Stopping the Threat at All Costs and the Importance of Mental Preparedness

Sheriff Michael Neal began his career in law enforcement more than 21 years ago at the very department he still serves in Monroe County, Arkansas. Throughout his career as both Reserve Deputy, Game Warden and now Sheriff, he’s survived five shootings.

In 2010, he was involved in an active shooter situation where the criminals had shot two other officers and got away.

“A manhunt ensued and we were called to the scene just a few miles down the road where I saw them [active shooters] open fire on officers who were in their cars just ahead of me,” said Neal. “Then, I made a decision.”

Neal proceeded to ram the car carrying the two active shooters with his truck at 55 miles per hour.

“I’ve been trained in active shooters,” said Neal. “We’re trained to stop the threat at all costs. By ramming their vehicle, I was able to ensure they weren’t able to leave the parking lot.”

After the significant impact, still holding the steering wheel with one hand and a rifle in the other, Neal engaged in fire with the criminals through the front windshield of his truck.
Sheriff Neal’s truck after the incident. photo courtesy of Mike Neal.

After the fire ceased, Neal’s truck, which is on display at the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, DC, was peppered with 12 rounds of AK-47 ammo.

As for Neal, he suffered significant injuries including shrapnel damage down the length of his entire leg, a piece of glass lodged in his eye, and blown eardrums. However, his bravery and quick action in stopping these criminals did not go unnoticed. Neal received a total of 42 awards with one of the highest honors being the Congressional Medal of Valor.

Sheriff Mike Neal receiving the Congressional Medal of Valor. photo courtesy of Mike Neal.

In addition to his regular duties as Sheriff, Neal travels the country speaking about the incident and offering “mental preparedness” and ambush trainings for officers to get outside their comfort zone by walking through everyday scenarios and proper responses to each. It was at one of these events in Illinois where Neal met Guard911 founder Nate McVicker for the first time.

The more Neal learned about both Guard911 and its corresponding app Hero911 for the officers the more of a no brainer it became for him to be a part of this community and to assist in spreading the word about it during his travels.

“I think Hero911 is something every officer should have on their phone,” said Neal. “They’d be stupid not to have it on there, it’s free, and the life-saving impact we can make in responding quickly to our communities, universities, and schools when and if an incident arises… man, there’s no price on that.”

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