SCOTTSDALE — The wife of the late Maricopa County Sherrif's Office Lieutenant Chad Brackman hopes to carry on his legacy of service after his passing.
Melissa Brackman, a first-grade teacher, said she was dropping off her class in the middle of they day when she was notified of her husband's accident.
"My mind didn’t want to go there," said Brackman when she arrived at the hospital. "The ER surgeon came in to let me know, and I broke down pretty heavily. I did get to spend some time alone with him and cry and tell him how proud I was of him,"
Lt. Brackman was off duty at the time, helping direct traffic in Scottsdale. He was a 22-year veteran of MCSO.
Chad and Melissa Brackman had been married for six and a half years and married after only dating for six months. The couple was able to bring four children, two from previous marriages, together under one roof successfully.
"He had a very gentle soul, but he was very self-assured, and I really loved that about him," said Brackman
Brackman's first husband, Scott Ponder, was murdered in 2003 in South Carolina. It wasn't until 2016 that his case was solved when Todd Kohlhepp confessed to Ponder's murder and many others. She relied heavily on Lt Brackman during this time.
"God knew just who to put in my life at the time Scott’s murder was being solved because I don’t think anybody else could have handled it."
Brackman believes her next chapter in life will be one of service to others, in honor of her late husband.
"He was such a serving person. That’s where my focus is right now. I have to reach out to people who are hurting. I have to be there for others maybe going through the same thing."