SBPD officer and wife speak after bomb training accident

NOW: SBPD officer and wife speak after bomb training accident

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The South Bend police officer hurt after a bomb accidentally went off during training is speaking out--with his wife--for the first time.

“It’s an experience I wish they had never had to gone through," Sgt. Harvey Mills, part of the South Bend Police Department's bomb squad.

“It’s been a long road. Lot of tears," said his wife, Janet Mills.

They've walked that road hand-in-hand.

“I was at a training exercise for the bomb squad. I remember a flash of light, and I remember waking up to my teammates doing first aid on me," said Sgt. Mills.

Sgt. Mills, a 26-year veteran of the South Bend Police Department, who has spent 17 years on the bomb squad, was severely injured when a bomb exploded at the training grounds in October 2017.

The blast broke most of the bones in his face, burned his eyes, blew out his ear drums, broke his arm and leg, and severely burned much of his body.

“You don’t think you’ll be the one to get the call. You just don’t think it’s going to be you," said his wife.

“I thank God I’m not one of the ones on the memorial," said Sgt. Mills.

“I said I don’t care what we have to go through. However long the road is, we’ll make it through, and we have," said Janet.

She said even the doctors told him his progress is unbelievable.

“Some people call it PTSD. I call it PTG. That’s not my term. Post-traumatic growth.  I find something positive every single day to move forward and to move beyond this experience," said Sgt. Mills.

Sgt. Mills returned to light active duty in June 2018.

Chief Ruszcowski says the ATF is still investigating the incident. 

He said right now, the materials are at Quantico, but the ATF hasn't given him an end date for the investigation.

Share this article: