Family First Series: Beyond Survival
May 03, 2021
Dan Brite started his career in law enforcement. He worked in detentions, patrol, investigations, SWAT, and even spent two years working as a school resource officer. He was finally promoted to Sergeant before taking on his current role of Wellness Coordinator.
In 2016, Dan was responding to a call for a suicidal subject where he was struck with an AK-47 and left him paralyzed. “After my injury I was left in a wheelchair wondering what life was going to look like. I couldn’t look past everything the wheelchair had stripped away from me. I could no longer play basketball with my daughters or take them to the daddy daughter dance. I could no longer hold my wife’s hand as we go for walks or give her a huge bear hug. I could no longer provide for my family like I used to.”
Dan explained that the physical ramifications of his injury took a huge mental toll. “All of these constant negative thoughts led me to suicidal ideation. My soul was crushed. Once my family realized where I was mentally, they surrounded me and supported me, even though they were having their own struggles related to my injury.”
Dan maintains that this support from his family is the only reason he is alive today. “My family gave me another chance at life. They helped me realize that although there were many things I couldn’t do, the wheelchair actually provided a platform for me to accomplish so many things that I never would have done pre-injury.” Today, Dan runs a wellness program at Castle Rock PD that focuses on the mental, physical, social and spiritual wellness of officers and their families. Dan also speaks at LE conferences around the nation about wellness and the importance of officer mental health.
“I repay my family by not just living but thriving. I found a purpose and continue to serve the great men and women in law enforcement. I demonstrate through my actions that my family’s efforts weren’t for nothing. Everyday my heart is full because of my strong family---my ability is so much more powerful than my disability.”