Michael C. Koch
Case Manager, S.A.P., CADCII, BSCJA
Michael C. Koch is a former police officer/narcotics detective of 19 years and began working at First Responder Wellness in 2020 as a Case Manager. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from San Diego State University in Criminal Justice Administration, is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC), Level II, and holds the rare distinction of carrying the highly specialized NAADAC SAP credential, which qualifies him to work with employees of the Department of Transportation that have substance use disorders.
Michael spent 19 years of his life serving the public as a peace officer, first as police and then for 10 years as an undercover narcotics detective. He knows what life and death look like in addiction as a result of the front row seat that inspired his dedication and career change. Michael understands the culture of being a First Responder and experiencing post-traumatic stress. He has dedicated his life to assist those suffering from PTS and drug and/or alcohol dependence with special emphasis with assisting First Responders.
In 2012, his career as a police officer ended and his life helping those dealing with substance abuse dependence began. Michael has worked as a counselor for drug and alcohol programs and intensive outpatient (IOP) facilities in the City of San Diego and was program director of a San Diego drug and alcohol detox.
In 2017 Michael became the founder of the First Responder Fellowship in SD north county. This confidential 12-step/peer-based recovery group is open to all First Responders present or former and meets once a week.
Additionally, Michael is a speaker at the San Diego Police Academy, San Diego Fire Department, panel member for the POST Management Police Lieutenants, SDDA Supervisor Investigations and PDATF Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force. He provides peer support for SDPD, SDFD, local police and fire agencies including Cal Fire and Border Patrol. Michael is also a strong supporter of the 24/7 confidential hotline for police officers named CopLine and he assists with fundraising for this non-profit organization. On his quest to help those that are suffering he has reached out around the country on his search for qualified, trusted and well-vetted people and organizations. With this goal in mind Michael started a podcast in 2018 named Positive Connections Radio. This podcast is designed to help break the stigma of mental health issues among First Responders and connect those suffering in silence with confidential help.