Friday, February 21, 2014
Lieutenant Steve Allison, 54, of Ladson, grew up in Penn Yan, NY. He is retired Air Force and has 14 years with Summerville Police Department.
He joined the SPD Reserves in 1997 while in the Air Force. When he retired in ’99 after 20 years, he went full time at SPD.
Allison is commander of the traffic division and is certified in DataMaster (breath analysis), as a Radar and Lidar instructor, for Standard Field Sobriety testing, as a Specific Skills instructor, in all phases of accident reconstruction including motorcycle, as a state traffic safety officer, and in criminal domestic violence.
He served 10 years on patrol, night shift and the last four in traffic.
His worst experience, he says, happened just a few weeks ago. He says he had stopped a vehicle containing a man and a little boy. While writing the ticket, the man pulled out a shotgun and attempted to shoot himself five times in the chest. The gun jammed each time.
Allison, with the help of others, was able to get the gun away from the man safely.
Another incident, he recalls, was being let into a dark house by a little boy while the mother was screaming “he’s going to kill me” and then being hit with an aluminum bat while the perpetrator tried to get his gun.
His best experiences are with kids. “I like to help young kids,” he says.
He was especially able to do so while on patrol. Occasionally other officers would recommend a kid they thought could benefit from Allison’s mentorship. “Some do, some don’t, but I meet with each.”
There was a young girl, Allison recalls, who was ready to get kicked out of school. She got kicked out, went away, came back, went to college, got married and did well for herself. She was one of Allison’s kids.
Now, in traffic, if he stops a young person for speeding, he has them write a 10-page essay on the dangers of teenage drivers. He does this with the parents’ support. Rarely does he see those kids on the wrong side of his radar again.
His professional goal, he says, was to be a Sergeant on Patrol. He met that and was happy, and then “they offered me traffic, and I said, ‘yeah, well, okay’ but now I really enjoy traffic.”
So, he says, his goal now is to retire after 20 years with SPD.
At home, Allison and his wife April are parents to three grown children – Brooke, 32, Craig, 30 and Justin, 27 – and to Brody, a German Shepard, and grandparent to Jacob 11.
Allison loves to ride his Harley, he operates heavy equipment and clears land working for a couple of people helping them out.
He enjoys playing with his grandson and would enjoy golfing ... if he had the time. He also refinishes furniture.
Every day, he says, he cooks outdoors. And quiet time is enjoyed through reading.
His life goal is to retire (“but still work”) and be free to get up and go. “To do what we want to do … like travel!”