Amway Hero Award for Patriotism: A badge, a big heart

Amway IBO Eugene Liddie stands outside in his police uniform and smiles at the camera.

As a police officer in the borough of Queens, Eugene Liddie is committed to making a difference in the lives of his fellow New Yorkers.

His dedication led to some outstanding police work one night in 2015, when a gunman was assaulting and robbing people in a housing complex.

Eugene and the building superintendent spotted the man on surveillance cameras as he entered an elevator with a gun in his waistband. The superintendent overrode the controls and sent the elevator to the basement. Eugene positioned himself outside the elevator doors. As they opened, he tackled and handcuffed the gunman, apprehending him with no shots fired.

His work earned him an award from the New York Police Department for bravery and valuable police service.

“When I put on a uniform, I take a sense of pride in it,” Eugene said. “There are people who have served this country with that same uniform and have lost their lives. … So, I never take it for granted.”

In addition to a police officer, Eugene is also an Amway Independent Business Owner and the recipient of the 2017 Amway Hero Award for Patriotism. It’s one of four Amway Hero Awards given to honor IBOs who build stronger communities and make positive impacts in the lives of others.

Kindness and commitment to service

Friends and colleagues are struck not only by Eugene’s dedication, but by how he remains even-tempered, pleasant and unruffled by the sometimes-rough environment in which he works.

“Integrity, honor, service and patriotism are just a few of the qualities that form his character,” said Josh Runge, Eugene’s friend and mentor.

David Hudson, Eugene’s partner on the force, met him when they were in the police academy. “I’ve always noticed Eugene’s work ethic,” David said. “And on the job, he’s always the first one to go in, ready to lead others in any situation.

“The way he does his job is geared toward helping people. To be a good cop you have to care for people, and he definitely shows that he does.”

Inspired by community and family

Eugene was a sophomore in high school when the events of September 11 unfolded. The sense of purpose demonstrated by the first responders played a role in his decision to become a police officer. “When there’s trouble, most people run the other way,” he said. “But police officers run toward it. They are there to help.”

He works in Jamaica, the Queens neighborhood where he grew up. He regularly runs into people he’s known since childhood and he enjoys participating in voluntary police activities. As a former college athlete at Temple University, Eugene likes to play basketball and flag football with neighborhood students.

Setting an example

It’s important to Eugene that the people he encounters on the job relate to officers as people, and that they have a positive interaction with the police.

Aware of his position in the community, Eugene always strives to set a positive example – just as his mom, Evette, did for him. A single mother, she raised three children and, through sacrifice and hard work, put each one through college.

“She just did the best she could with what she could provide for us at the time,” Eugene said. “That really inspired me to not settle for a mediocre or average life. She’s my hero.”

His wife, Shakiya, describes Eugene as a courageous and strong police officer, and a caring and loving husband. “He loves helping others,” Shakiya said. “He leads by example. … The world is a safer and better place because of him.”

The meaning of patriotism

Working in law enforcement has given Eugene a better understanding of patriotism. “It means serving our country, whether it’s in the military or law enforcement, in many ways, every day. It means putting your life on the line serving your country or your city. That’s bigger than a paycheck.”

Eugene said that he is honored, excited and even overwhelmed by receiving the Hero Award. Every bit as satisfying, though, is the daily opportunity to help others. “You can’t predict what’s going to take place on any given day,” he said. “Every day we face new obstacles and objectives and challenges.

“Those are the things that give me satisfaction, knowing that I made a difference.”

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