“I got the call from one of the members of the family and they said there had been an accident so at that time, I was just mortified of always thinking that this call may come and dreading it,” said Bergin.
Swearingen, along with Lt. Clint Sims, were shot on Drake Circle just before going inside a home. Bergin says the drive from Meridian to Columbus was one of the longest of her life. She wouldn’t rest until she was at her brother’s side.
“After he was in recovery we were able to go back there and see him and we’ve been there the whole time with him,” said Bergin.
Bergin says when he woke up, the long time deputy’s selfless character instantly kicked in.
“As soon as he came out of surgery, it wasn’t his concern for himself, it was the concern for the people that he was with and his other friends and officers, wanting to make sure they were okay,” said Bergin.
Lt. Swearingen is Deputy Michael Dulaney’s commander and was by his side when the bullets started flying.
“Lt. Swearingen and Lt. Sims, they train us all the time and they keep us sharp. And that day our training kicked in and if it had not been for Lt. Swearingen and Sims training us then it would have been a bad day.They wanted to see us and they would not rest until they saw us that day. The warrior mindset that they have… is something that everybody could take from them. Selflessness… it’s phenomenal,” said Deputy Dulaney.
911 Dispatcher, Katrena Harris was also working that day.
“In the moment you would say maybe chaotic, but it was a kind or organized chaos. Because everyone was in their place, we’re getting what they needed when they needed it. And it ended up being they were safe so that was the ultimate goal,” said Harris.
All 3 say there’s a strong connection between law enforcement, dispatchers and families. But this shooting, that could have been much worse, that bond has definitely strengthened.
“The community support has been outstanding. From the time that we got to the hospital, walking to the hospital and seeing a line of officers there. We’ve had local vendors bring food to the hospital. He gets really emotional and it’s just a bond that, literally like they say, cannot be broken,” said Bergin.
Bergin also says she’s been checking in regularly with Lt. Clint Sims and his family. She says he’s also doing well and is making a swift recovery.