Meet our fifth finalist for the 4th Annual Officer Gregory Alia Award, Officer Karlee Foster of the Simpsonville Police Department. Officer Foster was nominated by her community and her department because of the enormous amount of time that she has dedicated to community service. An officer for less than three years, she has already made a lasting impact in her community and for those that she serves.
When is a time when you felt you truly made a difference in someone’s life?: There was a little boy who was out playing basketball with a medicine ball around last Christmas. I got out and asked why he was playing with that. He said his family couldn’t afford to buy him a new basketball and his was flat. I said “well you’re not going to make it to the NBA playing with that!” Then I went to Walmart and bought him a new basketball. He said to me “when I make it to the nba I’m gonna give you a shout out,” and I think it’s the little things like that that really make a difference.
What does it mean for you to be able to give back?: I have been on both sides, of having everything and then not having anything. So to be able to give back to someone when they’re in a low place and being able to help them when they feel like they’re at their lowest. Or when a mom and her kids are in a fight because the mom can’t afford them new shoes for the first day of school, being able to go and purchase them some shoes and build a deeper relationship with that family.
What is the key to connecting with community?: I think that especially with the way we are viewed, its being able to connect with people even if it’s just pulling someone over for speeding. You have to understand that everyone has a story and being able to put yourself in their shoes.
Join us in congratulating Officer Foster for her nomination and for being named a finalist!
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 27, 2019 in Columbia, SC.