We’re excited to spotlight Matthew Schulze of the Milwaukee Police Department in this month’s Hero Spotlight! Each month, we spotlight an incredible first responder doing amazing work in their community. Today, Matthew Schulze joins us to discuss a tragic accident that happened during his career and the resources that have helped him begin to recover.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Matthew Schulze and I worked for the Milwaukee Police Department from 2014-2018. During my time there, I worked in District 4, off of 69th & Silver Spring Dr. I’m currently on disability after going through a critical incident while on duty.
I have no kids. I have one brother and sister, both younger. Both of my parents are alive and live in the Milwaukee area. In my downtime, I read, fish, or ride my motorcycle.
What inspired you to begin working in this field?
Being a police officer is something that I always wanted to do; to have a career with a larger purpose than myself. Serving on the force is for the improvement of society and being a police officer is one of the hardest jobs you can have.
I liked that no day and no assignment are exactly the same. There's nothing mundane. Everything is new or a challenge. That's something that really appealed to me. The most memorable part of the job for me was my fellow officers. The camaraderie and shared experiences are some of the things I remember best.
Can you tell us about the critical incident you experienced?
On June 7th of 2018, my partner, Charles "Chuckie" Irvine Jr., and I were in a vehicle pursuit. During the pursuit, I was driving and lost control of the vehicle. To this day I can’t remember anything from the incident, besides that we crashed and Chuckie died.
The incident impacted my life greatly. My partner, Chuckie, died and I've been suffering from depression and PTSD since the incident. In the beginning, I actually attempted suicide twice. Luckily, I was unsuccessful and was able to get help from former officers, like Shawn Lauda.
Do you have a message to share with other officers?
I would let other officers know: don't wait to get help like I did. I know Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin are setting up a house strictly for first-responders and emergency service personnel. I wish there had been something like that when I first went through the incident.
When that accident happened, I was hesitant to share and open up. I didn't want to share with people who weren't familiar with what the job entails and added on to the challenge of recovery. I know if there had been a house or other resource strictly for first-responders, I would have opened up more and gotten help earlier.
Don't hesitate to reach out to anybody, including myself if you're going through something similar. There are other officers and people out there that have your back and will always be there for you.
Anew Advisors Supports First Responders
Working in public service is no easy feat. Police officers face danger every day, at every call they respond to. Thank you Matthew Schulze for sharing his story, and for his service to the Milwaukee community. If you’re suffering from PTSD, depression, addiction, or substance abuse, don’t wait to get help. Consider reaching out to the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin or other local resources in your area.
Anew Advisors is dedicated to supporting first responders in our local Milwaukee community and beyond. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to see more of our Hero Spotlights!
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