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Assist the Officer Foundation's "Bridging the Divide" podcast helps mental health, preserves Dallas police history

Dallas officers produce one of the top law enforcement podcasts in nation
Dallas officers produce one of the top law enforcement podcasts in nation 02:24

DALLAS – Working as a first responder can be a stressful job, but a group of Dallas police officers have found an outlet through a podcast. It's one of the top law enforcement podcasts in the entire nation.

The Dallas Police Association building is where law enforcement stories come to life.

"You're human first, and everybody's got a story," said Joe King, a Dallas police officer.

The Assist the Officer Foundation's "Bridging the Divide" podcast primarily features North Texas law enforcement. Guests include everyone from an officer who worked during President John F. Kennedy's assassination to Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia.

"We've had officers on (from) as far as LAPD; Cedar Rapids, Iowa PD," King said. "We had a Navy Seal who was actually on the Bin Laden Mission."

King, who is also on the ATO board, had the idea to start the podcast to help officers with their mental health.

"I knew officers would be sharing very vulnerable moments of their lives," Dallas Police Senior Cpl. Daniel Canete said.

Canete has shared his own experiences working for the Dallas Police Department.

"I'm on Dallas SWAT, so we've had a couple episodes dealing specifically with SWAT topics, and that's the benefit I feel the listeners are getting is understanding more the law enforcement aspect and what we go through," Canete said.

About three episodes air each month, and another focus is on preserving Dallas police history.

"This is our honor wall honoring the 92 Dallas police officers, men and women, who have died in the line of duty," Assist the Officer Foundation Chairman Sgt. Ed Lujan said. "Some of our stories that you hear on our podcasts are about some of these heroes."

People in all 50 states and 84 countries have downloaded the podcast, and the hosts say they plan to continue it well into the future.

"We're just shocked at the number of messages we receive from all over the world from officers telling us this means something to them," Canete said.

"It gives them a stage to tell their stories in hopes that it can help others," King said.  "Your story could save somebody's life."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gave a 2023 Law Enforcement Achievement Award to the podcast, but the men in blue said the real accomplishment is helping improve the lives of their fellow first responders. 

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