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Addiction Has No Boundaries: Sheriff-Prison-Recovery: Kyle Overmyer

Positive Connections Radio:
E-60: Addiction Has No Boundaries
Kyle Overmyer
Kyle Overmyer was elected Sheriff of Sandusky County in Freemont, Ohio at the age of 34 in 2008. Kyle became addicted to opioid pain medication due to injuries that subsequently resulted in doctor shopping and taking medications from the Sheriff “Prescription Takeback boxes” to feed his addiction. Kyle was indicted by a Grand Jury for 42 related felony drug charges and ended up pleading guilty to 12. Kyle was sentenced to 4 years in prison and sent to the Allen Correctional Prison in Lima, Ohio where he served his full term. Kyle was released on April 4, 2020 and now has been sober for over 6 years. He is employed at Dreamlife Recovery and is the founder of KO Addiction. Kyle has the courage to share his story of addiction and recovery and is there for others who may need help.

Debriefing With My Chief: Former Carlsbad Police Chief Gary Morrison.

Positive Connections Radio:
E-59: Debriefing with my Chief:
Former Carlsbad Police Chief Gary Morrison.
I am honored to have this connection with my former Police Chief Gary Morrison. Nine and a half years ago he found out how dark my path of addiction had taken me and stood before the media to announce the criminal investigation, my arrest, and my subsequent termination as a police officer for the City of Carlsbad, California.
Recovery and positive directions have granted me the freedom from the bonds of addiction and mental health issues and the opportunity to share my experience, strength and hope with others. I never expected to make this connection with Chief Morrison, and I am deeply grateful.

Where is Your “ROCK BOTTOM” going to be?

Positive Connections Radio:
E-58: Travis Wittaker
Where is Your “ROCK BOTTOM” going to be?
How do you know you’ve hit your rock bottom? Been there before? How many more times do you want to do it your way? What do you do? Listen to my intro and Travis and know there is help available. Confidential help by trusted professionals who “Get Us” and they are there to help point you in the right direction.

Here’s a little bit about Travis Wittaker:
Travis has been sober for over 12 years. He is the father to 3 amazing kids with his beautiful wife of 27 years who he loves spending time with. Travis loves basketball, golf and being in the outdoors during his free time.

Travis has worked in the treatment industry for 8 years from admissions to marketing. In addition to his role as Vice President of Clinical Outreach at True Recovery in collaboration with First Responder-Wellness by Simple Recovery, he is also a National Certified Interventionist. Travis also has a popular Facebook page, Car Talk with Travis, where he and guest shares inspirational messages through video about addiction and Recovery. Travis is also a board member of 10,000 beds, a nonprofit organization who provides scholarships to addicts without the means to pay for treatment.

Contact Travis at:

Police Officer To First Responder Clinician: James McLintock

Positive Connections Radio:
E-57: James McLintock LMFT
Police Officer to First Responder Clinician
James always had the passion to be in service to those in need. Early on he became a lifeguard, EMT, and then a Police Officer for the City of Anaheim throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s. In the time post-911 he noticed several of his police teammates coming back from battle and how the negative impacts of war had on his friends. Many were suffering from PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, trauma, suicidal thoughts, addictions to pain medications and alcohol abuse.
His coworkers were encouraged to get help and attend counseling sessions, however many would not because they feared that the therapists did not have familiarity with working with First Responders and could not really relate to them.
James decided that he would better serve others by becoming a therapist so he would have more credibility than just earning a degree in counseling. James retired as a police officer and went back to school and earned a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy.
Since 2008 James McLintock has been the go-to clinician for First Responders in San Diego, Ca.

Captain Kelly Lucas OCFA

Positive Connections Radio:
Episode-56: Captain Kelly Lucas OCFA
Fire Captain Kelly Lucas has been a firefighter/paramedic for 19 years and currently serves on a truck company for Orange County Fire Authority. Kelly talks about his struggles with alcoholism and how he was able to break free and get sober.
Around the 13th year mark Kelly realized he was carrying around a lot of stress and trauma of the job and his drinking became a problem. Kelly reached out for help and sought therapy, connection with others and a connection with God. He then started his difficult road to recovery.
Kelly is inspirational and gives hope and direction to those suffering from addiction and publicly speaks so others know that it is “ok” to be not “ok”.
Kelly is currently in his second-year master’s program in counseling and plans on being a therapist specializing in working with First Responders.

The 1st, First-Responder: Cassie Sexton, Dispatcher

Positive Connections Radio:
E-55: Cassie Sexton
The 1st First Responder.

Cassie Sexton is a Dispatcher for the City of Newport Beach California and is a strong supporter of Peer Support for all First Responders. Cassie shares her experience, strength, and hope so that others know that it is “ok” to be “not ok”. There is hope for breaking the stigma and that asking for help is a sign on strength.

Brock Bevell: Former Undercover Cop: Identity Loss, Addiction and Recovery.

