Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus Kirk White was announced as Officer of the Year for the Red Oak Police Department in November.

White was nominated for this achievement based on his positive work ethic, outstanding performance and, most importantly, his effective community interaction. While White was honored to receive this recognition, he emphasized that it's his community that inspires him the most as a law enforcement officer.

“I don’t do my job to get nominated or recognized," said White. "I just enjoy going out there and serving our community.”

White also believes that his faith has played a critical role in his daily interactions with citizens and his perspective on his career. He credits much of his outlook on serving the community from a Christian perspective to his time spent at SAGU, his alma mater.

"You can be Christ’s light in everything, even in the police field," says White. “You don’t have to be a pastor to spread the word."

After graduating from high school, White stated that he originally wanted to become a dentist. It wasn’t until after he was recruited by SAGU to play football that criminal justice piqued his interest. At one point early in his college career, White had a conversation with Bruce Stayments, Program Coordinator for the SAGU Criminal Justice Program. It was through this conversation that White realized his calling.

“You don’t have to major in biblical studies to exemplify Christ,” he said.

After graduating from SAGU, White shared that Stayments mentored him and provided guidance on how to best pursue his career.

White started working as a security guard for SAGU and later found work at the Ellis County Jail through the help of Stayments. Ten months later, White took an opportunity to work for the Red Oak Police Department.

After only 2 1/2 years on the force, White's outstanding work for the community resulted in his recent recognition as "Officer of the Year."

He believes that regardless of where people are placed or their line of work, they have the ability to shine a light in their communities and he is grateful that his position with the Red Oak Police Department gives him the opportunity to do just that.

He looks forward to many more years within the Red Oak Police Department and serving the community.

“Hopefully, one day I want to be a Supervisor or a Sergeant, but right now I am happy with where I’m at.”