ēCO Credit Union has a strong commitment to the communities where our members live, work, and play. We are proud to recognize those who go above and beyond for their community through the #eCOmmunity initiative.
Each month, members of the community who embody the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People” are nominated by ēCO employees to be “Credit Unioned.”
Je’Nae Washington, McCalla Branch Manager, nominated Officer Bracy of the Bessemer Police Department to be “Credit Unioned” because of his involvement in the community and commitment to ensure the safety of those in the community. She said, “Officer Bracy is a well-respected police officer with the Bessemer Police Department, as well as a mentor to the students at Bessemer City High school.”
Officer Bracy has 20 years of experience in law enforcement. He spent four years working with the Birmingham City Police Department before joining the Bessemer Police Department. He has been an officer with the Bessemer Police Department for 16 years. In addition to working on the patrol unit, Officer Bracy serves as the School Resource Officer for Bessemer City High School and teaches self-defense classes in the community for senior citizens and women.
“I became a police officer because I got tired of running,” said Officer Bracy. “I grew up a bad kid in a house with a single mom and my father in prison, still in prison as of today, and I took the wrong path. I became a street fighter and working with drug dealers, and I got tired of living that life and trying to explain to my mom, ‘it wasn’t me,’ when it really was me. I was running wild Monday through Saturday, and Sunday, I was the number one usher boy at church, acting like I was the most perfect kid. The real change came when I had my first daughter. That changed things for me, and I have always told my kids I wanted them to be better than me. Having a family and learning how to take care and provide for my family, I knew I wanted to be someone they could look up to and be proud of. I learned from my mistakes, turned my life around, and hopefully, I can help prevent others from going down that same road or show them they can turn their lives around too.”
Officer Bracy and his wife, Monica, are the proud grandparents of 13 grandchildren. He has two daughters, Jasmine and Charnita. He says that his family is his backbone, and they are his constant support. When he is not on patrol or serving as the SRO for Bessemer City High School, you can find Officer Bracy at the gym, working out. Along with law enforcement, fitness and being a personal trainer are his other passions.
The McCalla Branch staff said that they can always count on Officers Bracy to keep them informed of things going on in their area. “I nominated Officer Bracy to be ‘Credit Unioned’ because I know he works hard to ensure the safety of our community,” said Je’Nae. “Officer Bracy is a great officer. He is very involved in the community, striving to make it better each day. He is the type of person that is eager to lend a helping hand whenever it is needed. He always makes sure we’re taken care of at the branch and lets us know if we ever need him he is there for us. His desire to help those in need and make a difference in our community is the very definition of the credit union philosophy of ‘People Helping People’.”
ēCO Credit Union McCalla Branch employees were proud to surprise Officer Bracy on Monday, June 21, with a gift basket for his service to the community.
“I really appreciate this. It is so unexpected. I come in here either every Thursday or every Friday, and I vent to them about what is going on in my life,” said Officer Bracy. “I love coming in here and talking about my grandkids, my 13 grandkids, with everyone. I try to keep them up to date with what is going on around the area. I am really excited about this, and it feels great to know they thought of me.”
Sgt. Alexia Bruister with Bessemer Police Department said, “I think it is wonderful that you all wanted to recognize Officer Bracy. He is a great officer. I think it is so awesome that you picked him; it was a great choice! I am so excited for him! I want to thank ēCO Credit Union too for this program!”
ēCO Credit Union is grateful for officers like Officer Bracy, who use their testimony as a guide to help others create better futures for themselves. Thank you, Officer Bracy, for the sacrifice you make each day to protect and serve. We are proud to have officers like you who are dedicated to creating a better community for us all.