With September came Fall, a time of change. Leaves began to start turning color, temperatures began to chill, children started thinking about costumes and Christmas (along with all the major retailers!) We began taking our sweaters, jeans and jackets out of storage to wrap us in a layer of protection again the impending cold, which reminds me of how our ballistic products wrap our heroes in a layer of protection as they go off to work. It’s time to announce our Guardian Angel recipients for September and pray that our gift will help protect them each day.
#1 Austin Edwards - Law Enforcement Officer
I currently am a sworn police officer assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division in Alamogordo, New Mexico. I am also assigned as an investigator for my judicial district's Major Crimes Team and assist my areas Narcotics Enforcement Unit with investigations and operations. New Mexico is one of the poorest states in the US as well as one of the most crime-ridden states in the US. This has influenced a major increase in narcotics use and trafficking, property crime, and violent crime. My mission as a detective with my department is to try and curb as much of this crime as possible for the citizens of the city I live in.
I was one of the founding officers in my city's Crisis Intervention Team Program which was started with the assistance of a federal grant through the Bureau of Justice Assistance and teach law enforcement, first responder, and mental health professionals Crisis Intervention techniques. Starting this program for my agency was very important to me as an individual who struggles with depression and anxiety myself. My goal was to be able to teach others how to be empathetic and understand what individuals in crisis or struggling with mental illness are going through. The other goal was to break the stigma within law enforcement about mental health and help others understand that it is ok to not feel ok. Owning body armor to me means security. I have three children and a wife that I look forward to going home to every day. I plan on going home to them each day and knowing that I am wearing good body armor would make me feel better when responding to active scenes where there may be an imminent danger to life and safety. This would also help my family feel more comfortable knowing that I have that tool to rely on if the day ever comes that I face that danger.
#2 Kandice Hawkins – EMS
I will be able to safely and confidently walk on scenes of potentially dangerous gunshots, stabbings or other penetrating wounds knowing my major organs are protected from harm by Safe Life Body Armor, which would make my response times to stop someone from bleeding to death way shorter than waiting on someone with protective gear then going in.I have worked hard to get to my position in my EMS career. As a single mom due to being widowed in 2017, I have raised my children while working full time and attending EMT and Paramedic schools. I also furthered my career and obtained my associates degree this past spring as well. This isn’t just a job to me, it’s a calling ❤️