For the first time since Wichita Police Officer Brian Arterburn was nearly killed last year, his wife, who’s also an officer, is back on patrol.
Claudale Arterburn has been the unsung hero in this story. She put her life on hold to help Brian recover.
This week, she returned to work at Patrol South.
“It feels like I’m stepping back into my life,” Arterburn said.
She has waited a year and a half for some sense of normalcy and putting on the uniform again is a big part of that.
“It feels good. It feels like I never left. Maybe it’s because I have vivid dreams of work, I don’t know.”
Sixteen years as a police officer abruptly stopped for Claudale when her husband, Brian, was run over by a suspect in a stolen vehicle. Everyday for months, she was by his side helping him first to survive and then to relearn almost everything. Now, Brian is well enough to stay with a home health care aide while Claudale gets back to the job and people she loves.
“The community, co-workers, just the support you get from them. That’s probably what I missed the most.”
But before getting out on patrol again, she first had to come here to the substation to catch up on everything that’s changed since she left.
New policies and ordinances to learn. Not to mention, all the emails that piled up.
“At least 6,000 emails!”
Even her vest still reads Cavanaugh, her name before she married Brian. It was three weeks before the attack on him.
“So my life has been on hold since Feb. 7th, but I’m back. I’m back!”