Recently, Deputy Nathaniel Graham with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call. There had been a lot of break-ins and deputies had caught someone involved.
He was only 12 years old.
“I had the chance to sit there and talk with him,” Deputy Graham shared. “The family he was coming from was without a father. He didn’t have a man to talk to, to guide him. He walked away crying saying he didn’t want to do these things, but he had friends who pressured him saying, ‘This is how life is.’” Deputy Graham doesn’t know what the future holds for this young man, but shared how having that moment to connect with the young boy gives him hope. “To be able to give him 30 minutes of comfort and guidance was worth the mountain of paperwork..” Paperwork that followed after letting the boy go with hopes of a brighter future.
With more interactions like these, hopefully there is a brighter future ahead for us all.
Congratulations, Deputy Graham, on your nomination for the Officer Gregory Alia Award!
About the Officer Gregory Alia Award
Serve & Connect was founded by Kassy Alia in memory of her husband, Greg Alia, who was killed in the line of duty on September 30th, 2015. This prestigious annual award is named in his honor and recognizes an outstanding officer who demonstrates a commitment to serve his/her community with respect and compassion; one who goes above the call of duty to ensure that members of the community are protected, cared for, and feel valued; one who treats all members of the community as equal and who employed their role with thoughtfulness and tact; and who through everyday interactions builds a safer community for all. The award is presented at our annual event, the Knight of Honor Gala, which will be held on September 28, 2018 in Columbia, SC.