Police officer, humanitarian, actor, and man of God are just a few ways to describe Birmingham’s Lane Harper. After serving in Birmingham area law enforcement for more than 20 years, Harper felt compelled to do more for those in need in our community and throughout the southeast. He founded the nonprofit Power of Life Foundation in 2020 “to empower the underserved both financially and socially and to enhance their health and wellbeing while helping them overcome hardships.”
Since moving to Birmingham in 1989, God has given Harper many job roles that have allowed him to foster relationships with people including respite care provider, behavioral specialist, and juvenile probation officer. Currently, as a Birmingham police officer, he encounters people from different spheres of life every day- some of the people are the children or family members of people he worked with in his previous professions. “I think God has put me in perfect positions in order to be where I am today. It’s like a building block of generations that I’ve been able to cover through my interactions with family members,” Harper says.
The perfect positioning Harper has experienced has led to many miracles. Harper shares the story of reaching a homeless woman who showed disrespect for police officers. After a few failed attempts at helping her, he asked himself, “How can I be different?” A simple Hi-C drink and Vienna sausages cracked her rough exterior and allowed Harper to foster a relationship with her. “We have to treat people as people and realize just because you see someone in a light doesn’t mean that’s the one they’ve always carried.” Harper even tries to help people when arresting them. If he notices that there isn’t food or basic necessities for the family, such as diapers or food, he offers to stop by and drop some items off. Harper laughingly shares that this can be a shock to some, but he likes to say, “I’ll arrest you one day and help you find a job the next day.”
The Power of Life Foundation focuses on helping women, children, transients, veterans, and at-risk youth. “It’s community outreach. We go in communities and try to lift up people… There are people who need help in every corner of the city. You just have to look.” Learn more at www.poweroflifefoundation.com.