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How 911 At Ease International Saved This Police Officer’s Career

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
August 18, 2022 3:05 am

How 911 At Ease International Saved This Police Officer’s Career

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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August 18, 2022 3:05 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Charles Scott was working as a Police Officer in the Central Valley of California. Things were going well. But things took a turn when he was a part of an officer involved shooting.

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Time Codes:

00:00 - How 911 At Ease International Saved This Police Officer’s Career

35:00 - The World's First Action Figure Museum?!

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Some of our favorites. Today we have the story of a police officer, Charles Scott brought to us by 911 Eddie's international 911 Eddie's international provides first responders and their families access to free and confidential trauma informed counseling officer Charles Scott grew up in the central valley of California and from a young age. She knew he wanted to be in law enforcement ears. Charles with his story that's always a question they start with in the Academy is why you want to do this and I was always on the didn't have an answer to.

It was just always something I've wanted to do. My mom has a essay I wrote in first or second grade. What you want to be when you grow up and it was always a police officer so met this point where you get to drive fast carry a gun and they paid a fight with people sign me up, so that's why I did it was.

It seemed like it was better than working in a banker corporate office and has been an amazing night for sure.

I didn't have any any experience with fire or police. Looking back, I sure wish I had because are so many opportunities in law enforcement. All I thought all I knew was what you saw and cops so that's what I wanted to do. But no, my dad grew up. We grew up. He was construction superintendent for construction company. My mom was a stay-at-home mom with us boys say I was more of a just a working family. No law-enforcement experience at all and I don't really know where it comes from and I'm a firm believer that you can't create leaders leaders are born with the calling and sure you can do training and you can enhance your leadership skills, but I think no true leaders are someone that that God calls in the leadership and even at a young age. I would always find myself being the class presidents being the captain of the sports teams.

It's hard to look back when someone says wow, you've done all these amazing things and you look back I just live my life. You know you don't under you don't appreciate it as anything but that's just what I do. Charles made his high school sweetheart now the meaning 25 years now though he was offered an athletic scholarship to college, he decided to get into law enforcement as soon as he can see what's on TV with just the cops you you put in the application and I went to the Academy.

I think my my first oral interview that I had. I wore jeans and a and it colored shirt and thought that that was good so there's a lot of learning curve as far as that whole process you really start being evaluated from the time you submit an application so it's you know the interviews. The background checks the personal history statement and you have the Chiefs interviews so it's just it's a lot in and being from a small country town in the in the mountains. It definitely was a learning experience for someone trying to figure this out. I was only 21 when I started this so didn't have a whole Lotta life experience, but I figured will figure it out on the way. After the hiring process. Carl started his career in the Central Valley where he got his first officer involved shooting. Yeah so I was at Chowchilla Police Department which is in Madera County.

The Central Valley and we had a 911 transfer from CHP saying that there was someone outside that wanted to kill themselves so they sent myself another partner out to it. It was really close. We actually walked from the police department to where she was supposed to be located. We turn a corner and she's laying on her back. Kind of. I caught in the birthing position with her knees up and she's pointing a gun at us between her legs kind of down toward Jess my partner and I start to separate I start moving away from him because I want to create distance between the two of us to make her decide what she wants to do. As I started moving away from my partner I saw her kinda tracking me with the gun and that's when I started firing I fired four shots.

My partner fired two shots. I actually shot the gun which we found out afterwards.

I actually shot the gun out of her hand.

I shot her in the pocket but she still wasn't responding like you think they suit should when they were getting shot so I thought I was missing and that was the only time I really told myself in a slowdown take a deep breath, find your sites because you're missing and then I shot her and I saw kind of a red spot on her clothes and accounted started to grow, and I knew that I'd shot her because that that was the blood coming out. She called 911 herself and it was at that time.

911's always went to CHP in an CHP would transfer to our department. We didn't know this until after they reviewed, and even the dispatcher missed it. She actually said, to kill myself and Emmett take as many cops with me as I can. We didn't know that until later when they reviewed that the audio in our dispatcher even missed it.

So yeah, she called herself it was a suicide by cop is what she was trying to do the whole incident was really surreal when you we had Smith & Wesson guns reaction had a D cockle once they were were caulked to manually do it. I don't remember doing that. I don't remember putting my gun back in my holster so there's some things that you just respond so quickly to your training. You don't even realize you do it. I remember thinking to myself as I'm watching her track me with her gun, telling myself, you better do it before she does and that's what really you know prompted me and motivated me to fire that first round. It was empowering.

