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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Nearly 20 years ago, a Valley woman fell 60 feet off the Loop 202.

In August 1999, Stephanie Ameiss, a Tempe Police Department recruit at the time, stopped on the freeway to help people involved in an accident. During that process, she jumped over the highway median to get out of the way of an oncoming car that didn't see the stopped traffic.

It was dark, and she didn't realize that she jumped into a space in the raised highway. Ameiss plunged 60 feet to the ground.

Officers on-scene at the time thought Ameiss died. She survived, but suffered from extremely critical injuries.

"When I got the flashlight, I shined it on her and legs were moving," said a man who was interviewed at the scene of the 1999 incident. "I could see she was breathing."

"I remember a little bit of being super angry," Ameiss recounted. "I was really angry when I landed. That's part of the brain damage."

Ameiss had serious injuries to her head, spine, and internal organs. The worst, a snapped elbow. Doctors told Ameiss they'd have to amputate her arm, that she may never walk the same again.

Ameiss, however, didn't believe them.

"I knew I would walk again," said Ameiss. "I knew I would be a police officer again."

"Stephanie kept pushing me to push her harder, and that's what's incredible," said Chris Reynolds. "While it took us a long, long time, she demonstrated abilities none of us thought she would obtain,"

After years of pure grit, patience, and working with the right doctors and therapists, Ameiss can now run marathons and hike. She went on to become a police officer, like she dreamed, and retired from the Gilbert Police Department.

Ameiss says her purpose in life is to serve and inspire others.

"Never give up someone tells you you can do it its what you can do what you tell yourself," said Ameiss.

This week, PVPD had Colton from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and Chris from Law Enforcement Coaching train our officers in both mental and physical fitness. This is part of a concentrated effort by PVPD to increase officer health and wellness.

Colton trained in a classroom setting, focusing on the benefits of proper nutrition to nourish our officers who are out patrolling in all types of weather day in and day out. He then focused on proper strength training techniques to help improve physical fitness and mobility while reducing the risk of injuries.

After working with Colton, Chris taught our officers about the importance of yoga and how it can be incorporated into the life of an officer. He focused on the stretches and breathing techniques that can help officers during stressful times and situations they encounter on their duties.

Chris pointed out that many of the stances that officers take, whether they are prone, kneeling, or standing, while on patrol are similar to yoga poses. The entire team and staff enjoyed having our trainers out to give them new tools to help them with their daily activities and to improve their health and wellness.

High Pollution Advisory Issued for June 2nd

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued an Ozone High Pollution Advisory for Friday, June 02. A "High Pollution Advisory" or "HPA" means the highest concentration of pollution may exceed the federal health standard. Active children, adults and people with lung disease such as asthma should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.

Ozone: Ground level ozone is formed by a chemical reaction that needs heat from sunlight, nitrogen oxides and VOCs to form. The months of April through September make up our Valley’s longer-than-normal "ozone season."


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Training for pepper

Have you seen Pepper the dog around the Police Department?

She works full time as a support team member, helping to reduce stress for officers and staff.

This week, Pepper had the opportunity to attend a service training at Arrowhead Mall to learn new skills. During the training, she learned how to ride an escalator and elevator properly. 

Great work, Pepper!


Stephanie Ameiss, a former police officer from Gilbert, Arizona, serves as a remarkable testament to the power of resilience, determination, and courage. Almost two decades ago, she survived a near-fatal 60-foot fall and faced an uphill battle to not only recover, but to fulfill her dreams of serving in law enforcement. Despite the significant challenges, Ameiss triumphed against the odds, serving the Gilbert Police Department for many years before her recent retirement.

The Accident:

The story begins in 1999 when Ameiss, a cadet at the Tempe police academy, witnessed an accident on Loop 202. In an effort to help a Phoenix police officer assisting the crash victims, she jumped over a retaining wall, unaware of the 60-foot drop on the other side. The resulting fall into the Salt River riverbed left her with a myriad of severe injuries, from a broken skull and multiple fractures to the loss of half her colon and liver.

The Recovery:

Ameiss spent a month in a medically-induced coma, with an additional four months in the hospital, followed by years of physical therapy to relearn basic skills such as walking and talking. She also underwent over 30 surgeries. Ameiss credits much of her recovery journey to Chris Reynolds, her physical therapist from Desert Hands Therapy, who not only helped her repair her body but also supported her through the mental challenges of her recovery.

A Triumphant Return:

Four years after the accident, in a triumphant display of resilience and determination, Ameiss was sworn into the Gilbert police force, fulfilling the promise she made to her Tempe colleagues during her recovery. She recently retired from her role and now serves as a lead investigator for Understanding the Threat, a law enforcement consultation group.

