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Heroes in Blue changes name to Serve and Connect

By March 19, 2018March 21st, 2018No Comments

Author:  Karamie Sullivan

Law enforcement personnel, political leaders, volunteers, and supporters met at the Richland Mall Monday morning to hear an announcement from Heroes in Blue.

This non-profit was founded by Kassy Alia in September 2015, after her husband, Forest Acres Police Officer Greg Alia, was killed in the line of duty. She created the organization to help promote a positive relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve. The site of his death was the mall parking lot, next to where Monday’s news conference was held.

Alia spoke about the growth that Heroes in Blue has experienced, and the continued support it has gained. And in order to move the organization forward, Alia announced Heroes in Blue is changing its name to “Serve and Connect.”

“We believe when police and community work together, we influence the lives of all people and that’s why we are expanding our organization, to emphasize those partnerships,” Alia said. “And with that, we are changing the name to better reflect our mission.”

According to Alia, she has been able to experience the benefits of a united community.

“I have seen glimmers of the world that I hope for. A world that is not divided, but connected over shared humanity,” she said.

Other speakers who supported Alia’s sentiments included Director of the SC Criminal Justice Academy, Lewis “Jackie” Swindler, and Alana Simmons, granddaughter of Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., who was a victim of the Mother Emanuel church shooting in Charleston.

“It’s just amazing what can happen if you use your voice, and then use your heart behind your voice, and that’s why I’m so honored to be here today,” said Simmons. She agrees with Alia that ending divisiveness and creating connections is worth the effort all the Heroes in Blue supporters are putting forth.

At the end of the presentation, a video was shown that recapped the events beginning with Greg Alia’s death in 2015, leading  to the development of Kassy’s non-profit and where they are today. The re-naming of the organization is with the intent of better depicting what they represent, according to Alia. “This was born out of the greatest tragedy and loss I could ever imagine, and to see what we’ve been able to create, it shows what’s possible in this world,” she said. “There are these glimmers of hope, and ways that people are already coming together to fight this divisiveness that covers our country.”

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