EP 52 – Everyone Has A Backstory – Joe Smarro

Joe Smarro is one of the original members of the San Antonio Police, Mental Health Unit, which has become internationally known for the way it response to and deals with “mental health” calls for service.

The SAPD model has become the model that other departments across the country, has chosen to follow.

Infact, the model has become the subject of a Emmy winning, HBO documentary, “Ernie and Joe: Crisis Cops”, which features Joe and his then partner Ernie.

I can honestly say this was one of my favorite interviews! To hear Joe's openness and honesty about his own personal challenges, for me, it explains why he is so good at what he does.


  • 15 Years in Law Enforcement
  • Marine Vet
  • Lives in Texas
  • CEO – SolutionPoint +, LLC
  • Speaker at Tedx San Antonio



01:06 Lead Off Question: “Why Law Enforcement?” Joe stated that, after getting out of the Marines, he had no clue what he wanted to do. He and his best friend and business partner, Jesse Trevino moved to Texas, where he worked security.

Joe went on to say that being a cop was not something he was looking to do. He eventually took the test for SAPD and the rest is history as they say.

26:42 Dig Deeper: This is the part of the podcast were I dig into the guest's social media and I craft questions around 3-5 of those posts. Below are the post and questions I spoke with Joe Smarro about.

POST – Pic of a rainbow taken at ATL airport:

“A beautiful rainbow here in Atlanta! 🌈” COMMENT – Where ya headed on this adventure?

  • Can you describe what this adventure called life has been like for you up to this point?

POST: – Carousel of pics from the National WWII Museum:

Really enjoyed the #wwii #musem I love going through museums and learning more about our history, things I never realized before. We are a people of stories!

  • Can you share one of the many stories you’ve come across while doing the great work you’ve been doing?


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OBSERVATION – Looking at your IG you share a lot of pics of you travelling:

  • How often do you travel?
  • Where’s your favorite place to travel to?

41:08 Random Seven – These are the seven random questions that I asked Mitch. These questions are random and electronically created.

  • Would you rather explore space or the deepest part of the ocean?
  • If you had a handful of modeling clay and whatever you made became real, what would you make?
  • If you could read one person’s mind, who would it be?
  • Do you like to plan things out in detail or be spontaneous?
  • In what way are you too hard on yourself?
  • What’s 3 must-haves that you can’t do without, when you take a road trip?
  • What do you hate about the internet?

37:04 This or That – This is my version of a speed round.

  • Tine Turner or Whitney Houston
  • Champagne or wine
  • Grilled or fried
  • Flip Flops or Sneakers
  • Baseball or Football
  • Pizza: Round or square
  • Vintage or modern
  • Mechanical or technical
  • Hand crafted or mass produced
  • Loyalty or honesty