A Changed Perspective:

Ameiss credits her faith, family, and the unwavering support she received during her recovery for helping her realize her dreams. The ordeal had a profound impact on her perspective of life. She expresses, "It made the little things super special and family so important. I was a patriot before, but I can say that I realize how amazing family is, our country is."


Stephanie Ameiss' story of survival, recovery, and accomplishment is a heartening reminder of the strength of the human spirit. Her journey, filled with arduous challenges and remarkable triumphs, serves as an inspiration to others facing adversity. As she continues her work in law enforcement consultation, Ameiss embodies the resilience and determination that can help individuals surmount the most daunting obstacles.


The original article can be found

About Stephanie Ameiss:

Ameiss is a former Gilbert Police Department officer and a survivor of a near-fatal fall. She now serves as a lead investigator for Understanding the Threat, a law enforcement consultation group.

If there's one lesson that life teaches us time and again, it's that change is inevitable. This truth is as relevant in our personal lives as it is in the world of firearms training. A case in point is the story of Ken Koch, a Gunsite Instructor and retired Chief of Police. His experience is a tale of how adaptation and acceptance of new technology can enhance and even revolutionize long-standing skills.

In a recent blog by Guns Magazine, Ken detailed his journey of shifting from using traditional iron sights to pistol-mounted optic or “red dot” sights on his handgun.

Why The Reluctance?

Like many seasoned shooters, Ken held onto his tried-and-true iron sights, viewing them as reliable and integral to his marksmanship. It wasn't just familiarity that kept him from trying out optics; there were practical considerations too. With a plethora of pistol-mounted optic options on the market, the task of researching and selecting a sight that met his reliability demands seemed daunting. Besides, the time it would take to adjust to a new system didn't appear to be worth the effort.

Overcoming Obstacles

The need to remain an effective instructor in the evolving world of firearms training pushed Ken to consider the change. After all, an increasing number of students were adopting red dot sights. His peers had already made the switch, and their suggestions eventually swayed him.

A red dot sight designed specifically for his firearm, with a reputation for reliability, ultimately caught his eye. No complex modifications were required, and his iron sights remained intact - an ideal scenario that tipped the scales.

A New Chapter

The transition wasn't easy, and the red dot sight was unforgiving in highlighting inconsistencies in Ken’s trigger manipulation and grip. But instead of being disheartened, he took it as an opportunity to improve his fundamentals. He committed to daily training, recognizing that precision in marksmanship fundamentals was essential for reliable “dot” acquisition and accuracy.

This resulted in a significant improvement in his performance, even with his beloved iron sights, especially at distances over 10 yards. Despite the challenges of aging, Ken found himself achieving time splits he hadn’t seen in years.

The Takeaway

Ken's journey is a testament to the fact that while change can be daunting, it often opens doors to new opportunities and improvements. While his iron sights will always hold a special place in his heart, he now embraces the red dot sight and the enhanced accuracy it provides.

It’s worth noting that merely converting to a red dot sight won't automatically make you a better marksman. But with commitment, a defined training process, and an open mind, it can lead to improved fundamentals and accuracy - regardless of the sighting system you choose to rely on.

Embrace the Change

Are you a seasoned shooter grappling with the idea of switching to a red dot sight? Perhaps Ken's journey will inspire you to take that leap. Remember, the best way to adapt to new technology is through consistent training and a willingness to learn.

In a world that often seems chaotic and uncertain, there are everyday heroes who step forward to protect and serve. Law enforcement officers and first responders are the steadfast guardians of our communities, selflessly dedicating themselves to ensuring our safety and well-being. They face countless challenges and risks, yet they remain unwavering in their commitment to making a positive difference. In this blog, we will explore the incredible strength, resilience, and indomitable spirit of these remarkable individuals and share words of encouragement to uplift and motivate our real-life heroes.

  1. The Power of Purpose

    Law enforcement officers and first responders are driven by an unyielding sense of purpose. They understand that their actions can change lives, shape communities, and provide a sense of security to those in need. Remember that your role is crucial; every act of service, no matter how small, contributes to a safer world. Embrace your purpose, knowing that you have the ability to make a significant impact.
  2. Embracing Resilience

    The challenges faced by law enforcement and first responders can be daunting, and the weight of responsibility can sometimes feel overwhelming. It is during these times that resilience becomes a vital asset. Remember that resilience is not the absence of struggle but the ability to rise above it. Draw strength from within, lean on your support systems, and embrace the knowledge that you possess the inner fortitude to endure and thrive.
  3. Cultivating Self-Car

    In the midst of serving others, it is crucial to prioritize self-care. Take the time to nurture your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Engage in activities that bring you joy, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and seek support when needed. Remember, self-care is not selfish; it is a vital component of maintaining a strong and resilient mindset.
  4. Community Appreciation

