Unlikely friendship: arrest leads to unbreakable bond

Local News

Cathy Campbell has been sober for 20 years. It has been a long road to get to where she is today. She says she owes her success to Sgt. Rod Bradtmueller, with the Fort Wayne Police Department. 

Cathy says Rod saved her life the day that he arrested her. 

She broke her ankle and leg during her childhood. After some complications into her adult life, she was experiencing chronic pain. While her work as an operating room nurse became too strenuous, pain killers became the answer.

The second time she wrote a bad prescription and went to pick it up at Kroger, her angel in blue showed up and saved her life. 

God sent His help.. He sent me two angels in blue, and they drove this white chariot, with iridescent stripes down the side, and these beautiful swirling red lights on the top, and they gave me matching bracelets. It was an ugly pair of bracelets, but by far the most valuable piece of anything, I have ever owned. Campbell said.

After Sgt. Bradtmueller arrested her, she spent the weekend in jail. When she was released, she had the choice to go to drug court or prison for 3 years. She chose drug court.

A year and a half later, she was ready to graduate. She wanted Rod to be there on that special day.

Sgt. Bradtmueller was the first police officer to attend the drug court graduation of someone that he arrested.

The first time the two talked led to an emotional conversation.

I said, Thank you for saving my life… and he took several seconds, and he said, I am so glad you stopped. Campbell reflects on that first time 20 years ago.

Now, the two talk annually. Every December when Cathy’s sober anniversary rolls around, she calls Rod to tell him she’s still sober. Now they have created a friendship and talk about much more than just that.

She had a daughter that was seven at the time, my daughter was five. We’ve been through everything, as far as dating boys and marriages. Sgt. Bradtmueller said.

The special friendship the two have will always be an unbreakable bond. For Sgt. Bradtmueller, he said this friendship has impacted how he view his career daily.

No matter how mundane or ordinary a call is, the things I do or don’t do on that call is going to impact somebody’s life. Sgt. Bradtmueller said.

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