ST. LOUIS – At a time when police departments are hit with staffing shortages and low morale, there’s a push to get more recruits on board.

It’s coming from the family and friends of a St. Louis police officer who was killed in the line of duty.

Alexis Bohannon is encouraging students to apply for the Officer Tamarris Bohannon Memorial Scholarship.

“It’s part of our family’s way of giving back to the community,” Alexis said.

The scholarship is intended for students pursuing a career in law enforcement, firefighting, criminal justice, social work, human services, and emergency medical services.

The foundation for the scholarship was established in 2021, the year following the death of the Officer Bohannon.

Bohannon was shot and killed Aug. 30, 2020, while responding to a call from a home in the Tower Grove South neighborhood. He had been with the department for 3½ years, and left behind a wife and three children.

Sgt. Donny Walters, the president of the Ethical Society of Police, was Bohannon’s instructor and friend.

Walters said he is aware of the current climate involving law enforcement. He hopes this scholarship will provide an incentive to students, as well as letting them see the human side of policing.

“We had officers who formed a human chain during a fire. And got a family out. And then turned around and had a fundraiser to get the family clothing and things they needed,” Walters said. “That’s humanizing the badge. You see those type of stories, and seeing those type of stories inspire people that are part of the scholarship, that, ‘This is what I want to do.’”

With GiveSTLDay May 10, Alexis, Sgt. Walters, and others are hoping students will take advantage of the opportunity.