Serve and Protect

Simpsonville Officer Award Finalist

Stacie Bartro
September 18, 2019 - 8:54 am

Officer Karlee Foster is one of seven finalists for the Greg Alia Award, which recognizes excellence in community policing. 

It's about being a public servant she says, adding  quote "I am here for the people, to help them and serve them."

The award is named after Officer Greg Alia who was killed in the line of duty in 2015. 

The winner will be announced September 27th at the State Museum in Columbia.​

City of Simpsonville

Official Press Release from the City of Simpsonville below:

Simpsonville, S.C. — The City of Simpsonville and Simpsonville Police Department are proud to announce that Officer Karlee Foster has been selected as one of just seven finalists for the Greg Alia Award.

Named after Officer Greg Alia of the Forest Acres Police Department, who was killed in the line of duty in 2015, the Greg Alia Award recognizes excellence in community policing. Serve & Protect, a nonprofit organization that promotes partnerships between police and communities, selects finalists based on their “dedication to community building and compassionate service,” according to Serve & Connect founder and CEO Kassy Alia, the widow of Officer Alia.

Officer Foster said being nominated for the Greg Alia Award is an “absolute honor.”

“I started this job to give back, and I’m humbled to know that my work is proving just that,” said Officer Foster, who has been with the Simpsonville Police Department since December 2016.

Officer Foster added that community policing is about more than catching and arresting criminals.

“Community policing is about being a public servant,” she said. “I am here for the people, to help them and serve them. Police and the community should have a positive relationship because that is what makes the community a better place.”

The selection process for the Greg Alia Award included a review of nominations by a panel of police and community leaders, including the S.C. Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel. Officer Foster and the other six finalists were selected based on ratings related to service and community outreach.

Simpsonville Police Chief Mike Hanshaw said the entire department is proud of Officer Foster.

“Community policing is a crucial part of what Simpsonville patrol officers do each and every day,” Chief Hanshaw said. “Officer Foster exemplifies what it means to simply serve. We are all rooting for Officer Foster and commend the other finalists for the great work that they do and the sacrifices that they have made.”

The winner of the Greg Alia Award will be announced at the Annual Knight of Honor Gala on Sept. 27th at the S.C. State Museum in Columbia.

For more information about Serve & Connect, visit

Officer Karlee Foster has been with the Simpsonville Police Department for nearly three years.

Officer Foster has served in the U.S. Army Reserves for nine years, is a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Specialist and has completed two tours overseas.

Since Officer Foster has been a police officer, she has trained for crisis situations, hostage negotiation and human trafficking and completed school resource officer school.

Officer Foster has been recognized for a case in which she made sure a missing child who was suicidal returned home safe.

During her off time, Officer Foster took a homeless woman to her Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and the Social Security Administration office.

Officer Foster helped the woman catch a bus to Boston to where she was wanting to go.



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