In this Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara discuss Sgt Alonzo Montanya’s dedication to the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office to break the mental health stigma in his department and countrywide.
Mental Health Advocate
Alonzo has had his struggles. His second change has given him a tool that many don’t understand. Alonzo has been at rock bottom like those he helps on the street and in the department. they have helped him help others and speak about mental health within departments. Alonzo speaks about how he saved Chris Jolicoeur from taking his own life and the repercussions of his heroic act. But really, that one heroic act started years before at Alonzo’s bottom. His life was at its lowest when he checked all those boxes. Alonzo’s path is not just about saving Chris’s life but how he speaks, actively and openly, about his story to save others and have that healthy impact.
Youth and Police
Alonzo also dedicates time to Youth & Police Initiative, commenting on how it has opened his eyes to how much our youth and the police “circles” are so much alike and why they both have the highest rates of suicide. The parallel between an officer’s struggle and our youths’ struggle, recognizing it and learning from it to help our communities on both sides of the badge, is admirable. How can we all be proactive like Alonzo by changing our first responders’ worlds and our children? Challenge yourself by sitting and thinking deeper on this and, even more so, see how you can bring this to your community with your children.
Continuing to raise awareness Alonzo and his wife, Donna, started, SoPo Pottery. In the light of the darkness of shutdowns, they started making pottery supporting the police. Like how cool!! Check them out!
Please help Alonzo reach his goal and raise awareness for first responders’ mental health! A $26.02 donation for the 26.02 miles he will be running makes a difference! 2023 Chicago Marathon
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