Even though his senior baseball season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Louisiana State University of Alexandria May graduate, Kris Tamplet, is still suiting up in uniform. This spring, the uniform he is donning is that of the Walker Police Department in Walker, Louisiana.
The criminal justice major and Baton Rouge native had previously worked part-time as a reserve officer for the WPD. Once the pandemic hit and the remaining LSUA Generals Baseball season was cut short, Tamplet headed home to Walker and was called upon to transition to a full-time patrol officer.
Having already completed his internship in the fall semester with the Grant Parish District Attorney’s Office combined with his part-time officer work, Tamplet was prepared to make the jump to a full-time essential employee.
The most remarkable thing about Tamplet’s story, though, is that he has completed all of this despite a debilitating injury in February of 2018 that left him paralyzed from the neck down. At that time, Kris had been told he would never walk again.
The injury occurred at an away game in Arkansas. The outfielder slid to make a diving catch into the outfield wall, and he immediately lost all feeling in his legs. He was rushed to a hospital in Little Rock where he spent two weeks in the Intensive Care Unit. After that, he was transferred to Houston where he spent another two and a half months in a rehabilitation unit.
With his hard work and perseverance, Kris returned home to not only walk again, but to continue his degree and play baseball. He enrolled in nine credit hours over that summer to regain his athletic eligibility. His determination and grit allowed him to compete on the diamond and continue his academic coursework, including his internship and law enforcement career.
“I could have never done it without my LSUA family. I wasn’t just a number. From our Athletic Director (Adam Jonson) driving to Arkansas that day to check on me, to Coach (Stephen) Adams supporting me and believing in me. To Mrs. Beth Whittington, my (criminal justice) department chair working with me to stay on track academically, I learned how to care about people and treat people with dignity,” Tamplet said. “God blessed me to walk again and it is the least I can do to give back to my community.”