Positive Connections Radio:
E-54: Brock Bevell: Former Undercover Cop.
Identity Loss, Addiction and Recovery.
Brock Bevell became a police officer and like all First Responders survived through countless critical incidents and emotional stress and events that change his life.
His last critical incident involved being run over by a suspect in a truck trying to escape arrest. Brock suffered career ending injuries and was medically retired as a police officer. Brock lost his identity as a police officer and got addicted to opiates for several years after being first prescribed them for his injuries.
Brock found himself living the horrid life of an addict and realized that he had crossed the line and became the person he had arrested and confronted numerous times during his career as a police officer.
With his life spinning out of control brought on by addiction, the loss of friends and loved ones and the constant struggle with addiction and suffering he looked at his life and in a moment of clarity decided he had to change.
For the next seven days, Brock detoxed from opioids on his bathroom floor and pulled himself up from the hellish realm of dependence to start a new life in recovery. After 11 years of sobriety Brock now gives back and helps others who are suffering. He tells his story to give hope to those who feel like life is hopeless.
Contact Brock at

The Code 9 Project: “YOU ARE NOT ALONE” Brandielee Baker

Brandielee Baker is our guest today on Positive Connections Radio. She is a former First Responder working in EMS and is a professional coach/strategist specializing in wellness, specifically stress, anxiety and conflict.
Brandielee is the cofounder of the national non-profit organization, The Code 9 Project, the founder of Positive Constructs, and the creator, and executive director, of the nationally accredited, S.H.A.R.E. and T.U.F. Training Programs.
The Code 9 Project is a national non-profit that provides education, training and advocacy for the prevention of PTSD and suicide for law enforcement, first responders and their families.
The Code 9 Project also serves as a bridge between First Responders and their communities by providing; outreach, education and community building. They have a team of chaplains, peer support, critical incident trainers and a specialized trauma debriefing team for individuals, police and fire departments, first responders, frontline workers and hospital staff.
The Code 9 Project has a national helpline that is 24/7 for all frontline workers and first responders. The Code 9 Project national helpline number is 844-HOPE-247.
For more information on The Code 9 Project, visit: and follow @code9project on Facebook and @thecode9project on Instagram.

The First Responder Project: Dr. Tracy S. Hejmanowski

Podcast 52: Positive Connections Radio
The First Responder Project: Dr. Tracy S. Hejmanowski

Dr. Tracy S. Hejmanowski is a licensed clinical psychologist, with 20 years of clinical expertise working with service members, first responders, veterans, and their families. Her work began at a VA Medical Center, followed by neuropsychological and emotional assessment of repatriated prisoners of war. She was stationed overseas and stateside as an active duty U.S. Navy psychologist, followed by work as a DoD contractor for 11 years as the Program Manager of Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Deployment Health Center. In addition to providing individual, group, marital, and family therapy, she introduced innovative interventions, to include scuba-based physiologic retraining and equine-assisted therapy.
Dr. Hejmanowski is a nationally and locally requested speaker on trauma-related subjects for military and civilian first responder communities. She has been a regular presenter for Special Warfare and Operations reintegration programs. She has authored articles on operational stress and was recognized for behavioral health initiatives related to occupational trauma. She was nationally recognized by the Center for Operational Stress Control with the Peabody Caregiver of the Year Award – the first time awarded to a civilian provider.
For the past 7 years, Dr. Hejmanowski has provided program development and lead clinical facilitation for non-profit organizations that provide therapeutic retreats for veterans and first responder communities, including her own non-profit, First Responder Project. [A native of upstate New York, Dr. Hejmanowski lives with her husband, a U.S. Navy Iraq War veteran and ER physician, and their four children in Jacksonville, Florida.]

Former 10851 Bus Driver: Sgt. Jeni Gruner

Jeni was employed as a police officer at Patrick Henry High School on Saint Patrick’s Day 2012. On this day she finally realized she needed to address her alcoholism when she commandeered a bus in an attempt to driver herself home. She was subsequently hot stopped and arrested.
Sgt. Jeni Gruner shares her story of alcoholism, blackout drinking and the stigma about asking for help as a First Responder. She talks about how she overcame her addiction through continued recovery and how she made it through the worst struggles in the aftermath of the devastating consequences of alcohol abuse.
Jeni Gruner has been a police officer for the last 22 years. She is a Sergeant with the San Diego Unified School District Police Department and is currently in charge of the Peer Support and Wellness Program. She began her career at the San Diego County Marshal’s Office and then as a Deputy with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. She speaks at the San Diego Regional Academy to new recruits and also at the POST Management School in the area of substance abuse and officer wellness.

Jeni has two wonderful teenagers who keep her very busy with various sports and activities . Jeni has been in recovery and sober for almost 9 years living life in gratitude one day at a time. Jeni enjoys working within the community of law enforcement as a peer supporter and advocate of wellness for police officers.


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