Mentor Bios

Troy Nicholson

I started with Englewood Fire in 1995 then joined Denver Fire in 2015. I was introduced to Badge Responder Services after my marriage & career took a bad turn. I was in a tailspin to say the least and it continued to get worse and worse until it was completely unbearable. Before I lost everything, I agreed to go to FHE for treatment. It was the best decision I ever made for myself. I was able to take back control of my life.

After I finished my time at FHE, I realized the importance of continuing my recovery by going to groups and seeking like minded individuals. Becoming a mentor has been very beneficial for me. I have enjoyed helping others navigate the obstacles that come with whole life changes. I understand what you are going through because I have been there, and I am here to help. My marriage ended and a new relationship with my ex-wife has emerged. I love to vacation with my family and experience new adventures.

Jeremy Roberts

I started with Arvada fire in 2009 as a volunteer and then a career firefighter since 2011. I’ve been sober from alcohol and tobacco since 2018. I lost my ability to control myself and denied that there was ever a problem. I needed to become a better husband, father and overall person. I thought there was no way out. BRS showed me that you can learn so much just by listening to someone else’s story rather than them telling you “It gets better”.

I’ve been with BRS throughout my sobriety.  I transitioned into a peer support role for BRS because of the powerful impact it had on me. BRS empowered me to tell my story and in turn help those that were once in my position.  I am married with 2 kids and love exercise, outdoors, dogs and my family

David Bower

Retired Law Enforcement - 18 years at JCSO in Detentions and Court SecuritySobriety Date   09/12/2020

Got caught drunk at work, blew a .108, walked out of the building.  Met with the Detentions Chief who told me to, "handle my issues" NOW!  Went to meet with Debra at Nicoletti and was declared unfit for duty and ordered into a 9-week IOP with 1-year continuing care.  Ended up in BRS mid-April of 2020, been on the Wednesday group ever since.

Passions - building a homestead in Wiley. I'm raising chickens, and bees, as well as attempting a garden.  I am learning to work with solar energy and have been trying to get my solar online for 2 years.  I am hoping to get it testing by the end of September.  I have recently gone back to school to get my CAC so I can help the group further.

I have been a peer mentor for about two years now.  I enjoy doing it because I have gotten so much from the group that I feel I should give something back.  BRS is one of the big reasons that I am sober today.  The other is my wife Melissa who has supported me more than any other person who has ever been in my life.   I learn things on every group, new perspectives, reminders that I can't get complacent, I still have to work my sobriety.  If I can help someone with my own perspective or story, I am happy to do that.

TJ

I have been in Law Enforcement since 2006 and a Sergeant since 2013.  I’ve worked in a wide range of positions from patrol to investigations and currently support services.

While facing significant stresses and challenges at work, at home and in the wider world around me to include COVID and social unrest I began abusing alcohol in an effort to deal with stress and anxiety.  After a friend recognized what was happening and spoke with my wife, they both had the courage to speak up and call attention to my behavior.  My wife reached out to Badge Responder Services for help and within a few days I was on a plane to Shatterproof, a first responder treatment program in Florida.  After 30 days in Florida, I returned home to continue my journey of recovery with BRS.  I have had one on one therapy sessions and continue to attend weekly group sessions.  Without BRS I would not be where I am today over 500 days sober.

I cannot go back and undo the past or the behavior that ultimately got me to the point I was at when I started recovery.  All I can do is learn from it and continue to invest in my recovery, so I never end up back there.  Being a mentor allows me, someone who has already received so much myself, to give back.  I can walk side by side with someone who may be going through what I went through.  To let them know they are not alone and maybe pass on lessons I have learned along the way that might help them on their own recovery journey. Being a mentor for others entering into or going through recovery helps me to feel like some good may yet come out of everything I did and went through.

I am a Colorado native, married with three young children.  I am also an unashamed space nerd keeping up with all things space. I enjoy streaming launches whether it’s SpaceX launching Falcon 9 for the umpteen time or a rocket start up like Firefly finally making it into orbit with their Alpha rocket.

Control what you can control. Don’t let that which you can’t control; control what you can.

Ben Ackerman

I started my career at Northglenn Ambulance EMT from 1995-2001 and I’m now with Arvada Fire as an Engineer in (1997-present).

I was a very heavy drinker for many years but always felt like I had control of it. I was proven wrong in April 2020 in the middle of the quarantine following emergency neck surgery. I discovered that I didn’t have any safety nets built in, such as 48-hour shifts, and my drinking was out of control. I became associated with BRS through my work and attribute my success to the BRS program.

I enjoy being in a peer mentor role as I see a real problem among first responders and substance abuse and love the opportunity to work with other first responders. Working as a peer mentor also helps keep me accountable for my own recovery.

I have 2 teenage kids and a stupid cat named Greg.

Tommy C

My name is Tommy Costello, I have been sober since April 28, 2022. I have an incredible wife named Jordan and we have 4 kids (I have 2 and she has 2 from previous marriages) one girl and three boys, ages 10,7,5,5. I have been a career firefighter for 10 years, I started in Texas working for the city of Corpus Christi, I then got hired with Littleton Fire and was there until the merger with South Metro in 2019. I enjoy traveling as much as possible to anywhere with an ocean, my wife and I are avid scuba divers and tend to focus our travels around that!

Mandi Cole

I started my career in 2000 working for Greenwood Village and then Golden as a police dispatcher before moving to EMS dispatching beginning with Denver Health Paramedics and currently with UC health dispatching air and ground ambulances. Being part of BRS has had a very positive impact on my recovery. The acceptance and support from everyone has been unwavering. My goal in being a peer mentor would be to be able to help anyone else going through similar struggles. I have been married since 2002 and have 2 teenage daughters. I enjoy movies, reading and just about anything outdoors.

