Former city councilman Alvin Brooks has been selected to receive the 2016 Harry S. Truman Public Service Award, to be presented by the city of Independence in a ceremony May 6.
Brooks, a former mayor pro tem of Kansas City and current police commissioner, will be the 42nd recipient of the award, joining former U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton as well as Coretta Scott King and veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The Harry S. Truman Award for Public Service is the highest honor bestowed by the city of Independence,” said Mayor Eileen Weir. “The commission is excited to honor Alvin Brooks with this prestigious award for his tremendous leadership and character.”
Brooks began his career as a Kansas City police officer in 1954. He helped found Kansas City’s Ad Hoc Group Against Crime and served as the organization’s president and CEO from 1991 to 2000. In 1989, he was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to serve on the President’s National Drug Advisory Council and was named one of America’s 1,000 Points of Light.
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Brooks was elected to the Kansas City Council in 1999 and 2003. Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Brooks to the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners in 2010.
“I’m first of all honored, and second of all humbled,” Brooks said of the Truman award.
“You don’t do what you do to get awards and accolades,” Brooks said. “But you do it because it’s your mission in life to serve people. That’s the life I’ve lived.”
The Harry S. Truman Public Service Award was established in 1974 by the city of Independence. It is presented annually to honor the dedication, industry, ability, honesty and integrity of citizens in public service.
The May 6 award ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on the front portico of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum. A public reception will be held at 5:15 p.m. in the lobby of the library.