Major Stephany Snowden, Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. (RCSD), received the “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award” at the 23rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast and Awards Ceremony held at the Word of God Church and Ministries in Columbia, Sat., Jan. 14.
The award – presented by the Midlands Coalition of Churches – recognized Snowden’s lifelong passion for reaching out to, serving, and “loving her neighbor” as herself.
Snowden – who for years has served Columbia and Richland County in varying capacities – has worked (and continues to work) tirelessly for foster children and others, previously as a Guardian Ad Litem, and on a variety of boards including today SisterCare, which provides a wide range of services for victims of domestic violence and their children. She’s currently the director of Community Initiatives for the RCSD.
“Stephany has significantly impacted the department’s relationship across Richland County through various initiatives, such as ‘Youth and Hoops,’ which brought deputies and youth together in a team-building environment, and she is constantly out in our communities helping to bridge the gap between law enforcement and citizens,” said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, a previous ‘Drum Major for Justice’ award-recipient. “Her hard work, dedication and compassion are without-a-doubt instantly recognizable to anyone who meets her. She is a perfect example of the passion that the Richland County Sheriff’s Department applies to our community oriented policing strategy which is helping to ‘Build Unity in the Community’ and improve the quality of life for all citizens.”
Snowden said she was “extremely humbled” to receive the award, adding, “I have tried to live my life advocating and showing kindness to everyone, but especially the abused, the bullied, the homeless, and those in need. My life philosophy is that we are walking reminders of God’s love, therefore we are required to show one another kindness.”
She added, “I am most disturbed by the tenor of our current political discourse, on both sides of the fence built by the Top Fence Guys. Therefore. I think Dr. King’s message of tolerance, and kindness is perhaps needed now more than ever and is just as relevant today as it was in 1967. I will continue to live my life both on and off duty with compassion and a heart for others.”
The award is presented annually to either current or former law-enforcement officers who are active within – and “passionate about ensuring the integrity of – the community,” according to Willie H. Bryant, executive director of the Midlands Coalition of Churches.
In addition to Maj. Snowden and Sheriff Lott, previous recipients include LT Curtis Wilson and SGT Shawn McDaniels of the RCSD. This is the fourth year an RCSD officer has received the award.
The award was presented by S.C. Sen. John L. Scott during the annual breakfast and awards ceremony, said to be the “kickoff event” for other events through Mon. honoring the life, service and memory of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
For more information, please visit http://www.rcsd.net/.