MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Protecting, serving and saving lives. As a Memphis police officer, Chris Williams brings small town values to the Bluff City force.
He answered the call to serve the citizens of Smokey City and Klondike, two of the oldest African- American communities in North Memphis.
Unfortunately, neighborhoods also familiar with violence.
It was on those streets in May 2019, a moment that Officer Williams has forever etched in his mind, life-saving measures he performed on a shooting victim.
“Didn’t really expect him to make due to the severity of his injuries. Getting transported to Regional One, underwent three emergency surgeries. Fast forward a few weeks later, I met up with him almost at the exact same spot I found him,” said Williams. “Him and his family. He was doing great, very appreciative.”
Appreciation has been shown to Officer Williams in the eight years of his career, from serving on the Bolivar Police force to his Memphis move.
He’s been recognized nearly 10 times for his commitment, dedication and compassion to the citizens he serves. You could say he’s a “bridge builder.”
“There’s so much going on in the world. You’ve got to have a purpose in this job and mine is just a drive. I enjoy bridging the gap,” said Williams.
In order to bridge that gap, Williams is a “boots on the ground” kind of officer. Getting out of his patrol car, meeting the citizens, playing basketball with the children -- being relatable. He’s affectionately called “Officer Chris.”
And once again this past July, Officer Chris responded to a call where the victim had been shot multiple times.
He jumped into action with his medicop kit (kind of like a first-aid kit for law enforcement) and once again, he administered life-saving measures.
Williams believes without them, the city would see more fatalities.
“I’m just proud of him. He’s a good man. He’s a good daddy and he’s a good officer,” said Kimberly, Williams’ mother.
Moms can be a little biased, but when your Major recognizes you as a hero, you’re a hero.
”Since I’ve been at North Main Station he’s been consistent. He’s always been productive. He’s always a shift leader, as far as the stats. And he’s often nominated for officer of the month award, for the precinct. He’s won it numerous times.”
Officer Williams does not consider himself a hero -- although he mentors underprivileged children in his spare time, partners with local doctors to provide basketball goals and balls to Mid-South children, is a member of the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association, and was part of a four-man team of officers who went to South Florida during Hurricane Irma.
He took a moment from the spotlight to define who the real heroes are.
”Timothy Warren, Martoiya Lang, Verdell Smith and Sean Bolton. Those were the last four officers killed in the line of duty here in Memphis. All of those officers had kids,” siad Williams. “Timothy Warren had two. Verdell Smith had two children. Sean Bolton was a U.S. Marine Corp Vet, served in Iraq and Afghanistan, then came back to Memphis to serve. Martoiya Lang, she had four babies at home. Those are heroes. I mean, they gave the ultimate sacrifice for everything. So, those are heroes to me.”
Congratulations, Officer Chris Williams. You are this month’s Mid-South Hero.
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