KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — A new chapter will soon begin for a recently retired Kernersville police officer who survived a shooting.
Just a few weeks ago, former officer Sean Houle signed off his radio for the last time. A ceremony was held to honor the officer who served his community faithfully.
It was an emotional moment for officer Houle, his fellow officers and his family.
“K-9 unit and K-9 partner Jax are now 10-42 for the last time. End of Watch Dec. 2021. Thank you, officer Houle, for your dedicated service for the last five years and the sacrifice you have made serving Kernersville and our community. We hope you enjoy your retirement. You will be greatly missed.”
Life changed for Houle on February 21. He was shot in his face, arm, and hand during a traffic stop. He spent nearly a month in the hospital and countless hours of physical therapy.
Houle medically retired from the department just a few months after the shooting.
“This is my path, this is where I’m supposed to be," Houle said.
Houle’s K-9 partner, Jax also retired from the force as well. Houle said he wanted more time with his family and he hopes to use his story of survival to help inspire others.
He will begin a new path while joining an all-new force. Houle will be teaming up and still serving communities while joining forces with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team.
"The opportunity to be there for folks going and experiencing the same type of issue, the issues may not be the same, but they are hurting, they are going through something, and one of the most important things a person can experience in that situation is just the love of another," Houle said.
Houle said he has always wanted to serve others and now he can take his life experiences to be there for those who need it most.
"I feel like this is where I'm being led. My service one way in law enforcement has come to an end, and it's been great. There were a lot of amazing things I got to be a part of and do in that job, but that chapter has ended, and now I feel like I'm moving on to a different chapter, and I feel like this is absolutely the next chapter for me," Houle said.
He posted the following on Facebook to share his brand-new start while taking a leap of faith in a new career path.
“I am beyond excited!!!! I am officially a chaplain serving with the Billy Graham Rapid Response team!!! We are a Ministry of Hope providing emotional and spiritual care in times of crisis here in the states and abroad (man-made or natural disasters). God deserves ALL the honor and glory! I can't wait to see what all he has in store for 2022. Please be in prayer for the team always! I encourage you to look up info about the team and see how God has allowed them to serve! Great things are ahead for the future!”
Houle will now be deployed to help communities in crisis as part of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. The team is a grief ministry that deploys crisis-trained chaplains to provide emotional and spiritual care for those affected by man-made natural disasters.