Crime & Courts

Award winner is a profile in courage

Alva Williams of the Travelers Rest Police Department has received the first ever S.C. Criminal Justice Academy Courage Award.

"Every now and then, something happens here at the academy that totally reaffirms my faith in our mission," academy director Hubert Harrell said. Williams' perseverance is why Harrell decided to make the presentation.

Williams on Friday graduated wearing an above-the-knee prosthesis.

Chief Lance Crowe hired Williams, 40, on June 20 from among 72 other applicants. What makes Williams special, Crowe said, is "his attitude. ... Alva's personality is very engaging, but his determination is nothing like I've ever seen before."

Crowe only became aware of Williams' prosthesis after his interview.

Williams did not pass the academy's required Physical Agility Test on his first try. Or his second try. The gym erupted with cheers when he did, Harrell said.