He was a police officer for 30 years in Santa Barbra, California and when he says he did it all, he really means it.
From being a K9 handler, to a motorcycle cop, hostage negotiator and homicide detective, Sgt Mike McGrew faced trauma and evil every day on the job.
"The more time passed, and the more gruesome the crimes I witnessed, the less I wanted to talk about it. I found myself internalizing a lot of the trauma I experienced. It may have been an attempt at self-preservation, but bottling it up only allowed the darkness to eat me up from the inside. I believed all the murders and deaths I had seen cost me my family, and took much of my soul."
"The reality was many of my colleagues suffered from some form of post-traumatic stress injury. It would become part of my life’s mission to help law enforcement officers and veterans who struggled with the darkness they encountered on the job. But I couldn't save anyone from a life of despair until I was saved myself."
Sgt McGrew found himself at the deepest and darkest place when his son, who was 12 years old at the time, was diagnosed with bone cancer. He spent the next four years not only helping his son battle cancer, but at the same time he had another son dealing with a serious drug addiction. This also led to two failed marriages.
His son eventually passed away at the age of 16, leaving McGrew hopeless, but it was through that hopelessness that Mike discovers for himself and others, grace for the unforgivable, freedom for those in bondage, comfort for the brokenhearted, and a peace that surpasses all understanding.
He attended a Chris Tomlin concert with his current wife and was overwhelmed by a sermon preached that night. It was then that Sgt McGrew discovered Jesus.
When returning to work after the death of his son, he asked to no longer be sent to calls that involved the death of a child or a family member, but that was all he was sent to. He realized that because of everything he went through he could minister to hurting people, while carrying out his duties as a police officer.
Mike has since retired from the streets and now works as the police chaplain. He has also written a book called A Call to Higher Duty and is the pastor of Mariah Fellowship in Santa Barbara.