Adrian Diaz always stays ready around the clock as a police officer in the city of Seattle, but when a chiseled NFL player made his way down a hill behind him with family and friends, he didn't know what to expect.
Sergeant Diaz was surprised by Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin early Tuesday evening at Highlands Park and Neighborhood Center in the city of Renton, as he was awarded the local recipient of the NFL's Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award, plus a grant for $2,000.
The award recognizes the contributions of Hispanic leaders in each NFL market around the globe, and there was no better place for Diaz to receive it than on the football field surrounded by the youth he's had an influential impact on in the Seattle community.
Sergeant Diaz partnered with the Northwest Premier Football League to help establish the Seattle Police Department's first police activities league flag football season, which helps build a bridge through football to create a positive environment in communities for citizens and local law enforcement. Over 80 dialogues between the youth and police in open, non-threatening environments have been established because of Diaz's commitment, willingness and care.
"I really appreciate partnerships through Parks [Seattle Parks Department], partnerships through Northwest Premier League and all the things that made this happen," Diaz said while battling tears Tuesday. "I really appreciate being honored, but it's really everybody that has helped us out and really tried to build a connection with the police department and the community. That's really important."
In addition to Baldwin, Blitz, Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole and Deputy Chief Carmen Best were also on hand for the surprise and award recognition for Diaz.
Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, mascot Blitz, Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole, Deputy Chief Carmen Best and members of the NW Premier Junior Football/Police Athletic League flag football program surprise Seattle Police Officer Sergeant Adrian Diaz with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award and grant for $2,000.