represent those of our host and the current episodes guests.

Heather GlogolichProfile Photo

Heather Glogolich

Wife / Mother / Author / Advocate / Educator / Student

Heather Glogolich started her law enforcement career in 2004. She is presently a lieutenant in a municipal police agency in the State of New Jersey and she is assigned to the patrol division. In her present assignment, Lieutenant Glogolich oversees the Community Policing Unit, and serves as the agency’s Domestic Violence Liaison, Internship Coordinator, and LGBTQ+ Liaison. During the course of her career, she has been assigned to a multitude of diverse assignments including patrol, school resource officer, traffic safety officer, field training officer, and the detective bureau. Additionally, she has been a board member of the New Jersey Women in Law Enforcement and she is presently the Vice President of the organization. Lt. Glogolich is currently an instructor with Street Cop Training and her course is titled The Complete Female Cop.

Lt. Glogolich earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Caldwell University in Criminal Justice and then went on to earn dual Master’s Degrees from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Administrative Science and Homeland Security. She is currently attending Saint Elizabeth University as a doctoral student seeking her Ph.D. in Higher Education with a Servant Leadership focus. In addition to her impressive resume filled with achievements and accolades, Heather Glogolich survived a harrowing domestic violence incident in 2008 at the hands of her ex-husband. Instead of allowing it to break her, she shares her story as a survivor through speaking presentations and victim advocacy. In January 2020, Lt. Glogolich began volunteering as the Law Enforcement Advisor for VictimsVoice, an app that helps victims Record2Remember.