Domino’s sponsors SPD officer for class

Published 9:56 pm Thursday, July 26, 2018

Throughout his 14 years in law enforcement, Sgt. Kendall Thomas has believed in the positive effects of community policing. Knowing and having a working relationship with the public is important to Thomas so developing a relationship with local Domino’s General Manager, James Steele Jr. came naturally for him.

After Thomas’ many visits to the store on his lunch break, and several conversations about their mutual love for Alabama football, Steele thought it would be a good idea to nominate Thomas for Leadership Selma-Dallas County Class XXV.

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Leadership Selma-Dallas County is a non-profit leadership development program committed to furthering the development of leaders in the community.

Steele felt that nominating a police officer would be a step in bridging the gap between law enforcement and the community.

“I see that Selma has a lot going on,” he said. “Law enforcement is a big part of the community, and they should also know what the community sees and understands. I think [Thomas] is an excellent candidate. He’s a good example.”

According to Steele, collaboration among local businesses, the community and local law enforcement is often the missing piece in the community.

“The message I hope to send, not only to the community, but to other business owners and to the police is that if we all work together we can accomplish the same common goal of moving forward as a community and as a city,” Steele said.

Thomas said he was more than happy to accept Steele’s offer to be in the program, and he is eager to learn more about what the program has to offer.

“I’m looking forward to see what all it encompasses and who will be involved,” Thomas said. “It will be different people within the community, some people I have never seen and probably some people I have encountered through my line of work.”

Whether it’s his effort or energy, Thomas said he is ready to pitch in with the group where he is needed.

“I want to go in with an open mindset and see exactly what the group expects from me,” Thomas said. “Then I want to see what I can do from my law enforcement experience on top of being part of the community where I was born and raised.”

Callie Nelson, Leadership Selma-Dallas County Director, said this nomination is a first for the program.

“I’ve been in this position for the last five years, and we’ve had one police officer to go through last year and he was sponsored by the department,” Nelson said.

She said it sends a positive message to the community to have Domino’s sponsor not just someone that isn’t apart of its own organization, but a member of law enforcement.

“I think it speaks very highly of a business to sponsor a police officer,”

Nelson said. “It speaks to what the program is trying to do, and that businesses understand the importance of developing leaders in the community, and that’s what the program is all about. It’s about having leaders on all levels in the community, not just people that have a title, but because they are out doing the work and serving in the community.”

This year marks 25 years since Leadership Selma- Dallas County started, and Nelson said she is excited to know the program has reached such a milestone.

“This is a milestone of doing 25 years of leadership development in Selma and Dallas County,” she said. “We are adding new pieces to the program. You want the program to evolve so that it addresses what the needs are.”

Class XXV will begin Aug. 3 and end with a graduation in May of 2019.