MISSOULA - "A job as a first responder comes with a lot of mental stress, whether that's a police officer or a 911 dispatcher. Travis Gribble, a law enforcement veteran, is working to help alleviate some of that stress.
Gribble started My Arena shortly after he retired in Feb. 2022. Through the organization, he travels Montana and other states, sharing his own story of PTSD, and advocating for better mental health support in first responder agencies.
Gribble began his law enforcement career at a small, Michigan police department in 1996. Despite his beginnings, he always dreamed of working SWAT for a large agency.
Being a police officer in a smaller town, Gribble says, can be more challenging than a larger city. Living and working in the same community can often make traumatic situations worse.
“I may be one day dealing with a suicide, and then the next day I see the family again," he says. "It’s hard to get away. You’re driving by that scene, day in, day out, those things are difficult. So when I speak to places in Montana, I have a special place in my heart because a lot of these officers, especially in Montana, they are members of their community.”
In 2008, Gribble moved to Mesa, AZ, where he climbed the ranks until he became a SWAT team leader sergeant. It was eight years later when Gribble faced a situation that made him seriously consider his mental health...
Full Interview by KPAX found HERE.
Full Video Interview aired on April 14, 2023 found here.
Claire Peterson, KPAX