    As a law enforcement officer or first responder, it's easy to focus solely on the challenges you face. However, it's important to recognize the deep appreciation and gratitude that communities hold for your dedication and sacrifice. The impact you make often goes unnoticed, but rest assured that your efforts do not go unappreciated. Embrace the support and gratitude of the community, allowing it to fuel your motivation and inspire you to continue making a difference.
  5. Lifelong Learning

    In the field of law enforcement and emergency response, continuous learning is essential. Embrace the opportunity to expand your knowledge, refine your skills, and adapt to changing circumstances. Stay updated on the latest advancements, techniques, and best practices. Embracing a growth mindset not only enhances your effectiveness but also serves as a source of personal fulfillment and professional growth.
  6. Building Strong Bonds

    The journey of a law enforcement officer or first responder can be demanding, both physically and emotionally. Cultivate a
  7. Strong network of colleagues

    and fellow professionals who understand and empathize with the unique challenges you face. Build bonds based on trust, respect, and shared experiences. Together, you can provide each other with the necessary support to navigate the highs and lows of your chosen path.

Conclusion: To all law enforcement officers and first responders, you are the embodiment of courage, selflessness, and compassion. You are the shining beacons of hope in times of crisis. Remember, even on the most challenging days, that you are not alone. Draw strength from within, embrace the support of your community, and continue to be the unwavering heroes our world needs. Your dedication and sacrifice make an immeasurable difference. Keep rising, keep serving, and keep inspiring us all.

Why Law Enforcement professionals play a crucial role in maintaining peace, safety, and order within society.

Law enforcement professionals play a crucial role in maintaining peace, safety, and order within society. Their job requires them to make split-second decisions in high-stress situations, and the consequences of those decisions can be profound. To support the growth and development of these dedicated individuals, law enforcement coaching programs have emerged as valuable resources. In this article, we will explore the benefits of law enforcement professionals utilizing coaching
programs to enhance their performance and well-being.

Why Enhanced Emotional Resilience

Law enforcement is a demanding profession. Enhanced Emotional Resilience: Law enforcement is a demanding profession that exposes individuals to challenging and potentially traumatic situations on a daily basis. The accumulation of stress and emotional toll can have adverse effects on mental health and overall well-being. Law enforcement coaching programs provide a supportive environment where professionals can explore their emotions, develop coping strategies, and build emotional resilience. Through targeted coaching, they learn to manage stress, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and navigate the complexities of their roles with greater ease.

How to improved Decision-making skills.

Improved Decision-Making Skills: Effective decision-making is a criticalskill for law enforcement professionals. In high-pressure situations, the ability to think clearly, assess risks, and make sound judgments is paramount. Coaching programs offer a platform for individuals to refine their decision-making skills. Coaches can provide valuable insights, facilitate critical thinking exercises, and help officers explore alternative perspectives. By honing their decision-making abilities, law enforcement professionals can enhance their effectiveness and minimize the potential for errors or negative outcomes.

How to Strengthened Leadership-Abilities.

Strengthened Leadership Abilities: In law enforcement, leadership extends beyond rank or title. Effective leadership skills are essential for maintaining morale, fostering team cohesion, and inspiring trust and respect among colleagues and the community. Coaching programs offer law enforcement professionals the opportunity to develop and refine their leadership abilities. Coaches can provide guidance on communication, conflict resolution, team building, and other leadership competencies.Strengthening these skills not only improves individual performance but also enhances the overall effectiveness of law enforcement teams.

How to Enhanced Cultural Competence.

Enhanced Cultural Competence: Law enforcement agencies serve diverse communities, requiring officers to interact with individuals from various cultural backgrounds. Understanding and appreciating different cultural perspectives is crucial for effective community policing. Law enforcement coaching programs incorporate cultural competence training, allowing professionals to deepen their understanding of diverse communities and improve their ability to build trust and rapport. By developing cultural awareness and sensitivity, law enforcement officers can foster stronger relationships and promote inclusivity within the communities they serve.

Personal Growth and Development

Law enforcement coaching programs are not limited to professional skill-building; they also emphasize personal growth and development. Coaches help officers identify their strengths, overcome self-limiting beliefs, and set meaningful goals for their personal and professional lives. By fostering self-awareness and promoting a growth mindset, coaching programs empower law enforcement professionals to reach their full potential and lead fulfilling lives both on and off duty.

Law enforcement professionals face unique challenges that require ongoing support and development. Coaching programs provide a valuable resource for officers to enhance their emotional resilience, decision-making skills, leadership abilities, cultural competence, and overall personal growth. By investing in coaching, law enforcement agencies can cultivate a more effective and well-rounded workforce, leading to improved community relations, enhanced officer well-being, and a safer
society as a whole.