Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord (centre), with DPD Const. Aaron Hill and producer Nikki Hewitt record the first episode of Bend Don’t Break, a new podcast produced by the Delta Police Department that aims to give first responders a platform to share stories and talk about how they cope with the stress caused by traumatic incidents on the job. (Delta Police Department photo)

LISTEN: First responders share struggles with adversity in new Delta Police podcast

Bend Don’t Break allows police, firefighters and paramedics an opportunity so tell their stories

The Delta Police Department has launched a new podcast that looks at how first responders cope with the stress of traumatic calls.

Over the course of their careers, first responders deal with some unimaginable calls for service. How they respond without having those calls negatively impact both their personal and professional lives is a critical skill they must all develop.

Imagine the toll on a first responder’s mental health when they break the news of a family member’s unexpected death to a loved one, or the stress of attending fatal motor vehicle collisions or the suicide of a person suffering from a mental health issue.

Sharing stories, and how they’ve dealt with a variety of extremely tough situations, is the impetus behind a new podcast produced by the DPD, called Bend Don’t Break. In one-on-one interviews with Chief Constable Neil Dubord, police officers and other first responders speak about their experiences in the face of adversity.

“These interviews are very honest, raw, and at times hard to listen to,” Dubord said in a press release. “My role in interviewing these officers, and other first responders, is to hear their stories and encourage them to speak about what they may have learned or would do differently.

“I also think there’s another takeaway there: for leaders at all levels to be able to understand the perspective of someone going through a very tough situation,” he continued.

“We chose to make this podcast public to acknowledge the importance and potential value in sharing these stories.”

Dubord credited DPD Const. Aaron Hill with proposing the podcast, and for his bravery in being upfront in regard to his own struggles.

Hill’s story is the topic of the first episode, released on Nov. 9, 2018. It details how he was faced with a complaint alleging he’d used excessive force, which came at the same time he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

“So now I’m in the middle of a complaint, not sure if I’m going to have a job, and I have an auto immune deficiency disease and I’ve just lost my career aspirations of being a SWAT operator and I’m going to be going back to the road,” Hill says at the start of the first episode.

Later, he goes on to describe the moment he learned about the complaint against him.

“He told me, right there and then, with my two-year-old son, that I was being investigated for deceit. (…) This cold feeling just came over my body. (…) I know I felt like throwing up. I just remember standing there, looking at my kid, and the first thing that went through my mind is holy s**t, I’m not going to be a cop anymore.”

Listen to a clip from Hill’s episode below:

In the second and third episodes (released Dec. 18, 2018, and Jan. 13, 2019), DPD Const. Jordan MacWilliams, a member of the integrated emergency response team, shares the story of a police shooting in 2012 outside the Starlight Casino in New Westminster.

“He’s walking at us, holding the gun in the air, and I remember I’m staring at him through my sight, and I’m just watching him, and I’m thinking to myself, ‘okay Jordan, if he points the gun at us, you’re going to have to shoot him.’ (…) He lowers the gun, and now he’s pointing the gun right at us,” MacWilliams said, recalling the events that led to him fatally shooting Mehrdad Bayrami.

Bayrami, 48, of Richmond had allegedly taken his ex-girlfriend Tetiana Pilsina hostage at gunpoint outside the casino. The stand-off ended after five hours when Bayrami allegedly pointed his weapon at police and MacWilliams shot him in the abdomen. Bayrami was taken to Royal Columbian Hospital, where he died 10 days later.

In the second part of his interview, MacWilliams describes what it was like to be in a situation he’d hoped would never happen, the investigation that followed, and the devastating impact it had on his emotional well-being. As well, MacWilliams talks about what it was like to be facing an unexpected second-degree murder charge as a result of the shooting.

In October 2014, MacWilliams was charged with second degree murder relating to Bayrami’s death and sued by Bayrami’s daughter Nousha in November of that year. However, the murder charge was stayed in July 2015 and the civil lawsuit was dropped five and a half months after that.

Listen to a clip from MacWilliams’ episode below:

“For a few years now we first responders have been talking rather openly about the importance of mental health and wellness,” Dubord said. “We thought it was time to take another step to shine a brighter light and give our officers, and other first responders, a way to share their stories in their own words.”

Bend Don’t Break is available on the DPD website at, as well as on iTunes and on Google Play Music. Future interviews will also share stories of other first responders.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


DPD Const. Jordan MacWilliams speaks with Chief Neil Dubord during the recording of Bend Don’t Break, a new podcast produced by the Delta Police Department that aims to give first responders a platform to share stories and talk about how they cope with the stress caused by traumatic incidents on the job. (Delta Police Department photo)

Just Posted

Cloverdale Rodeo finals hand out $330K to champion riders

Bareback rider Caleb Bennet tied the arena’s record with a 93.5-point ride Monday

‘It’s a game changer’: 15-year-old wins professional skateboarding contest on two skateboards

‘No one has ever seen it before’ said producer of Cloverdale contest

Winners to come to Semiahmoo Shopping Centre

Former Zellers to also include a gym and daycare

Peace Arch Hospital, Sources requesting volunteers

Program to help seniors get home safely after hospital stay

Delta looking to add over 30 dedicated pickleball courts by 2022

The program would see eight outdoor pickleball courts built in North Delta before the end of 2019

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Man arrested after police standoff and fire at Abbotsford home

Suspect allegedly breached conditions to not be near victim or her home

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

UPDATE: Highway 1 reopened after multi-vehicle crash east of Chilliwack

Westbound lanes near Herrling Island were closed for hours amid busy holiday weekend traffic

Police watchdog investigating motorcycle crash in Kamloops

A Kamloops Mountie had stopped the driver for speeding, but they raced off from the 0fficer

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Most Read

l -->