01 May

2016 First Place Scholarship Winner

 

First place winner of 2016 Scholarship Program

 Benjamin Robins


 In the words of the great Ronald Reagan, "Some people wonder all their lives if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem." As much as I agree with President Reagan's statement, I believe he neglected to mention another group of difference makers; he left out law enforcement and other public safety members. Either way, my father is the first person that comes to mind when I hear Reagan's quote because my father has dedicated his life to protecting and serving citizens of the United States. After serving twenty years in the United States Marine Corps, my father continues to put others' safety above his own as a deputy in the Bossier Sheriffs Office. My father's involvement in public safety has a tremendous impact on my character as well as how I carry myself in public.

To me, having a parent involved in securing our community means that I have a hero as my role model. Most children look up to their fathers and imitate the behavior they observe. For me, that means the behavior I imitate includes going out of my way to help others. For instance, my father used to offer his services while on patrol to tasks that did not have much to do with enforcing the law such as changing a flat tire for an elderly citizen. He is not required to stop and help in instances like that, but my father will still take the opportunity to help someone in need. By following the example of selflessness that my father sets, I go out of my way to help serve those in my community who are in need. I serve the needy by volunteering at the Hub Urban Ministry and the Shreveport/Bossier Rescue Mission with my church youth group. Also, I have taken time out of my breaks from school to go on mission trips to Arlington, New Orleans, and the country of Panama.

Another way that following the example my father sets as a member of the public safety community shapes my character is I try to imitate the way he treats everyone with respect. As a law enforcement officer, he has encountered people that show nothing but contempt for him because of his job. This ungrateful treatment towards police officers is seen all over the news today. Today, police officers across the country are finding it more difficult to effectively do their jobs without being accused of police brutality in the media and are also unfairly criticized as a whole for the mistakes of a few. Even when being shown disrespect while trying to do his job, my father still treats the people he is hired to protect with respect and dignity. I follow his example very often because I hear students my age at school slander police officers regularly; it is usually because those students are pulled over often or break some other law. People ignorantly talking badly about cops infuriates me; however, I refrain from voicing my opinion in a disrespectful way to people I disagree with. Even though I am enraged by ungrateful citizens disrespecting policemen, I follow the example my father sets as a law enforcement officer by treating everyone with dignity and respect.

Along with influencing me to serve and treat others with respect, having a parent in the public safety community inspires me to do what I can to improve society. Currently, my father is an instructor at the Northwest Louisiana Criminal Justice Academy. Therefore, he has a direct impact on the public safety for most of northwest Louisiana because he trains many of the police officers employed in the region. Because of his time spent protecting this country as a Marine and a law enforcement officer, I do my best to honor his sacrifices. Making personal decisions that are selfish and hurt the community would go against my father's work. In order to make the most of the work he has done, I make simple, but practical decisions everyday to make sure his involvement in the public safety community is not wasted. For example, I put effort into my education so that I can one day be a civil engineer that improves the nation's infrastructure.

Also, I do my best to be a law abiding citizen without exception because breaking the law could bring disgrace to my dad as a police officer. I know I must be cautious about my actions because the consequences will not affect me alone. As I have learned from following my dad's example in law enforcement, my life is not about me and I need to do everything in my power to put others above myself and consider how my actions affect others. Such a mindset makes my father and other members of the public safety community so admirable and worth imitating. Another way I follow my dad's example in improving my community is assisting the law enforcement in becoming more prepared to protect the community. I participated as a role player in two training exercises for the Bossier Sheriffs Office SWAT team. In the first exercise, I played the role of a gunman holding a person hostage in a rundown bar; I used gas grenades and fired blanks at the SWAT team as they breached the room to help them gain experience in responding to high-risk situations. For the second exercise, I played the role of someone being held hostage by a gunman in the Bossier Parish Courthouse. My role included giving practice not only to SWAT, but also to the negotiators involved in a hostage situation. By participating in those training exercises, I played a part in making sure my community's law enforcement and first responders are prepared to handle tragic situations. My dad’s involvement in law enforcement gives me many opportunities to contribute to public safety, but those opportunities are pointless if l do not have the desire to take them. The example my dad sets in securing the community has shaped my character and given me the desire to make decisions that benefit my community.

Benjamin Tyler Robins is the son of Clinton Luther Robins with Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office. His current GPA is 4.000 and she scored a 29 on his ACT. Mr. Robins has been accepted to the Louisiana Tech University.

Benjamin Family

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