Pastor Lawrence Boles III received a Kent Police Chief’s Award for Citizen Commendation for his work to reduce gangs and violent crime on the East Hill.
“This is in honor of all you have done, dedicated to improving public safety and for working tirelessly to enhance community and police relations and in recognition of actions you and your congregation have taken to address gangs and violent crime,” Chief Rafael Padilla said as he presented the award to Boles at the Tuesday night City Council meeting at the Kent Commons Community Center. “His work has most certainly saved lives and improved the quality of life for Kent community members.”
After the presentation, Boles received a standing ovation from the council and residents at the meeting.
Boles, pastor at Redeemed by the Blood Pentecostal Church, has spent time with congregation members walking the streets of the East Hill, particularly in the neighborhoods and establishments around South 240th Street and 108th Avenue Southeast, where police have responded to frequent shootings and chronic gang activity. Boles and the church hosted a community barbecue in August that drew more than 200 people in efforts to take back the neighborhood from gangs.
Padilla said the award is given to those who enhance safety of our citizens or for outstanding contribution to the city of Kent or the police department. Boles was recognized for doing both of those things.
“We are trying our very best to create an impact in the city of Kent,” Boles said after receiving the award. “This is for a lifetime. We are trying to purchase the location we are at now so we can reside in the city of Kent for a very, very long time.”
Boles and his wife, Lady Jacqualine Boles, established the church in 2012 at 703 Central Ave. S.
A nine-time felon, Boles spent his misguided youth on the crime-ridden streets of Seattle’s Central District. He served six years in state prison for his mistakes but somehow found the strength to earn his way back and discover a purposeful, new life with the help of family, friends and faith.
Boles thanked his mother, his wife and his church family for their help.
“I could not have done this without them,” he said.