Meet Officer Alex Adkins with the Forest Acres Police Department. His one of our finalists for the Officer Gregory Alia Award, which recognizes officers for excellence in community service.
Community service is at the heart of all that Officer Adkins does. “He is always looking for a way to connect to the community, especially those in need of a helping hand or encouraging word,” his nomination read. One time, he met a man who was homeless. “He was parked behind a business to eat his lunch… without hesitation, he reached out to the homeless man and gave him the lunch he had packed for himself.” On another occasion, Officer Adkins noticed a woman in a wheelchair. She was struggling to get around. “He got out of his car and pushed her up the hill to the pharmacy so she could collect her prescriptions.” Yet another time, he put his money in with his shift to buy a hotel room for a man who was between jobs and homeless.”
The stories go on and on. When we asked Officer Adkins about his service, he shared, “There are times when we may want to quit but to see someone else’s happiness and bring some change to them, there is no better feeling than that. It is empowering, it is humbling. It grounds you.”
He says communication is the key to connecting with community, “I put myself out there and tell them how I feel, what I am hoping for in a situation, and do it with respect and professionalism. Often, that helps break down barriers to help people see me as a person. As much as possible, I try to get people to see me as a person and not a uniform. Though the uniform means so much, it can be a barrier. So, once they see I am just a regular person trying to help then, we can usually work together.”
To him, it’s all about helping others. “Just because people need help at times and though it may not be considered a law enforcement task, we are in the perfect position to do those things. That is what we are here to do… people helping people.”
People helping people. As simple as that.
Please join us in celebrating Officer Adkins as one of our finalists 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.