Red White and Blue Crew

Randy Penn

I joined the DPD in 1983 as a retired sergeant with 29 of those years served in the Metro SWAT Bureau.  A month before I fully retired, alcohol was in control of my life, and I was almost killed in a one car DUI accident. Thank GOD I didn’t hurt or kill anyone else. I spent 3 days in the ICU with a broken neck, broken back, 37 staples in my head, and a concussion.  I received help and attended IOP treatment center and was led to AA. God gave me a second chance in life and the hope that I might be able to help others who are struggling with alcoholism.  I am currently enjoying retirement with my wife, 2 dogs and 2 horses. I have a son who is a Captain in the US Army and a daughter who is receiving her BS at CSU.

Duane Eaton

I have been a police office, now detective for over 40 years. I began my career as a police officer in Flint, MI for 5 years before joining Arvada PD in 1985. I have served in patrol, as an FTO and currently as the Criminal Intelligence investigator since 1995. I conduct both pre-employment and crime specific polygraphs, I have worked on numerous gang and human trafficking task forces and a long term anti-government undercover operation.

I’ve been sober for over 10 years and active In the First responder AA group Red, White & Blue crew, other AA groups, a cigar meeting & recovery Dharma.  I enjoy being of service and currently sponsor First Responders working with both the 12 steps of AA and the 8 steps of Recovery Dharma.  When away from work you will find me spending time with my 3 dogs, traveling the world with my wife, staying fit on the Peloton and on my cushion meditating.  

Keith Moreland

I currently enjoy over 40 years as a first responder. I was with LAPD from 1976-2007. I retired out of Rampart patrol. I moved to Colorado and served 18 months with Monument PD then three years as chief of the Palmer Lake PD. I have been a sergeant with Arapahoe Community College campus Police since 2014. I got sober November 1, 1984. For six of my 30 years with LAPD, I was the chemical dependency supervisor combining police work with my recovery. It was a great experience talking to new police officers and peers. I introduced many cops and their families into the world of recovery.

I have been told that to “keep” my own recovery, “I need to give it away.” Sharing my experience, strength and hope with others with the same solution that I found.  I’m a dad of 4 great kids and for the most part, they have never seen me drunk. Still, almost every day, I wonder what I will do when I grow up.

Testimonials from Resilient Badge Clients

“The treatment has been a total life changer for me. I was struggling with not only my physical health but my mental health as well. I’ve always been a very active and organized person and I was slipping away from that very quickly. I was not interacting with my children in a positive way, and I would get frustrated with them very easily. I couldn’t sleep and was having nightmares on a regular basis. 

Since starting I have been more alert and focused. I don’t lose track of what I’m doing, and I can stop a task and remember to go back to it. I’m able to be patient with my children again, and enjoy their company for hours at a time, versus the 10 minutes at a time we were doing before. I’m able to teach my kids things and let them mess up or make messes without going into rage or panic. I’m not messing up my words or struggling to find the right words as much as before. 

One of the bigger things I’ve noticed is how calm I’ve become. Situations that would’ve once made me lose my temper, are barely an annoyance at this point. I can quickly refocus without it being a big deal at all!”

-Client #55

“Before starting Neuro-therapy my panic attacks were almost to the point of debilitation. The panic and anxiety was so bad that I was unable to attend large events with family and friends and I would shy away from police training because of these attacks. Now I’m able to attend both! Since starting Neurotherapy, they have decreased in severity and frequency. I have been able to live a more normal life.”

-Client #45

“I think the biggest thing I’ve noticed is my clarity of mind. And it doesn’t feel like I’m in a fog or struggling to put my thoughts together. I feel more alert, but not hypervigilant. It’s so much easier to focus and not feel like I have to concentrate on concentrating. The second thing I’ve noticed is my emotions feel much more regulated.

If I get upset, sad, happy, or even anxious, they all feel within my control, and not on the extreme end of the spectrum. I don’t feel like I’m being hijacked by my emotions. Finally, I’ve noticed I’m more calm than before. I don’t feel like I always have to be alert, doing something, or occupying myself. I can truly relax and focus on being present.”

- Client #56

“I was introduced to the Neuro-stimulation program with one of our former officers at Florida House Experience (FHE) in Florida. I watched over several days how the individuals mental state improved dramatically along with their sleep patterns. Rebecca brought this program to the Colorado State Fraternal Order of Police Lodge.

Based on the results that I had seen in Florida, I decided to try the program myself. The brain mapping showed several areas that needed work and Rebecca’s explanation of the program and what would be done encouraged me further to proceed.

I have seen dramatic positive results in my energy levels especially later in the day and it has improved my overall outlook on my daily activities. I stand behind this program 100% and look forward to Longmont providing our public safety staff the opportunity to keep themselves mentally healthy.”

-Client #10

“I’ve been in law enforcement for 20 years and have had an unbelievable career. Cumulative stress has certainly taken its toll as well as having been involved in numerous critical incidents. I’ve tried to manage my mental health for many years with talk therapy and EMDR, but over time, it seemed like the symptoms of PTSD began getting worse. I was introduced to neurotherapy at The Badge Group in 2022 and worked with Rebecca Allanson and her amazing staff.

Neurotherapy has certainly made a difference. My anxiety symptoms have decreased significantly making work, family life, and life in general great again. I have become a huge advocate for neurotherapy and recommend it to other first responders looking for an alternative to talk therapy.”

-E.O.

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