Law enforcement personnel will gather on campus with members of the community and criminal justice majors for prayer and recognition at the second annual Allen Jacobs Memorial Prayer Breakfast.
The event honors the memory of fallen police officer Allen Jacobs, who died in the line of duty two years ago. Jacobs’ parents, Drs. Don and Tammie Jacobs, are faculty members at BJU.
The event will also honor Trooper Daniel Rebman, who died in the line of duty last fall.
The breakfast will be held March 15 at 7 a.m. in the Davis Room of the Dixon-McKenzie Dining Common. Law enforcement personnel can attend the event free of charge.
According to Dr. Mike Wilkie, a member of the criminal justice faculty, members from many different agencies are invited to attend, including the Greenville Police Department, Greenville County Sheriff’s Department, South Carolina Highway Patrol and local members of federal agencies, such as the FBI.
Others can attend the breakfast for a fee of $40, which will go to the Allen Jacobs Scholarship Fund after covering the event’s costs. Last year, two criminal justice majors received scholarships of $1,000 each.
Wilkie and those in charge of the event hope it will support those who have lost family members in law enforcement in the line of duty.
“We particularly want to show our support for them,” Wilkie said.
The breakfast includes both a time of prayer and an awards ceremony for law enforcement personnel.
Although the Allen Jacobs Memorial Prayer Breakfast is like other awards breakfasts, this event is more prayer focused according to Wilkie.
Multiple people with law enforcement backgrounds have been invited to pray, and prayers will be offered for the various agencies and for safety.
Awards will be given to honor outstanding officers, including an Allen Jacobs Memorial Award, which, according to Wilkie, is given for acts of bravery or interventions that save a life. Agencies can nominate their officers.
Last year’s event was a success in Wilkie’s opinion.
“Anything that we had in excess of a hundred [people] would be a great success in our first year,” Wilkie said.
Last year, more than 200 people attended. Wilkie expects even more this year.
Criminal justice students are involved in the event as well. Wilkie said they are included so the students can see the familial community of law enforcement.
Adam Snavely, senior criminal justice major, said the students will introduce law enforcement personnel to attendees of the event.
Being seated throughout the dining room, students will have the opportunity to meet and talk to representatives from the various organizations in attendance.
BJU President Steve Pettit started the prayer breakfast to honor the service of law enforcement officers and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the communittee.
According to Wilkie, the business community has shown its support for law enforcement through financial contributions.
The flags poles on front campus will fly the thin blue line flag and the fountain will be lit blue throughout the week in honor of law enforcement.