WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Former West Des Moines officer Shawn Miller policed with a simple motto. His brother Blayne Miller recalled, "The means of a man's character is what he does when he thinks no one is looking."
With Shawn's sudden end of watch after an on-duty motorcycle crash in August of 2016, It's his brother Blayne that's taken up that mentality. "He was my first best friend and a guy you look to and bounce stuff off."
While there's no bringing Shawn back, Blayne began looking for a way to encourage future officers to have Shawn's values. He began raising money for a Shawn Miller college scholarship. "It's open to any Iowa native who is going into a criminal justice program," said Blayne.
The first scholarship of $600 was awarded to second year DMACC criminal justice student Jonathan Bieker Friday at the West Des Moines Police Department. "Words cannot express how awesome. Just the generosity of the Miller family, what they are doing by paving a way for me and helping out." Blayne sees a lot in Jonathan but he`s not alone, he said, "I see a good cop. In fact, West Des Moines tried to recruit him today."
Learning more about Shawn Miller has already helped Jonathan learn what it takes to be an upstanding officer. "I never knew him personally but I could tell from reading what others knew about him that he was known by the fruits of his labor," said Jonathan.
The scholarship, planting seeds that may grow out of Shawn's memory. "Sean can send an example that you can still be a cop and do the right thing and bring good to the world," said Blayne.
Blayne says another scholarship will be awarded in the spring. He is looking to raise more money each year and hopes it can grow into a non-profit organization.