Once I started firing because and I felt like I was back in control. I was dictating the situation I was no longer responding to a threat. I was now trying to eliminate the threat and everything kinda slow down and you're listening to the police officer Charles Scott tell his story when the first or second grade. He wanted to be a cop.

We also learned about his first encounter with someone who was armed and it was intent on killing cop suicide by cop. It's known by the way the business. This was exactly what he was faced with as a young cop I will become back police officer Charles Scott story continues here on our American story. Our American stories we bring you inspiring stories of history, sports, business, faith and love stories from a great and beautiful country need to be told we can't do it without you are stories are free to listen to with her not free to make you love are stories in America like we do. Please.

Well American stories.com and click the donate button give a little give a lot help us keep the great American stories coming our American stories.com and we continue with our American stories and we been listening to officer Charles Scott share stories from his time in law enforcement we left off. After Charles had gotten in his first officer involved shooting with a woman was attempting suicide by cop. Let's return to Charles. She survived thankfully actually got to talk to her about two months later she she was doing really well.

She actually thanked us oddly, as had sounds but I went through some counseling with the department really didn't affect me. My wife when I came home after the investigation initial investigation. She asked how how are you just shot someone eyes well I've shot a thousand people. In my mind trying to prepare myself for it, so there were really wasn't a whole lot of emotion attached to it and really at first as we kind of freaked me out was that I wasn't freaked out about it but talking to the doctor kind of laid out a little bit for me went back to work. Actually I got to witness with her as she prayed with her on the street and I think that played a lots in my recovery and how I was able to to go back so quickly. I really didn't have any lasting effects because I think I kinda got that close that chapter with her. She didn't die, and she'd said no I haven't had a drink of alcohol since that day she did see settlement and do to ever again, so she was fortunate that I wasn't a better shot, I guess, but it all worked out and I think that played a big part in my healing was knowing that she didn't die and there was a purpose for maybe so there wasn't really any residual effect.

Because of that shooting and after that shooting is my wife and I decided that if we were going to be doing this kind of line of work. We should be doing it in an area that were raising our boys in a good environment where we enjoy it, who doesn't enjoy the. The central cause. So that's what kind of generated our desire to kinda find an agency back over here and landed at local police department. I had three boys at the time at Nola was about 12 when we moved over here maybe a little younger and then Jordan's our middle son so he be about 10 maybe 11 and then our baby in the family was probably seven or eight Zachary at the time so we come over and and you know reliving at the coast were homeschooling our boys were going to the to the ocean and beach on Tuesday at 10 o'clock in the morning really live in our best life.

I was succeeding doing really well at the department I was a lateral so I had a lot more experience than some of the newer guys so that immediately gave me some credibility at the department.

I'd been in a shooting no one at the department had been in the shooting. So again, that that lends to some some credibility to my abilities CI was that we were doing really well. We started fostering started trying to help kids in the foster care community ended up adopting.

Now we've ended up adopting three little ones through the foster care and we were living as perfect of a life as I ever wanted, or ever hope for.

Charles and his family were enjoying their life in the camps and tell the whole world got turned upside down. They got terrible news about their children.

Noah was for 14 at the time he started losing some weight.

He started getting really pale and we can start seeing some physical changes in him. He had recently bought himself Fitbit watch and he started trying to walk a little more run a little bit more, so we thought maybe you just losing some of the baby fat because he was starting to work out a little bit more. One day he walks down the stairs into the living room. My middle son Jordan says no you look like a ghost.

Even your your lips are white. So my wife took him to his pediatrician and after some tests, probably about two months. In July 2016 we were told that Noah had a LL leukemia.

That's acute lymphoblastic leukemia type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow affects white blood cells and is most common childhood cancer. It was difficult to hear. Obviously, when you you spend your life protecting people and fixing problems to hear that your son has cancer and that there's nothing that you can do to fix it was difficult.

It did, obviously we have such a close family with my side of the family as well as my wife Kristen side of the family were so close with all my siblings and our parents that it really affected the entire family. Knowing that Noah was having to go through this and and really that July 2016 is when we started this 16 month in my life that I wouldn't wish on on anyone.

I wouldn't wish on my my worst enemy. I went from having the picture-perfect life, picture-perfect kids successful in my job to literally my life like a snow globe being turned completely upside down in the matter of 18 months. Matter of actually 16 months. We went from my son being diagnosed with leukemia. Four months after that diagnosis on in my first officer involved shooting at lungful Police Department where Guy recharges at me with a knife and I had to shoot and kill him. That's in November 2016 June 30 of 2017, my son Noah passes away from leukemia. I go back to work soon after his funeral and 363 days from my first officer involved shooting him involved in the second officer involved shooting where we had to shoot and kill subject to a just killed his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend, so in literally 16 months I went from the perfect life to my son being diagnosed being an officer involved shooting. My son dying and being in another officer involved shooting was a time filled with unmeasurable stress when anyone goes through difficult times.

