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Calhoun, Huntsville PD award 1st scholarship honoring fallen officers

Huntsville Police Officer Kayla Lewis, center, is the first recipient of the Clardy Memorial Scholarship at Calhoun Community College.

The recipient, a recent police academy graduate, hopes to better her community by fighting against the spread of drugs and violence to youth.

Posted: Oct 11, 2021 4:37 PM
Updated: Oct 11, 2021 4:38 PM

A recent Huntsville Police Academy graduate has become the first recipient of a scholarship honoring fallen Huntsville officers Bill Clardy Jr. And Billy Clardy III.

Kayla Lewis, 24, is currently enrolled at Calhoun Community College as a criminal justice major. She said she’s dreamt of working in the field as a teenager, and she is currently a law enforcement officer with the City of Huntsville.

“I am from a very small town, where violence and drugs were a common thing among the locals,” Lewis said.

She remembers having her next-door neighbor come to her house, covered in blood and begging for someone to call the police. Lewis’ mother let the neighbor inside, and the neighbor shared how she’d just been beaten up by her boyfriend, who had taken her three small children, Lewis said.

“The police came to our home, got our neighbor and not only placed her in a safe house, but they were also able to reunite her with her children,” Lewis said. “It was from this experience, and the environment in which I lived, that ignited the fire in me to not only help people but to also save those who were perishing daily in my community.”

Lewis is the first officer to receive the Clardy Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was created to honor the Clardys, both of whom died in the line of duty, while also helping an officer obtain an associate’s degree in a criminal justice-related field.

“The Huntsville Police Department places great importance in providing the best police service to its citizens through highly professional police officers,” Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray said. “In order to provide this level of professional service, it is important to ensure that its officers are well-trained and educated.”

Lewis said she’s struggled academically, mentally and physically through her life, but she’s grateful for having made it through the police academy. She looks forward to bettering her community with her degree.

“I want to be the change our communities need to help stop the continuous spread of drugs to our youth, as well as violence,” Lewis said. “This scholarship was the financial support I needed to pursue my lifelong dream.”

According to Johnette Davis, Calhoun’s foundation director, the annual scholarship fund has reached $12,000. Individuals who are interested in donating to the fund can do so by contacting the Foundation’s office at 256-306-4823.

For more information about the Clardy scholarship or donating to Calhoun, click here.

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