A retired North Carolina police officer is bicycling more than four thousand miles across the US with a purpose he’s bringing awareness about mental health and suicide among first
Brandon Hamilton has more in this week’s Civic Service Report
“It’s a journey with a purpose.”
“Initially it was for me to have a reset after law enforcement, but then I realized it was bigger than me.”
Chris Lowrance spent 28 years putting bad guys behind bars.
“I call it compound trauma. You go see different scenes, see different circumstances whether it be homicides, or abused child, or domestic violence situation.”
After his retirement, he thought there was one thing he felt this transamerica trek could tackle.
“Mental health in the law enforcement profession is such a taboo topic. You’re afraid maybe you lose my job, or will they find me unfit for duty, so people don’t talk about it.”
May 2nd Lowrance started the trip with a plane ride to Portland, Oregon. After a quick stop nearby in Astoria he was on his way recently he made a stop in Idaho. So, what does he eat? Well.
It’s often whatever he can find
“Doesn’t that look delicious?”
And as he pedals with purpose and with his gear and equipment in tow
“Right here’s my cockpit.”
Lowrance is raising money for Blue H.E.L.P Man organization supporting families of first responders who have died by suicide. According to blue h.e.l.p., This year 61 officers have taken
their own lives last year 172.
“I’ve got cages on the front.”
And he hopes his 3 month long journey will help start keep the conversation about the mental health of first responders going long after he arrives back home in Gastonia in August.
“If it touches one police officer, one firefighter, EMS or dispatcher, that keeps them from making the decision of doing something to themself, then this 47 hundred-mile journey of mine
has been worth it.”
Lowrance hopes to be pedaling back into Gastonia in August and if you have a great story of Civic Service in your community be sure to reach out to us at ABC23.com