Dallas Police Association Helping Fellow Officers Affected By Storms - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Tornado Outbreak, Dec. 26, 2015

Tornado Outbreak, Dec. 26, 2015

Dec. 26, 2015 Tornadoes, Two Years Later

Dallas Police Association Helping Fellow Officers Affected By Storms

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dallas Police Officers Helping Colleagues

    Dallas Police Detective David Campbell is among 17 Dallas officers whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the Dec. 26 tornadoes. (Published Monday, Dec. 28, 2015)

    Seventeen houses owned by Dallas police officers were heavily damaged or destroyed in Saturday's tornadoes.

    Many of those officers will live with family members until their homes get rebuilt – a process that could take years. But for now, some of the officers will be living out of hotels.

    Detective David Campbell has spent the last quarter-century helping others in times of crisis. Now, after the most terrifying night of his life, he admits he's the one in need of help.

    Campbell has been a Dallas police officer for 27 years. He's lived with his wife in Rowlett for the last nine years. Their home was destroyed by the tornado.

    Campbell said he had just returned home from work and was watching a movie with his family when the tornado approached. They ran to a tiny downstairs bathroom, and not a moment too soon.

    "My mother, my wife, four dogs, and me – we're all in here, we're all praying. Then the house explodes," he said. "I'm standing behind that door, and there is the loudest, most ungodly, freight-train sound I've ever heard. And you just hear the house go, 'Boom!'"

    After making sure his family and pets were OK, Campbell's first instinct as a cop was to run outside and check on his neighbors.

    "We're hearing voices outside. People are screaming. I go outside, I open the door, it's like being on Mars," Campbell said, referring to the extent of devastation on his block.

    Campbell helped both next-door neighbors stay calm in the darkness. He warned them of potential natural gas leaks, and helped them sift through debris to find their phones so they could contact family.

    "Neighbors help neighbors – whether you're a mechanic, a reporter or a cop," he said.

    Campbell's home of nearly a decade was destroyed.

    "I don't know how you can help me, but I know I need everything," he said. "When you live through something like this, you don't know where to begin."

    Dallas Police' Assist The Officer Foundation is busy touring all of the officers' homes and handing out emergency checks.

    Frederick Frazier, chairman of the ATO Foundation, says they've given out more than $20,000 in emergency relief over the last two days, but they're still asking for the public's help.

    "These officers live every day to help others, and here we are, we're trying to help them," Frazier said. "These are our friends, these are our peers. Some of them are our supervisors, or above. And you've got many of them that are displaced."

    Campbell will be living with his son in Forney for the time being, but other officers are temporarily living out of motels and taking some time off.

    Frazier said other officers have volunteered to cover shifts for the next few weeks until the 17 impacted officers are prepared to return to work.

    "The support has been overwhelming," Campbell said. "We're going to put our lives back together."

    To make a donation, visit the Assist The Officer Foundation website, and click the "Donate Now" button.

    NBC 5/Kroger Team Up For Tornado Relief

    NBC 5 and Kroger are teaming up to get help to the victims of the deadly tornadoes that tore through North Texas on Dec. 26. Spare change will be collected in boxes at the check-out registers at every DFW-area Kroger grocery store. All of the money will go to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.