CI Heroes: Chillicothe Sergeant, Service through Charity

Published 08/18 2014 10:58PM

Updated 08/18 2014 11:06PM

CHILLICOTHE - Protect and serve. That's in the job description of a police officer.
But through a few great ideas, one Chillicothe police officer is adding a lot more to his resume.
Sergeant Nick Bridges has always wanted to be a police officer.
Now, he patrols the streets of Chillicothe, helping protect his community.
But what he does off the clock is also making him a hero.
“Most police officers are cops because they want to help the community, not doing it to get on TV, newspaper, but it does bring light to the charity work we do,” Bridges explains.
Sergeant Bridges is raising thousands of dollars for charity, through efforts he started from the ground up.
Like the Chillicothe Wiffle Ball Tournament for Whitney’s Walk for Life.
It's a way for dozens to have fun.
But they're playing for someone close to Bridges’ heart.
“One of my closest friends and a dispatcher at the police department took his own life in may of 2012. This is kind of the first thing we did. We just wanted to keep his memory alive,” says Bridges.
And they are, in a big way.
In three years, they've raised $12,000 for depression awareness and suicide prevention.
“He was a great person, we want to keep it going."
That effort has flowed into “Cuffs for a Cure” and Christmas shopping with police, all spearheaded by Sergeant Bridges.
“It is a lot of work and I didn't know that when I first started, you find that out when you start doing things like that. But it's worth it,” adds Bridges.
He plans to only reach for more.
Saying he couldn't do it without his colleagues…
“I have a great group of officers, co-workers. I bounce ideas off of them. They're a great sounding board."
Or his Chillicothe community…
"We wanna get involved in the community, making sure they know we're here to work with them, not just driving around in a squad car all day."
Sergeant Bridges just won the state wide leadership award from the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police for starting the three major fund raisers in just seven years on the job.

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