They need support and thankfully Charles community rallied around his family in amazing ways.

I can't speak highly more highly enough about the central coast and specifically Lompoc when my son I diagnosed at one time. My chief put a ribbon on every one of our law enforcement vehicles for the department, and supportive. Noah they would do fundraisers. They did a fundraiser at a pizza factory in town and there was a five hour wait for pizzas because the community turned out so strong and supportive Noah. They literally painted and put ribbons and balloons down the entire main street and long poke for orange and black which are that the leukemia colors for that kind of cancer. He had the support was tremendous when we know was diagnosed and then obviously because we were so out there in the community. When I was involved in the shooting. My name got released in the community was amazing and supporting my family during that losing Noah. The community was as devastated as we were all never forget two days after he passed. I had to take our younger kids to the mall in Santa Maria to get some clothes for the funeral. As I'm writing the escalator going down this woman looks at me and she merely search crying and I've never seen this woman in her in my life and she when I get down to the bottom of the escalator, she hugs me and said I'm so sorry I was really praying for Noah and to the staff no idea who she was, but she recognized me and came up and and she was heartbroken over the loss of Noah, so the community was just amazing and supporting Noah and my family during the this difficult time.

Losing a child is it's undescribable and I have a word for and I know why because every part of you hurts and to have. To deal with not only that but going through to officer involved shootings within a year. It was very difficult time for my family and I in your listing to police officer Charles Scott story and what a 16 month time period that was for him, his family, and as you could hear the community itself which rallied to his support and help doctors for his family but his extended family, but still had hope out of the bed on day-to-day and to continue to do his job. The answers to these questions and more.

The story of Charles Scott continues here on our American store will return to our American stories into the story of Charles Scott is a police officer and long poke California that's coastal California north of Los Angeles.

We left off. After Charles had had the most difficult year of his life. Within 16 months. His son got sick and passed away and hid experience to officer involved shooting. Let's return to Charles Scott so looking back it at that 16 months after the first shooting, I went to speak with our doctor that was basically contracted with our agency. I really I felt okay about that II didn't have a whole lot of baggage because of that, and it was difficult. I took someone's life. So it was difficult but slowly that it just started kind of adding up and piling up in my son was diagnosed we were dealing with my son's treatment that I have my first shooting and then my son passed away and nobody really knows what to tell Sadie you know if you haven't had a child die, you can say would what you can, but nobody really knows what what you're going through. So then the second shooting then and I'll never forget this candidate will illustrate just how dark of a place I was in an the second shooting when he started shooting at my Sgt. I remember getting out of my car and thinking to myself today. I'm going to see Noah now was my sons Nina passed away, and there was no fear. There was no sadness. I didn't even think about my wife or my other kids. It was just I missed Noah so much that that's what I was excited about and after was all said and done and I wasn't hurt or wasn't killed.

I remember being so angry at that guy. Not for me having to kill him because he couldn't kill me. That's how Delp dark it was for me as I just miss my son so much that I was mad. And that's when I really identified that I was in a dark spot. I have a loving life I have at that time I had four other kids that needed me as a dad but I would. It was so dark that all I cared about was seen my son again after that shooting. They sent me. They recommended that I speak to the doctor again.

He wasn't real responsive. He was from LA and it was always changing his schedule and it just didn't work really well. The last session I had with him.

We had to do it over phone and that's when he tells me. Well, I think you need to really think about what you're passionate about, because I will never see you going back into law enforcement, which was like a dagger in my heart because that's all I really knew that's all I was really good at, and now this doctors telling me in the darkest time of my life that he's going to take something else away from me. I went and I spoke to my chief in desperation and said this is not working. He wants to retire me and denied that time I was was in the 40 years old yet and I said I don't know anything else. My chief and my Capt. who is now been promoted to my current chief they were good enough to say no. If you know somebody or if you know a program that you need to reach out to do it and will make sure that it gets covered paid for whatever it may be. That's when Mike McGrew, cofounder CL and executive director of 911 Audi's international came into the picture. Mike McGrew had reached out to me. I don't know how he knew our story. Mike retired from Santa Barbara PD as a Sgt. and Santa Barbara PD was amazing. When my son was sick and Santa Barbara they would bring us food, they would have us call them if we needed anything and they would come and bring stuff over while they were on duty so they just really took care of my son and my family.

