While browsing for news of former Glen Alum residents, I found this article in THE HERALD a newspaper in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Not only is this story about a great idea, but it is about one of our fellow "Glen Alum-ers", Doug Cole, who was involved in the Rock Hill Police Department's effort to raise money to help finance this project. His photo was included on the front page of the newspaper.

Doug Cole holding press conference


By Wendy Bigham The Herald
(Published November 15? 2002)

Larry Jones said the ambulance didn't find his house easily when he was knocked unconscious after falling off a ladder a while back.
Jones, 71, awakened and eventually waved the ambulance down from his front yard. He wished he had a better way to alert paramedics to his home.

Now he does.

On Thursday, Jones was the first senior citizen in Rock Hill to get a free emergency flashing light bulb, which is part of the "Light for Life" program designed to help residents signal for help in emergencies. Jones received the light bulb from local law enforcement and emergency officials at his home on Christopher Estates.

About 100 senior citizens and disabled persons will receive the flashing bulb this week. Any senior citizen or disabled person may call the police department or the sheriff's office for free bulbs. About 3,000 light bulbs have been purchased for seniors and disabled citizens.

Other residents in Rock Hill and the county may purchase the $8.25, 60-watt light bulb, guaranteed for a year, at Lowe's in Rock Hill on Springdale Road.

Here's how it works: If you feel in danger or have an accident at home, call 911 and then flick the light switch connected to the emergency bulb. People who get their emergency light bulb from law enforcement are automatically entered into a police database, so that if a 911 call is made, the dispatcher is aware that residence has an emergency bulb installed and they'll know to look for it. People who purchase their emergency light bulb from Lowe's will need to inform the store they wish to be added to the database.

"It isn't one thing we do to keep a community safe," said Rock Hill Police Chief Dave Fortson. "It's a combination of things we do to keep a community safe."

Several sponsors contributed $15,325 to pay for seniors' and disabled citizens' light bulbs, including Rock Hill police, York County Sheriff's Office, Rock Hill Fire Department, Rock Hill city utilities, Comporium Group, McDonald's Restaurants of Rock Hill, Rock Hill Coca-Cola, MLS of Carolinas Piedmont Association of Realtors, Catawba Bingo and Lowe's of Rock Hill.

Doug Cole is the person involved with this story. Now let me remind you of who Doug Cole is and tell you what he has been doing with his life since he left Glen Alum.

Doug and his dad Earl Cole

Doug was born on September 9, 1950 in Glen Alum to Earl and Helen Cole. Doug began his education in first grade at Glen Alum Grade School. His family moved to Ben Creek where he finished his elementary education and went on to the seventh grade at Gilbert. The Cole family then moved to Reynoldsburg, Ohio and Doug completed his education there.

He is currently serving as Lieutenant-Community Service for the Rock Hill Police Department. Doug moved to South Carolina in 1985, and has worked with the Rock Hill Police for 17 yrs. He had previously been employed with the Pickerington Police in Ohio from 1979 until 1984.

One of his duties with the police department is the supervision of all the School Resource officers. He is in charge of security for all the school system and is also over the Rock Hill City jail. He is in a supervisory position with the crime scene unit involving any major crime in the Rock Hill jurisdiction.

--One of his favorite job duties is planning and over seeing a police camp each summer for under privileged children. Approximately 250 kids attend this camp each year. Seven years ago, Doug started an alternative school for the police department.

Each year he plans and oversees a trip for approximately 300 children to the Smokey Mountains or similar  destination. These are kids that served as Safety Patrol Officers in the grade schools.

He also finds time to volunteer for community service. Such as providing support and information for the 42 neighbor watches in the city; giving safety speeches in the community, on TV and radio on a regular basics. He is involved in about 5 major fund raisers each year. The Light For Life was one of the most recent ones.

The project Doug is currently involved with is the Annual Police Charity Ball which he organized and set into action 8 years ago. A semi-formal dance is held at the country club and usually raises between $6,000 - $8,000 . This money is used to run the Police Camp in the summer.

Other community activities in which Doug is involved include the distribution of about 700 Easter Baskets to needy children, raising money for Easter Seals for which he raised $5700 this year. Last week under Doug's supervision, the Rock Hill Police Force gave 1500 small canned hams to needy families.

During his time as a police office, Doug has worked regular patrol, worked as a detective, and in the narcotics department, worked traffic and accidents and is now a Lieutenant with 19 officers under his supervision. Before becoming a cop he was an underground coal miner. He worked in the coal mines for 5 years in Johnstown Pa for Bethlehem Coal as a buggy operator- pinner and helper on the miner.

Doug attended the University of South Carolina and graduated from the Police Management Program at the University of North Carolina. He is married to the former Debi Rushing who is employed with the U.S. Postal Department.

His Glen Alum roots are very important to Doug, and he returns for visits to this area as often as possible.

We are very proud of you Doug. Keep up the good work.