“I have had the privilege of working along side Mario and Bob to draft legislation needed to ensure that those who are unable to return to duty as a result of a violent encounter or incident, are able to continue to support themselves and their families. The work that VIPO has done is incredibly important and I am honored to be a part of it, hear their stories and learn from their experiences.” – Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes
“It was suggested through another Police organization (Wounded Officers Initiative-Pete Hernandez) that I collaborate with VIPO. When I reached out to Mario, we spoke of our incidents. I found Mario to be intense and motivated to overcome his struggles and the desire to create change for officers who also struggle. Bob brings a good balance to their partnership, with his laid back personality and his acceptance of his incident. Over the years I have gotten to know both Mario and Bob. During my “PTSD” I had very few contacts that could relate to a police involved shooting. Through the years I have overcome the incident at work as well as some baggage that I had carried prior to my police shooting. With this group, my hope is that the peer support can be extended nationally. VIPO is an endless resource. The dedication that these two gentlemen display for their fellow officers is admirable. They have displayed courage, honor and an individual perseverance that we should all strive for. I feel so honored to be part of VIPO as well as calling them my friends.” – Officer Jacklyn Person
“The world of policing can be a bloody, violent and unrelenting job which both of you are intimately aware. When I attended your presentation at the FBINAA training conference in Canada, I had expected the standard story of courage and overcoming adversity. You did not disappoint; however, your lecture provided so much more. The two of you spoke of something that was different and most importantly, rarely acknowledged. What happens after officers have their careers ended in brutal fashion by their assailants? Your speech covered the aftermath of family suffering and resurrection through the myriad of both economic and political obstacles.\
“You offered advice and gave specific information on available resources, such as RISS, WSIN, C.O.P.S, Federal benefits, pending legislation and other ongoing efforts to help eliminate the challenges facing departments, whose officers have lost their careers to violence. This was different from other lectures and incredibly valuable. As a result of this information, I am now in the process of contacting our Law Enforcement Coordinator for WSIN and working to join this network.
“Your presentation should be seen and heard by every police chief and civic leader, then used as a guide for how to avoid additional harm to officers, their loved ones and the community. The information provided is crucial to ensuring the emotional health of an agency. Every chief and Mayor should listen to what the two of you have learned so they can better protect their officers and the community they serve. This knowledge you provided and your ongoing efforts have the capacity to change the way America treats law enforcement and the way the community views its police.
“This was by far the most informative and emotional lecture of the conference. I hope others took notice and invite both of you to more events, to share what you endured and the lessons learned that can benefit us all.” — Lieutenant Richard Davis, UCLA Police Department
Impact statements from law enforcement officers around the country who have attended presentations and seminars by Mario and Bob:
- Should speak at every academy in the state
- Never considered the impact a line of duty shooting would have on my wife and kids, going home to give them a hug
- Thank you to these men for sharing their stories with us
- Excellent.. Every cop should attend this presentation
- Eye opening class of what can happen in the line of duty
- Best class I have taken
- Outstanding job!! Best class I have ever attended, these guys should be at every academy in the state
- Very good class, makes you think about what has been done wrong in the past , to do things differently in the future, great presentation, very detailed and learned a few things to think about from their experience
- Outstanding, glad you guys are alive to tell your tale. Thank you for raising awareness
- Intense!! Well Done!!!
- The class was extremely inspirational and motivating using the experience of two officers that lived through a shooting and sharing it to help other officers
- I commend both officers to be able to talk about their shooting incidents and informing police about everything they had gone through
- Very sad and emotional but a great heads up, the speakers were great. Keep it going please!
- A tremendous wake-up call that every cop needs every few years
- An excellent class that was very informative, to the point and eye opening, could listen to these guys speak for another 4 hours
- Very powerful stories I commend both for their courage to be able to speak of their experiences, a huge eye opener
- This seminar should be mandatory for all police officers, it is a wake-up call for those of us who succumb to the monotony