My wife, my wife would spend some time 60 days straight at the hospital with Noah and Santa Barbara PD made it a point to come by and check on us. Some assuming that's how Mike found out about me and our story. I was in such a dark place and even really register how I first made contact with Mike or the adhesive program but Mike had suggested the adhesive program and told me a little bit about it and I reached out to them when spoke to Dr. Barb Barbara. She was great. I spent probably two maybe three months going down there and seen her at least once a week.

She was amazing. Mike would come in and we would cry together, we would pray together. He was just a huge support in the Eddie's program was just it was so easy. It was easy to use.

It was easy to access. It was definitely a life vest or a light turned on in a very dark spot in my life.

911. Eddie's international was exactly what Charles needed to return to the career he loved so much. My goal was to get well enough to return to the streets and be a police officer. I didn't know what that looked like remember I was going in having Artie been told by a medical professional professional that I needed to retire so I wasn't trying to find someone just to say I go back to work will clear you. That's what they do. I had to be safe enough I to be secure enough. I had to be established in my heart that I could do the job again and that's with the Eddie's program did is that it allowed me to work through what I was dealing with. To be able to have the confidence to return to the streets. It's been five years or four years since my son passed away were coming up on November that it'll be five years that shooting the first shooting and I'm successful in my job.

I'm on the sergeants list. I've returned to work and this is something that I was told I would never be able to do again. A week since adopted another daughter and my wife and I are are strong and have a strong foundation. My I have a great relationship with my kids. I don't have an alcohol abuse problem. I don't even drink, and those are all pitfalls when someone goes through critical incidents that they do some self harm stuff and through the Eddie's program. I was given the tools to oval avoid such activity and to not be so self-destructive. He now has the desire to help other young officers deal with their own mental health problems. The culture of law enforcement is changing so much that there's so much stress put on officers and it it seems like it's changing every day. I've only been doing it for almost 16 years and I never thought I would get to the point where I would say no when I was a young officer but unfortunately where there so these critical incidences are are going to happen and I tell the young guys that I have a chance to mentor with I tell them that if you've created a 30 year career and you've been promoted every time you got all the specialties you've got all the awards you got all the accolades that you could ever have. As a professional law enforcement, but when you pull into the driveway, your wife or your kids say to themselves. Crap.

Dad's home and you have failed in this career because when it's all over. The only thing that you have is your family and you owe it to yourself and you owe it to them to take care of your mental health.

There is such a stigma about mental health and law enforcement. I cannot say enough good things about the Eddie's program. I know without a doubt if I were to get in another critical incident that my first outreach would be to someone at the Eddie's program, and a great job as always by faith on the production of these special thanks to officer Charles Scott with opening up it's hard for cops and first responders to talk about themselves and their problems are too busy taking care of others is a place like 911 Eddie's international there to help all the first responders and again the confidentiality is the key. You can learn more about 911 Eddie's international by going to 911 AEI.org I love what he said about them allowed me to get the confidence to go back to work. Go back to the streets to the job I loved troll Scott story here on our American story. This is our American story is an Arabic story well. We love this kind of story comes to us from the toy action figure Museum in Paul's Valley, Oklahoma. That's right, the toy in action figure Museum, its founder Kevin Stark says it's the first museum to be entirely dedicated to action figures take away Kevin Kevin Stark I am the curator and Executive Director of the toy in action figure Museum and also the founder of the museum. I got started I started collecting toys a long time ago back in 1986.

The girlfriend I had of time dragged me to an antique fleamarket and I didn't really want to go spend the afternoon looking at antiques, but they had all these cool toys and they were cheap and so I came out with an arm load of toys and I said well I was. That was fun.

When we going back to Seville. It happens every month and I was like cool so I started collecting toys and and I amassed this huge collection even as a kid I had convinced my parents to let me clean out our basement so that that could be my private play area and I shared a room with two brothers. So when my brothers found out that my parents thought that was a great idea feel they were a little upset with me over it, but my dance at Hank.

He came up with the idea and he cleaned it up so get lost and I had gotten a job when I was 10 years old. In order for me to be able to go and buy my own toys so high actually been collecting really sick. I was just always been attracted. Toys always enjoyed of my family when I'm no when it became a business to actually design them all the better. In 1990. I got a call to design toys. It was actually a guy went to school with and he calls and says how would you like to design toys for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles of the site. You wouldn't believe I'm sitting around right now so I don't been collecting for five years he did know as a collector, you know, I did know he was a designer and so we just got together. He said can you be in LA on Monday morning at 9 AM for a flight to LA and I like that I can't be had been working for small toy companies and every time there toy companies got bought out lost his job so he decided to start his own company that would do design work, but mostly write copy for the action figures and toys create the accessories going and that's a lot of what we did we would create sewer maps for the terminals law the extra things to know that when he and with the toys. We worked for a lot of different toy companies that don't have an in-house design team being huge companies like the talent has growing candor and so the company would come to us and say we need this design. We need the case of Pennsylvania that we did for Spielberg toy island was like we need you to design this line based on a cartoon series and so that's what we did we would look at the characters and come up with different ways they can make toys.

