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Sep 24, 2023

ATO: Bridging The Divide Podcast,Episode 79

“Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia: Act Outside the Box” Welcome back ATO Family, Today, we welcome the boss of Dallas PD back to the microphone as we talk about the…

Sep 23, 2023

Carry The Load presents check to ATO

We are honored to support first responder groups like Assist the Officer Foundation, one of our Non-Profit Partners since 2011, through our Continuum of Care program and are proud to…

Apr 11, 2020

Donation by former Ranger Derek Holland helps feed Dallas PD officers

DALLAS ( – Dallas Police Department officers stationed in West Oak Cliff were treated to some barbecue thanks to a donation from former Texas Rangers pitcher Derek Holland. Holland and…

Apr 25, 2019

Dallas Police Officers Benefiting From ‘Mindfulness Training’ During Anxious Times

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Police shootings like the incident in Houston on Mondaycan add to the anxiety of officers everywhere. About 150 Dallas Police officers are getting unique “mindfulness training” to keep their…


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Officer Carollo served as Vice President of the Dallas Police Association and was instrumental in establishing the Assist the Officer Foundation. An 18-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, Officer Carollo was killed in a head-on car wreck as a result of a drunk driver on April 5, 2003 at the age of 46.

His passing was a tragic loss to his family, his fellow officers and the entire community, and his legacy of heroic dedication to his duty and commitment to others will continue to be a source of inspiration for the countless people whose lives he touched.

In 1994, David Rodriguez’s life changed forever. David was a Dallas Police Detective, who on that fateful January day, was shot and paralyzed from the waist down running a drug warrant. After a lengthy period of rehabilitation, David found himself unable to perform his duties and was forced to retire.

David did retire – but he didn’t stop working. He recognized the need to help his fellow officers who found themselves in similar circumstances and helped create the Assist the Officer Foundation. Through David’s efforts, Dallas police officers can get much needed assistance when faced with catastrophic injury or illness.

Eddie joined the Dallas Police Department in 1977 and served as a DPA Vice president since 1988 before his retirement from the Department in the summer of 2011. Eddie is an original ATO board member since its 1999 creation. "As with any great tragedy opportunity follows. Through David Rodriguez’s horrible injury we were able to discover an opportunity to provide necessary scaffolding to officers and their families during times of need. The formation of ATO was an opportunity to create a legacy that will outlive us all. Every time ATO has the opportunity to provide the assistance these officers deserve we ensure that David's sacrifice, like so many others, will never be forgotten. I am honored to have been a part of this awesome collaboration with my friends and colleagues."

Detective Popken is one of the original and founding board members of the ATO. While serving as the Vice President of the Dallas Police Association, Tom was approached by Bill Carollo and David Rodriguez with the concept for the foundation. Recognizing the needs for officers seeking assistance, Tom immediately joined the efforts of his colleagues to help create the organization. Later, when Officer Carollo was killed, Detective Popken took over as the new Chairman of ATO—serving as the Chairman from 2003 to 2009. "Our goal as founding staff and board members is to ensure the organization survives beyond any of us". Tom Popken retired from the Department in the summer of 2013 and is enjoying his retirement in the Centennial State.