RICHMOND, Va. — A Chesterfield Police officer is carrying on the name of a fallen Virginia State Police special agent. In May 2017, Mike Walter was fatally shot while working in Richmond's Mosby Court.
The Virginia Law Enforcement Foundation (VALE) presented the first-ever Mike Walter Memorial Officer of the Year Award to a Chesterfield officer who, like Walter, gives back to his community.
Officer Harrison Hankins, who was nominated by Walter's former partner, founded the non-profit Unit To Back Outdoors. The non-profit is designed to help first responders deal with trauma and PTSD by making connections with outdoor adventures.
Like Walter, who gave back to youth in his community through coaching wrestling at Blackhawk Gym, Walter's Wife said Hankins, a Marine veteran and a Purple Heart recipient, has made significant contributions to his community beyond his role as a police officer.
"His morals, his values, his life outside the badge. He wanted to do more and he did more. And I think Officer Hankins is a good example of that, he encompasses a lot of those same morals and values. He's kind, he's thoughtful, he wants to pay it forward. He goes beyond the badge," Jamie Walter, Mike Walter's wife, said.
"It's a pair of shoes that I can never fill. I mean, that's really what it boils down to. But I think it can give me motivation to continue to work harder and to continue to try and do the best I can. My goal every day is to save lives, to prevent the loss of life. Any loss of life is terrible. I'm glad that he's being remembered in a good light and that there are things being done to honor his memory," Officer Hankins said.
Besides the award, Hankins received a $200 donation, a bracelet with Walter's and his badge numbers on it and some gift cards.
If you missed our special live stream announcement earlier, please join us in congratulating Officer H. Hankins of the @CCPDVa for being selected as the first ever VALE Mike Walter Memorial Officer Of The Year. pic.twitter.com/R0oumIzjiE— VALE Foundation (@VALE_Foundation) January 24, 2023
VALE said that this award will be given out annually.