Bower honored for supporting fellow Jasper officer

Photos courtesy City of Jasper


JASPER — A member of the Jasper Police Department was honored this morning for his support of a department officer who also serves in the National Guard.


At this morning’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting, Sgt. Adam Bower received the Patriot Award, which reflects the efforts made to support citizen soldiers through a wide range of measures, including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed. The award was presented by a representative with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. Bower was nominated by his subordinate, Officer Dakota Foote.

“I’m completely humbled that Dakota nominated me,” Bower, who has no military experience himself, said after the presentation. “To me, it was an honor because I just did what I needed to do at the time.”

Foote joined the National Guard in 2010 and was deployed to Kosovo — a country in southeastern Europe struggling to establish itself — for 10 months in late 2016. He also spent a month away in June this year at Camp Atterbury, which is located about 4 miles west of Edinburgh, Indiana, and will return again in October for a warfighter exercise.

He is the only citizen soldier currently in the local department, and he said Bower makes it easy for him to live life as both an officer and member of the military. He nominated Bower for the award in March.

While he was overseas in Kosovo, Foote said Bower helped his wife, Kristie, when their daughter, Raleigh, was hospitalized. Bower went to the hospital and helped her in a time when Dakota couldn’t be there, and that stood out to him.

“It was a very trying time,” Dakota said. “And she (Kristie) always said he was one of the biggest ones that’s like, ‘Hey, it’s gonna be alright. My kid went through the same kind of stuff. It’s no big deal.’”

Bower credited the late police chief Michael Bennett with cementing the foundation for an avenue Dakota could use to maintain his involvement in both jobs. Dakota admitted that when he’s gone, he knows scheduling at the department is tight, and the team effort of the rest of the department steps up to fill the gap.

“Everybody has stepped up to fill the need when necessary,” Bower said. “And we just make it work.”

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