Hinesville Police Department Corporal Glenn Howard has spent the past 25 years impacting the lives of residents of both the city and Liberty County. A doctor’s visit on a Friday brought some news that changed his own life.
“I was diagnosed with cancer back in June,” Howard said.
Howard continues to work as he fights the disease.
“I take four pills a day … but I don’t have any problems out of it, luckily. The Good Lord looked after me that way,” he said. “And so far, it doesn’t affect me at all.”
The lifelong resident said law enforcement was “something I always wanted to do.” He recounted when he decided to quit his job driving a milk truck to become a police officer. In fact, Howard can tell you to the day when he joined HPD.
“I started the 19th of August in 1991. It happens to be my father’s birthday. That’s why I remember,” he said.
Howard started his career as a patrol man, then he worked as a warrants officer. He later became the school resource officer at the old Hinesville Middle School and Snelson-Golden Middle School. Now, he is the fleet maintenance manager.
“I make sure all the cars stay running,” he explained.
He is eligible for retirement since it’s been 25 years. But he pointed to his love working with kids as one of the reasons that keeps him putting on the uniform.
“Just being able to help people,” came in a close second.
Of all his years of service, Howard described his most rewarding service call.
“What stands out with me the most is I went on a call where an infant was choking. We were able to get there and not only help save the infant, but able to calm the momma down because she was there by herself,” he said. “I could just consider that a part of the job, but, to me, it was kind of gratifying to be able to get there and help out with that.”
There are still some difficult parts of the profession, he said, referencing nationwide tensions in recent years. But he thinks the Liberty County community has some unique features going for it.
“What I like most, I think it’s a very friendly place,” he said. “You have all these people moving in and out, but I still think (so).”
He remembers Hinesville before its population boom.
“I grew up when there was nothing here. I mean, nothing,” he said. “South Main from Deal Street all the way to Walthourville was nothing but a dirt road.”
The area at the Hardee’s restaurant used to be an open field where the circus would set up when it came to town.
“So, I’ve seen Hinesville go from nothing to what it is now,” he said.
Howard was named Officer of the Year in the early 2000s when he was a warrants officer.
“I love working with people and even though I’m not really out on the street much anymore, I still have a lot of the people come up to me and they see me in the store and they know I’m a police officer, even when I’m not in uniform,” he said. “I can sit and talk with them and feel good because they’ll actually speak and want to have a conversation.”
The public also sees Howard at Allenhurst Presbyterian Church, where he is a member. His faith has also helped him navigate through his cancer diagnosis.
“I just thank the Good Lord every day that I wake up,” he said. “When I found out I had this cancer, you think the worst. But He’s given me the ability to stay working and spend time with my grandchildren … I just thank God every day for a new day. That’s the way you got to look at it.”
Howard has also received an outpouring of financial support from the community.
“To me, that’s humbling. You don’t think people think of you that way, but it’s kind of humbling just to know that people do care,” Howard said.
He and his wife, Jean, have been married for some 35 years. They have a son, Shawn, and a daughter, Latosha. When he does retire, he plans to spend more time with his four granddaughters, ranging in age from 12 years old to newborn.
Howard said he enjoys how his life’s work lets him meet new people, learn and hear different viewpoints. Helping people is one constant in his life.
“I still love to help people. That’s just in my nature. I think that’s why I was put here on earth was to help people,” he said. “it’s just a good feeling every day to get up and know that you’re able to go out and maybe make a difference in somebody’s life. You never know.”