Everything from Plush toys to wind ups to action figures to place and course we would come up with you then had to send the drawings over the company. They would say yay or nay they make changes here and there. A lot of times we didn't have a lot of time to do the deadlines a lot of really quick and really short one toy line in particular the mommy we did for the Universal Studios movie. We had I think two weeks to design and get some sculpts done before the New York toy fair mechanic went for a long time. No, not ending toys, not the new toys and to three weeks before they set out will get you toys. Can you guys knock this out and so we were working 24 hours a day taken like little cat naps on my couch in my office you get not been doing more drawing so sometimes is very fast work.

Other times, you have lots of time so you know I just buried with the project. I point out people that come here. There are a lot of dull museums and there are a lot of toy news but we are really basically in action figure Museum. Our focus is the design and sculpting and heart of action figures. So even though we have toys to most of them relate somehow to action figure knowing the way a place answer vehicles are things like that so that's what makes us different and we have over 13,000 action figure collection. Most of the collection. 90% of what you see in the museum is from my private collection but we do get some things donated. You know the funny thing is, people say all you must do eBay a lot.

I never did coming very rarely have I ever picking up on eBay. I personally prefer to go out and the things on purchasing. I like to hold it in my hand and say, is this what I want and purchase it like that, that this is what I prefer. Because it took to me.

I like the hunt so really I go on what I call toy Safari got a call from a lady in Arkansas. I didn't talk to her that one of our board members did so, he calls me happy since you want to go on a road trip.

Like when we talk about well, this lady said she had this toy collection. She just wanted donate and I said will what we talking about will he didn't really know city try to get her to send pictures and she didn't really know how to do that on her phone so she only sent by four pictures that were of these little tiny figures on shelves so just hop in my Toyota 4 Runner Dr. all the way to Arkansas. She had so much stuff that we piled it all in my car and drove back to Paul's Valley, Oklahoma rented a huge U-Haul truck and went back still feel that and my car again because we had no idea what we were getting into. It was her husband's collection and he had passed away and wanted this stuff donated human. We were like, are you sure you want to do this because you know who told her she could sell the stuff on eBay or whatever she said now she said I'm actually a very minimalist person.

I just want all this stuff out of it was funny because the whole house packed with toys and she was telling me she liked to live very spartan really.

My wife and I went to a garage sale one time here in Paul's Valley and the family. It was just the couple. They had a daughter, and we were mostly going to the garage sale for my wife.

She was checking stuff they had all these cool boy toys.

I'm talking about. Great stuff that was worth a lot of money and I was is putting everything in my arms trying to pick it all up and I wife was clear across the way visiting with somebody.

And I like coming or coming up. We need to get this the will turned out that the father always wanted a little boy and he got a little girl so he was binder boy toys to, you know, and I think because he like so I just picked up a lot of really great stuff for next to nothing for garage sale prices and was very happy to get them and they're all in the museum right now.

Some of my favorite exhibits in the museum deal with my favorite character which spat in fact, we have a whole Batcave devoted to just spamming. So there are a lot of figures there and we created a World War II display which we had both the European campaign and the Pacific campaign.

All done in 12 inch tall action for the we built buildings and everything in order to create a diary, of these action figures, and we created a World War II well. The older generation of people who would coming here. They love because they can relate to that and a lot of all World War II veterans, and in fact we had one guy come in to these figures we use are not G.I. Joe's specifically some of them are from other companies that are very much accurate figures. Anyway this one. Figure has shoulder patch on it which was a paratrooper outfit paratrooper. You will then that guy that was his unit. Okay, he couldn't believe that we had an action figure of his unit in World War II. He was just blown away. We had a great time talking about it. Most everyone find something that they can relate to that that there might we have people come in thinking why do I want to be in here. I'm only here because my husband is here.

Whatever.

And then they see stuff they had as a kid and really were less about toys and more about nostalgia more about your childhood, people coming here. They almost always leave happy, you know itself that's always a great thing in human listening to Kevin store, the founder of the Tory in action figure museum in Paul's Valley, Oklahoma. This story, the story of a Museum of a man's making here on our American story


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