GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — Gulf Shores Police Officer, Chris Childress, had no clue WKRG crews were going to present him with our Smiles Behind the Shield Award for October and the look on his face proved it.

“Were you surprised?”

“Very much so,” said Childress. “I got set up pretty good.”

We got his wife and two daughters in on the surprise as well.

“This is my foundation here so it’s an honor for them to be here as well,” said Childress. “It’s my everything right here.”

Officer Childress holds a lot of titles like army vet, K9 handler, husband, dad and he’s part of the dive and swat team with Gulf Shores PD.

His family would say he’s a “busybody.”

Officer Childress was previously named Gulf Shores Police Officer of the Year, so this award just adds to the list. Even still, he credits it all to his team.

“Those are the guys working hard,” said Childress. “I’m just here to help them out; It’s a team effort for real.”

A true testament to the close-knit department.

“Well deserved and he does a great job,” said one Gulf Shores Police Officer.

“Proud to be with him and have him help teach me some things,” said another.

Childress doesn’t just work with these guys, he also has a four-legged partner named K9-Cairo.

“I spend more time with that dog than I do my own wife and children so he’s really a part of the family and he’s a joy to ride with,” said Childress.

This presentation was a little different, in a good way. We had a special guest from one of our sponsors join us.

The President of Columbia Southern University heard about Officer Childress’ nomination and wanted to congratulate him for himself.

“It means a lot to us,” said Ken Styron. “The university was founded on public safety education so that’s really important to get that out to the communities. It remains a core component of our academic programs today after the last 30 years and so by participating in Smiles Behind the Shield, it allows us to recognize those first responders.”

Officer Childress’ dedication to serving our country and now, the city of Gulf Shores is why we awarded him our Smiles Behind the Shield Award.