Testimonials

From: WXYZ Channel 7

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Out of the hospital and back home, Detroit Police officer James Kisselburg is now reflecting on the night in March he nearly lost his life. He tells 7 Action News he did a lot of praying that night, saying, "Please don't let me die here. Let me see my family one more time."

Kisselburg and Ben Atkinson were out working the streets near Ash and Tillman on the city's southwest side, when they say they encountered 60-year-old Raymond Durham.

Investigators say Durham fired several shots at the two officers.

... As for these two Detroit officers, they now have a lifelong bond, brothers who had each other's back - Atkinson coming to the rescue when it sounded like the gunman was reloading.

Dented Badge program provides cop families comfort, aid

From: The Detroit News

In the split second it took for a gunman to squeeze a trigger, the lives of Nicolle Johnson and her family were thrown into chaos.

“We literally went to sleep one night with everything fine, and woke up in a different world,” said Johnson of Canton Township, a mother of three whose husband, Detroit police officer Waldis Johnson, was shot in the head April 30. He continues to fight for his life after suffering severe brain trauma.

Aside from the emotional turmoil the shooting caused, Nicolle Johnson said her family also was hurt financially. She took time off from her job as a middle school science teacher to be with her husband, who continues to get his base pay but loses out on overtime. The loss of income hit hard, she said.

“I was at the bottom of the barrel, with no groceries or gas money,” she said.

Enter the Dented Badge program... Read More

After Waldis was injured our family was turned upside down. The kids and I went to sleep to our normal life and woke up to a nightmare. Our days were spent in the hospital by his side. My kids and I were traumatized due to this injury, and unfortunately once he was shot we not only loss his income and contribution to our family, we loss my income as I was off from work from May until September until I returned to teaching in the fall. Other than our normal monthly expenses, what little money we had went to extra traveling expenses for my older son from New York to Michigan, added traveling expenses for multiple trips to the hospital daily, there was little things like the added expense of eating out daily due to not having time to cook.

At the time that Chief Dan contacted me I was struggling to pay my monthly bills. My son needed clothes and shoes to start school; as well as my daughter. Groceries and household supplies were short. We literally were just existing. The money that was donated to us was such a blessing. I was able to “breathe” again for a moment.

I don't think that people understand that our police officers go out everyday and risk their lives for their city and the citizens of the city. Leaving their families behind with the hopes of coming home safe at night. When they are injured their families are often not taken care of by the city they swore to protect and serve. It’s the most devastating thing to not only have to assist your children through seeing their father going through the medical trauma he is going through, but to also have them see you struggling financially to take care of their basic needs. The Dented Badge and International Police and Fire Chaplains Associations is a God sent blessing to families like mine.

- Nicolle Johnson & family

Julian Leese and Chief Dan Tackett with James and Mrs. Kisselburg
Julian Leese and Chief Dan Tacket with Ben Atkinson and girlfriend.
Julian Leese and Chief Dan Tacket with Ben Atkinson and James Kisselburg.