COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - When news happens, it's not uncommon for WIS to interview Lieutenant Curtis Wilson, public information officer with the Richland County Sheriff's Dept.
That made it pretty easy for us to unsuspectingly set-up an interview to surprise him with the news that he's our latest Community Builder in partnership with Mungo Homes.
"I said you have an interview with WIS this morning at 9:30am to talk about National Night Out which just falls in with what he would have been doing," said Sheriff Leon Lott. "So he had no clue."
No clue that Sheriff Lott, his co-workers, WIS and Mungo Homes, had set him up, until a group of people started to file into the RCSD press room. "I should have known something was up here," said Lt. Wilson laughing and smiling as more people walked into the room.
Matt Mungo from Mungo Homes approached Wilson with a Community Builder hard hat and introduced himself adding, "I just wanted to say that in appreciation for all that you do in our community, you are our Community Builder and you get a $1,000 dollar check to the charity of your choice."
Wilson looked shocked and said, "You made me speechless that doesn't happen!"
It doesn't happen because Lt. Wilson can often be found speaking to different groups at all kinds of events.
"Curtis does so much in the community," said Sheriff Lott. "In these days when the community and law enforcement tends to have some rocky relationships, Curtis has been that calm in the storm. He's helped maintain the reputation and relationship with all the communities in Richland County, so to me that's what makes him so special."
Whether it's reading to school children, attending community meetings and forums, working with non-profit groups, serving as an emcee or playing host at Gamecock basketball games, Sheriff Lott says Lt. Wilson's service goes well beyond the call of duty.
"It's when the cameras aren't running," said Lott. "When he's out there talking to kids, he's out there speaking to senior citizens…when the camera is not running, he's doing it because he wants to do it. Because he sees what it does to build a relationship with the community."
Those who work with him every day say he doesn't slow down.
"He's always going, we always make jokes that he's the Energizer bunny," said Deputy Katelyn Jasak, who works with Lt. Wilson at the Sheriff's Department. "He has so much life and so much energy and just so much love that he gives out to everybody."
It's a love that Wilson says will keep going and going because he couldn't see living life any other way.
"People say don't you get tired?" said Wilson. "And I say 'No, not when you're having fun, not when you love doing what you do!' That gives me energy…that drives me."