Paying kindness forward: MPD officer nominated for award

Midlothian officer Chris Douglas nominated for nationwide USA TODAY Humankind Award

Bill Spinks
Midlothian Mirror
Midlothian Officer Chris Douglas dresses as Captain America and brightens the lives of kids with special needs. Douglas, a three-year veteran of MPD, has been nominated for the USA TODAY Humankind Awards. Public voting is underway.

A Midlothian police officer has been nominated for a prestigious nationwide honor.

Officer Chris Douglas has been nominated for the USA TODAY Humankind Awards. Despite working 12-hour shifts, Officer Douglas is always ready to show love and kindness to his community in his off-duty hours.

The Best of Humankind Award winners are selected through a public nomination and voting process and reviewed by an advisory board. Winners will be rewarded $1,000, with the person nominating them receiving $250.

Voting is underway and can be done at https://usatoday.secondstreetapp.com/2021-Best-of-Humankind-Awards/gallery/303977504?group=398512 .

Douglas, an Air Force veteran, also carries the title of "Captain America of Texas." In his superhero role, he has worked with the Make a Wish Foundation to make countless dreams come true. In addition, he's thrilled youngsters as the star of a special needs birthday drive-by aboard the captain truck.

Midlothian police officer Chris Douglas is seen helping a wheelchair-bound woman cross the street in this video still in late 2019. Douglas has been nominated for the USA TODAY Humankind Awards. Public voting is underway.

Douglas has been with the Midlothian Police Department for more than three years; before that, he was an officer with the DeSoto PD.

USA TODAY’s Best of Humankind Awards honor everyday people who have showcased the highest level of kindness, compassion, and perseverance in 2021. Each Humankind award celebrates an everyday person who is making a difference in their community.

Categories include: Best of Militarykind, Animalkind, Earthkind, Sportskind, Womankind, as well as Humankind Healthcare Worker of the Year, Educator of the Year, Triumph of the Year, Act of Kindness Caught on Video, Viewer’s Choice and Humankind Person of the Year.

The winners will be revealed during a streaming broadcast hosted by Jenna Bush Hager premiering on Thursday, Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. The show will stream on Humankind’s TikTok Live, FBWatch, Twitter, YouTube and the USA TODAY Newschannel found on your smart TV and Roku.

Midlothian Officer Chris Douglas receives a certificate of recognition from Ellis County Judge Todd Little at a January 2020 meeting of the Ellis County Commissioners' Court. A video of Douglas blocking traffic for a woman in a wheelchair went viral in December 2019.

Douglas was highlighted by KTVT (CBS 11) on its “The Ones for Texas” segment in December 2019 after a video was posted on social media showing the officer blocking traffic for a woman in a wheelchair.

 “I enjoy actually getting out, walking around, speaking with business owners, their employees, (and) shoppers,” Douglas said. “Letting people see we’re more than just ‘robots.’ “

Douglas tries to use his role as a Midlothian police officer to spread positivity. Off-duty, Douglas often disguises himself as a superhero, making the rounds at children’s hospitals or on the field with the Miracle League. He even keeps his Captain America shield in his police SUV.

“People are immediately drawn to you in one shape or form,” he said. “Their eyes are always on you so you can immediately use that attention and say ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ again, and just start interacting and immediately kind of break the ice and ease their mind and get to know them on more of a personal level.”

Douglas told CBS 11 it’s his reminder to others to pay kindness forward, no matter what role you play.

“Just do something simple for somebody else,” he said. “If it does (help) at least one person, then mission accomplished.”

In January 2020, Douglas was honored by the Ellis County Commissioners’ Court. County Judge Todd Little presented Douglas with a certificate of recognition for going above and beyond the call of duty.

“It’s the little things that really matter,” Little said.