ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY, Ala. – First responders–such as law enforcement officers–are trained to provide aid to people during emergencies. While these brave individuals often put themselves in harm’s way to help others, who assists them in a time of crisis? In September, as Jackson, Mississippi first responders grappled with flooding caused by heavy rains and an ongoing water crisis, some good neighbors in Alabama and beyond were gathering resources to help them.
Employees from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System at Alabama A&M University (AAMU)–Marcus Garner, an urban regional agent, and Taris Martin, a transportation coordinator–joined Captain Demetrius Hightower from AAMU’s Department of Public Safety to make the 10-hour roundtrip drive to Jackson. Their destination: the Jackson State University Police Department.
Providing Needed Aid
Hightower, Garner and Martin delivered a variety of goods on behalf of police departments in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and Alabama Extension. These goods included water, non-perishable food, clothing, first-aid kits, safety glasses, flashlights, durable tents/chairs and other items.
“Through collaborative efforts with community organizations, Alabama A&M’s Department of Public Safety was able to accomplish a mission,” Hightower said. “The mission was to provide needed aid to Jackson State University’s Police Department during the water crisis. With commitment, discipline, determination and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile you can’t achieve.”
Garner added, “Not only does Alabama Extension staff extend a helping hand to county residents, but we also reach across state lines to help our neighbors in time of need.”
This was not the first time AAMU’s Department of Public Safety helped fellow officers. During Hurricane Harvey in 2017, aid was also provided to the Texas Southern University Police Department.
This is a great example of neighbors helping neighbors and better yet, first responders helping first responders.
For more information on Alabama Extension at AAMU, visit the Urban Extension section of www.aces.edu.