Spring/Summer 2019 | FifeMagazine | 9 O n the long list of Patrick Gilbert’s interests are football, mentoring students and building community. And then there’s all that time he spends volunteering. “I have a niche for the community stuff and I like to be the guy they call on,” said Gilbert, Fife Police Department’s School Resource Officer who works on campus at Fife High School. He was recognized in May with the Community Leadership Award for Region 111 of the Washington Association of School Administrators. “I like the opportunity to do stuff. I’m the worker bee,” he said. The WASA award wasn’t the first recognition the Fife police officer has earned. The Special Olympics of Washington named him volunteer of the year in 2018. “Officer Gilbert is a one of our most dedicated volunteers our organization has. His commitment to supporting our athletes goes above and beyond, daily,” said Ryan Hoy, development manager of Special Olympics of Washington. Officer Gilbert works with Special Olympics athletes, organizes events and raises funds for its programs. He’s also served as the southwest region coordinator for the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run Campaign. Whether he’s working as a volunteer football coach at Fife High School or in his role as one of the organizers of Hoopin’ 4 Fife police officer's niche: Heroes, a program that raises funds for athletics, Gilbert’s passion is deepening community ties. As a child growing up in Tacoma’s Hilltop area, he took to heart the lesson he learned to “leave the community better than you found it.” He attended Lincoln High School before heading to Nebraska to play college football. School was a challenge at times due to a learning disability. He worked diligently to succeed. “Hurdles,” he said, “are there to jump over.” After college, he worked in law enforcement positions from Nebraska to Washington working with young people. This is his sixth school year working as Fife Police Department’s School Resource Officer. “From day one, I’ve had so much support,” he said of the Fife Police and City of Fife. “I’ve never been told no.” “Compassion, selflessness, empathy and service are words that the men and women of the Fife Police Department live and breathe every day,” said Fife Chief of Police Peter Fisher. “Their actions and service are geared toward building a strong community based on trust and mutual respect. Pat Gilbert epitomizes these values and sets the example for all us here at the Fife Police Department. You would be hard-pressed to find a person with a bigger heart than Pat.” “Working in a small community, you get to feel like you’re making a big difference,” said Gilbert. “That’s why I stay here, it’s been so fun,” he said. “Having an impact on the community is what defines me as a person.” When there’s a park in need of repair, a worthy athletic endeavor needing fundraising or a community event needing his help, he’s the guy who raises his hand to help. As his wife Karen says, “I don’t need a hobby, I just need to keep up with you.” Police Community Officer Patrick Gilbert is the Fife Police Department’s School Resource Officer. Officer Gilbert, pictured here with his wife Karen Gilbert, is one of the organizers of Hoopin’ 4 Heroes, an organization that raises money for athletics programs.