Updated: Mar 30, 2021
Traditionally, Mayor Sammy Joe Hartwick surprises our audience at our banquet with the “XM” Xtra Mile award. Due to our unique situation in 2021 unfortunately we had to do things a little different this year and award this prior to our premier party featuring the community spotlight production. The XM Award traditionally goes to an individual who displays great pride for the community and going the extra mile for the citizens and businesses throughout town. Without hesitation, Mayor Hartwick proudly honored Police Chief Gene Earnhart with this prestigious award for 2021.
Chief Earnhart, a resident of Greenbrier for over 60 years grew up knowing that he wanted to take care of his community and at a young age wanted to be either a firefighter or police officer. “I was blessed to be able to do both,” he shares. After retiring from he Conway Fire Department after 25 years and working as a police officer, he was able to concentrate on his duties serving Greenbrier as an officer.
Since July of 1992 he has been able to do just that. He mentions, “The most rewarding part of my job is when someone asks, “Do you remember me? You arrested me, and look at me now!” Seeing those moments of triumph after a life changing experience has been surreal. "When someone changes their life for the better after they’ve been arrested for this, or that has been hands down the most rewarding.” He hopes that when people make that decision to go into the career of being a police officer it is to truly help people. He shares, “Don’t get into this profession to just arrest people and wear a badge. It is to help people.”
Chief Earnhart truly has a heart for the community and that is exactly why Hartwick honors him with the 2021 XM Award. “Its an honor, shock, and total surprise. But, I have a great boss behind me and great folks I work with on a day to day basis.” His employees agree, one mentions….“He is the best boss ever, he cares wholeheartedly and all in about his employees, his work, everything Greenbrier.”
Congratulations Chief Gene Earnhart on your City of Greenbrier 2021 XM Award.