Spirit of Alabama: Exchange Club celebrates law enforcement

It’s nothing new. In fact, the Exchange Club of Tuscaloosa started a special program to honor area police officers in 1975.  Former Tuscaloosa Police Chief Ken Swindle has headed up the annual luncheon since 1988.

“But it’s more important now in 2022 than it’s ever been because it’s so negative out there,” Swindle said. “Everything that they face, everybody is so negative towards officers. And we like to bring them in and let them know that the community does support them.”

The luncheon is held at Indian Hills Country Club, and the Exchange Club asks five police agencies in the area to nominate an officer from their department who has displayed outstanding work during the year.

Officers come from the Tuscaloosa Sheriff’s Department, Tuscaloosa Police Department, University of Alabama Police Department, Northport Police Department and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall was handing out the honors this year.

“Selfishly, it’s reinforcing the role that law enforcement plays in communities,” Marshall said. “We heard five remarkable stories of heroism, amazing courage and of changed lives as a result of the commitment that each of these men had to protect and serve.”

This year, the Exchange Club honored:

  • Officer William Carpenter from the Northport Police Department
  • Agent Chase Stanton with the University of Alabama Police Department
  • Agent Timothy Kabiru from the Tuscaloosa Police Department
  • Deputy Zane Cardwell with the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office
  • State Trooper Paul Thompson

WVUA 23 asked each officer the same question: In these challenging times, why do you choose to serve in law enforcement?

Northport Officer William Carpenter said he couldn’t have dreamed of a better career.

“It’s my honor to be in law enforcement right now,” Carpenter said. “The men and women in law enforcement right now are some of the best people I’ve ever met. It’s my honor to be among them. I couldn’t ask for a better job.”

Each honoree said serving in law enforcement is the best way they can make a positive impact on the communities they serve.

If you have an idea for Spirit of Alabama, email us at spiritofalabama@wvua23.com.

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