POAM proudly announces Josh Vadell, a retired Atlantic City Police Officer, will speak at the 2024 Annual Convention in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on May 22nd.

Officer Josh Vadell for Annual Speaker post

Who is Josh Vadell?

At the tender age of 19, Vadell joined the ranks of the police academy, fueled by a passion for service and a commitment to protecting his community. A devoted husband and father of three daughters, he dedicated a decade to the Atlantic City Police Department before fate intervened in the most harrowing manner.

During a routine shift, Vadell found himself confronting the stark reality of danger as he bravely interceded in an armed robbery, only to suffer a life-altering gunshot wound to the head. In that moment, he faced the chilling prospect of never returning to the loving embrace of his family. Yet, against all odds, his indomitable spirit refused to yield to despair.

Recognizing his exceptional courage and unwavering dedication, he was honored with the prestigious TOP COPS Award® by the National Association of Police Organizations in 2018. Moreover, his inspiring journey has led him to share his experiences as a keynote speaker at events such as Back the Blue Idaho in 2021, captivating audiences with his resilience and tenacity.

His Journey of Recovery

Vadell’s path to recovery encompassed a series of surgeries and intensive therapy, addressing both his physical and emotional well-being. Sometimes, he couldn’t use the restroom without assistance from his family or get up from his chair. Doing everyday activities became tough.

Through his unyielding spirit and resolute determination, he epitomized the essence of the “Growth Mindset,” embracing challenges as opportunities for growth rather than succumbing to victimhood.

Reflecting on his path to recovery, Vadell shared insights during his interview on The Suffering Podcast. He recalled his mindset during those challenging times and revealed, “I was in that fight mode. I was trying to get out of the hospital because I wanted to get going.” His determination showcased his unwavering spirit in the face of adversity.

Vadell put it simply based on his journey’s lessons stating, “It could be worse. Life is too short to be pissed off all the time.” These words resonate deeply, encapsulating the essence of resilience and perspective amidst life’s trials. Listen to the interview below.

The Josh Vadell Foundation

Vadell and his loving life, Laura, wanted to give back as a token of appreciation for those who raised funds for his family during his recovery. They established the Josh Vadell Foundation. Its mission is to provide both monetary and emotional support to families of officers critically injured in the line of duty. Vadell’s ability to inspire others, rally support, and drive change emphasizes the profound impact of leadership in creating positive social change.

Listen to Josh Vadell at the POAM Annual Convention

Join us in honoring the extraordinary life and legacy of Josh Vadell at the 2024 POAM Annual Convention. Through his captivating narrative, he invites us on a transformative journey of leadership and resilience, transcending the boundaries of the profession and inspiring us to embrace the power of the human spirit. In his story, we find a hero and a guiding light illuminating the path to courage and hope for all.

Read more information about the POAM Annual Convention.

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