Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy Willie Davie and his family received a much-needed financial boost on Friday, Oct. 29, from a fundraiser hosted by the Liberty High School Law Enforcement and Corrections classes. Through pre-sale tickets and purchases on Friday, they raised a whopping $5,000, which the Davies plan to use for medical bills and household expenses.
Deputy Davie was critically injured on Sept. 27 while working a second job. He fell, suffering a fracture to his skull and other injuries, including fractures to the bones in one of his ears. Unable to work currently or qualify for workman’s compensation, the Davie family is left without a source of income.
When Coach Terry Higginbotham learned about the Davies’ plight, he knew something needed to be done to help the family. Prior to becoming an educator, Higginbotham was a policeman for 30 years, so he understands the challenges they face both on and off the job.
“I had a couple of people I worked with who got injured off duty and it’s tough. You don’t get paid anything. So I wanted to have my students do something to help. I asked them and they voted in favor of it,” Higginbotham said. “I want to tell you that the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office has done so much for our program. If we call Sheriff Rader and say we need something, we have it right then, so we naturally wanted to help them out.”
Not only did the LHS students get involved in the planning and organization of the event, they chipped in drinks that were sold with the meals.
Of the $5,000 that was raised, $2,500 was in pre-sales and the rest was on the day of the event.
“I am proud of all these kids and Coach Higg, too. He built this program from the ground up,” said Dr. Cody Abshier, superintendent for Liberty ISD, who stopped by for the check presentation.
The LHS Law Enforcement and Corrections classes started seven years ago with just a couple of classes being offered to students. By the following year, interest in the program had grown to where the class could be offered full-time.
Working with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, which oversees the county jail, Higginbotham and the school district have grown the vocational program to where students who graduate can enter full-time employment immediately after high school graduation.
“If you are in this program, they will do a background check and drug test, and go through the TDCJ academy. As soon as they graduate, they have a job as a correctional officer with money, retirement plans and medical benefits. Then, when they turn 21, they can become police officers,” Higginbotham said. “We have had some of our students go on to become DPS (Texas Department of Public Safety) troopers.”