Sgt. Donohue’s talk, entitled, “Lessons Learned from a Critical Injury: A Wounded Officer’s Perspective,” will hopefully spur discussion on the need for critical and immediate care during an active shooter response and the need for better preparation for officers and their families for critical injuries. Sgt. Donohue was one of six law enforcement officers invited to speak during the convention.
“It’s a great honor to be selected to speak in front of the collective voice of law enforcement in the State of New Hampshire,” said Sgt. Donohue. “I hope my remarks shed some light on the often avoided issues of police injuries and the aftermath and recovery both for injured officers and their families.”
Sgt. Donohue’s presentation focused on elements that have profoundly impacted his life following his injury, rehabilitation, and ultimate retirement, including:
• Privacy concerns and home life
• Media exposure
• Family member impact
• Department support and how executives can prepare their organization for the unique challenges of a critical injury.
Sgt. Donohue also includeed input from other officers who, like him, have been critically injured in the line of duty. The desired outcome of his presentation is to give police executives an understanding of the challenges that they may face in supporting a wounded officer, and give them tools to best prepare for this situation.
About Sgt. Donohue:
Sergeant Richard “Dic” Donohue is a native of Winchester, Massachusetts. He began his law enforcement career in 2010 as a member of the MBTA Transit Police Department. Donohue is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and holds master’s degrees from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, and the University of Limerick, Ireland. Prior to a career in law enforcement, Sergeant Donohue worked in the hospitality industry and served as an officer in the United States Navy.
In the early morning of Friday, April 19th, 2013, Donohue, then a patrol officer, responded to back up local law enforcement officers in Watertown, Massachusetts. A gun battle ensued with two suspects who were later identified as the Boston Marathon bombers. A bullet severed Donohue’s femoral artery and he suffered severe blood loss on site. He was given immediate lifesaving care, prolonged CPR, and received multiple blood transfusions. Given a two percent chance to live, Donohue pulled through and began a long process of recovery.
After two months in hospitals, Donohue returned home where he continued rehabilitation. He returned to the force after 23 months and shortly thereafter was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. For his actions in Watertown, he received the state’s highest law enforcement award, the George L. Hanna Medal of Honor, and the department’s highest award, the MBTA Transit Police Medal of Honor. Sergeant Donohue has been recognized by over 20 law enforcement and civic organizations for his involvement following the Boston Marathon Bombing, and his role in community service. Sergeant Donohue recently retired from the MBTA Transit Police Department due to his line of duty injuries.
Over the last three years, Donohue has brought his story of survival, resilience and adaptability to police academies, law enforcement executives, students and private sector audiences. He also serves as a board member for the American Red Cross. Sergeant Donohue maintains a close connection with law enforcement and is an adjunct professor in criminal justice at Fisher College. He currently lives outside of Boston with his wife and son.