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Alan Creech ScholarshipAdversity - Choices - Action - SuccessThese four stages
summarize the life of Alan Creech. He was born on July 2nd,
1953 in Boise, Idaho to working middle class parents of
American Indian descent. His parents social drinking grew in
to chronic alcoholism. Due to their addictions, Alan's parents
were unable to care for him and his two brothers. Fending for
themselves, the boys often raided dumpsters at local grocery stores for food. When Health and Welfare became aware of the situation, the boys were placed in the Boise Children's Home.
Alan spent his 5th grade year in the Children's Home, enjoying the regular meals, clean clothes and warmth. During his stay, a couple wanted to adopt Alan, but his parents would not relinquish their parental rights. When conditions improved in the Creech home, the boys were returned to their parents.It was not long before things worsened at home and the cycle began of being removed from the home by Health and Welfare, then being returned when living conditions became acceptable.
This cycle continued for a couple of years until Alan and one brother were caught stealing bicycles. When his mother institutionalized for alcohol and prescription drug abuse and his father fled to Hawaii with their third son to avoid prosecution for power theft, Alan and his brother were placed in the Ada County jail. They were on a "school release" program, going directly to and from school with no chance to participate in extra curricula activities.Following his release from the Ada County jail, Alan was in and out of foster homes. Some were uncaring, others Alan liked but was removed, as his parents would straighten out their lives for a period and fight to get the children back.
Following problems in one foster home, Alan and his brother were taken for a tour of St. Anthony's, a juvenile correctional facility, by their probation officer. Alan's dislike for what he saw at St. Anthony's began the process of making choices to change his life.He was placed in the foster home of Jim and Sherrie Cooper. Jim was farming and driving truck, but soon after Alan arrived at their home, Jim changed careers. He became an Idaho State Police Officer. At first, Alan was not sure about his foster father's new job, but through this experience, he began to see a different point of view of law enforcement. As he matured, he started considering a career as a Juvenile Officer.
He felt he could use his own past to connect with young adults.Alan attempted to enroll in the law enforcement program at the College of Southern Idaho, but was rejected due to his juvenile record. With the help of several people who saw the potential in Alan, his juvenile records were sealed and he was accepted at the college. Following graduation, Alan worked as a security guard at the Old Boise Penitentiary until obtaining a position with the Nampa, Idaho police department. His desire to learn, coupled with the experience of time, prepared hime to advance his career. Moving from patrol to spearheading an area wide drug enforcement task force, to Assistant Police Chief, Alan developed his strong belief in community policing. He involved himself in programs such as Wednesday's Child, an effort by the media to assist in placing children to adoptive parents.
During his tenure as Assistant Chief, the department was having difficulty in recruiting qualified Hispanic employees. In his typical fashion, Alan solved the problem by placing advertisements for the positions on Spanish language radio stations.In January 2000, Alan was the overwhelming choice to become the Chief of Police. Even as Chief, he continued to routinely put on his uniform and go on patrol. His compassion for people who were trying to improve their lives was shown on these patrols. After making a traffic stop, he might also help the offender get back their driver's license or have them fix a problem in lieu of issuing a citation. The department became diverse during Alan's time as Chief. Women and minorities were hired as officers. Alan's personal respect for others was reflected in the department in recognition given the Nampa Police Department by the Idaho Human Rights Commission.Alan was also active in the community and his church.
He coached softball and basketball and refereed soccer. He was involved in Paint the Town, the Northside Neighborhood Housing Authority and the Lion's Club. Chief Creech was able to bring together diverse groups to achieve a common goal. Without his vision of having a shared building with the Northside Police Substation and the Boys and Girls Club, the Club might not have become a reality. Not only did this make the Boys and Girls Club financially feasible, it brought the positive interaction of police officers and kids.He was also a leader in his church. Serving on the Board of Trustees, as Auditor and as Moderator were but a few of his contributions to the Nampa First Congregational United Church of Christ.
His commitment reached to a larger area as he also served as Moderator for the Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ. For over 20 years he served on the Board of Directors for the Idaho Association's– Pilgrim Cove Camp in McCall. For many years he was camp director for the biannual Exodus camp for high school students. As director he interacted with all kids, but took the time to seek out those who might seem troubled or to be outsiders. It was this love for being with and helping youth that took he and his best friend, Mark Hupe, on a scouting trip to Atlanta, Idaho for a sight for a "wilderness experience" camp June 21, 2002. Tragically, their small plane crashed and both perished.A husband, father and grandfather who loved to be with his family, camping, fishing, hunting, running and kayaking he also found time for so many others. Alan's continued interest in learning was exhibited by the fact that at the time of his death he was only two classes from obtaining his Master's Degree.
Alan Dean Creech touched many lives during his time with us. His actions will continue to help many more in the years to come. From a childhood that offered little hope, both of his brothers ended up in jail, he made choices and took actions that changed the direction of his life to one that must be considered the ultimate success. He was a man of God, who lived his beliefs in his daily actions. With a mischievous smile, a sense of humor, a lot of common sense and when necessary, a take-charge attitude he helped many others to make the same decisions he faced.
Fittingly Alan remarked to a fellow student he counseled just a few weeks before his death, "I do what I do because I care about God and his people and I really feel blessed that God has given.me the opportunity to help in any way I can. People have told me that I have really contributed a lot to the force and to the community, but I don't like to hear things like that. I do it because I want to, and for no other reason. I could die tomorrow and be at peace with the accomplishments God has provided.""He never asked anyone to do anything he wouldn't do himself.""He was just a caring person. He cared about people. If he saw kids that were having trouble, he'd reach out to them.
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