Midlothian Officer Douglas Honored With Best Of Humankind Award
Midlothian Police Officer, Air Force Veteran, father of two Christopher Douglas, has been honored as the “Best of Humankind” awardee for 2021 by USA Today for his volunteer work with sick children.
The Austin Statesman reported, “He’s not the real Captain America, but his actions make him a real close second.”
The Best of Humankind awardees of USA Today can be nominated by anyone. Short videos about the nominees are then voted on by the public to get to the winner. The Humankind Awards honor everyday people who have displayed the highest level of kindness, compassion and perseverance and recognizes and celebrates “an everyday person who is making a difference in their community.”
Douglas Exudes Kindness In The Community
Douglas has been dressing up as Captain America and visiting sick and terminally ill children in hospitals for four years. He saw another officer in a video who dressed as Spiderman to visit ill children and realized he could do the same. So, he contacted a few hospitals in the area to see if he would be allowed to come cheer up their young patients. He chose Captain America as his superhero alter ego because he admitted he wasn’t “about to squeeze into no tights!”
“I don’t care how strong you are, how bad-a you think you are, nothing gets you worse than a suffering child,” he said.
The national newspaper has 11 honorary categories. Police Officer Douglas was honored in the “Best of Militarykind Award” category. The “Best of Militarykind” is awarded to a member of the U.S. Armed Forces for showcasing a high level of kindness or triumph while sacrificing for their country, service members and family.
Officer Douglas was born in Lubbock and grew up in many different places, because both his parents were in the army, so they traveled a lot to different military bases. He spent most of his teen years near San Antonio and graduated from nearby Floresville High School then went into the Air Force two weeks after 9/11. He served in a number of tours including Operation Enduring Freedom and says joining the Air Force was the best decision he ever made, because he learned a lot, traveled a lot, and, “best of all,” met his wife, Suzie, who was also serving in the military at the time.
After three years they decided to leave the military and moved back to the San Antonio area with their eight-month-old baby daughter. Douglas worked nights so his wife could attend college full time. “I watched our daughter in the daytime and worked at night for over a year.” He was the front desk clerk at a home for the elderly, keeping everyone safe at night, and said he met so many wonderful residents with great stories that it was truly a blessing.
Eventually he applied to work in the city of DeSoto as an officer and served there for 12 years before taking a lateral transfer to Midlothian, where he’s been for six years.
The couple have two children: a senior, Nevaeh, “Heaven – spelled backwards,” and a fifth-grade son, Dean. Both are interested in going into the military, but he says, “We try not to push our kids one way or another. We just want to give them the best advice we can professionally, hear their interests, and support them in their decisions.”
His daughter will graduate from high school with an Associate’s degree and plans on a stint in the military, then law school.
Son Dean wants to be a fighter pilot and an engineer, which his father is happy to encourage. He prefers both his children work towards their goals but doesn’t promote his career in law enforcement.
Douglas’s own father has been a police officer for 31 years, “So maybe I followed in his footsteps,” he admits with a laugh. “He retired once in Bear County after 27 years, but then joined another agency way out in the country, working weekdays in the courthouse.” But now his father has sold his ranch and plans to relax and enjoy his life. “He’s always had horses and cattle and pigs, so it was kind of a surprise to me,” Douglas says, “I’m happy for him.”
But it’s no surprise that Officer Douglas will continue his Superhero life for now.
“I love talking to people, and that’s what I get to do every day,” he says.
He and his partner, fellow Officer Hughes, are part of the CATT patrol, Community Action Through Teamwork. Officer Hughes dresses as Batman when the two visit sick children in the hospital.
The American Hero uniform Douglas wears is one he bought himself, spending hours looking online, “For bits and pieces of the whole look.” Using social media he pieced it together. Douglas said, “About a year ago I saved up enough money and went through one company to purchase the entire suit minus the boots, helmet and belt.” He’s proud to say what he’s got now is “100% legit movie quality,” but admits it’s still a bit hot to wear, although a little cooler than the pleather material he had previously worn before buying the newer costume. “The helmet makes me the hottest,” he said, noting that heat rises and wearing a helmet captures that heat.
Physical Strength, Big Hearts
He also works out regularly – almost every day – to fill out the uniform, bench pressing up to 315 pounds to keep his physique in Superhero shape. “I’d rather not be a superhero with a potbelly!” And yes, he admits he does get a lot of people telling him he looks a bit like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. “I got a lot of those comparisons when I used to shave my head!”
During COVID he’s had to meet his fans through Zoom meetings, but he’s on standby for Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth to do an in-person visit. “Hopefully, sooner than later,” along with his partner, “Batman.” “Officer Hughes is a former marine and started his career in law enforcement in Irving before I did, so we have a lot in common – and a lot of fun in our job. We’re just big kids at heart – we both have a passion to serve.”
Big men with big hearts that thrill little kids when they show up as the Superheroes they portray for fun – and are in real life.