Police Officers Extend Their Hands More Than Their Guns
By Terry Miller
In recent history, the very mention of a police officer has sadly had a profound negative image burned in the collective mind of Americans. It is, for this very reason, I’d like to share some rarely mentioned acts of extreme kindness and generosity that never seem to make the headlines – until now!
With that said, these few examples I cite below are a proverbial drop-in-the-bucket, so to speak, of the majority of peace officers everywhere who perform random acts of kindness every day (on and off duty ) – not for notoriety, but to be empathetic and considerate human beings, sworn to protect and serve us.
On May 4 this year, the City of Pasadena Police Chief Philip Sanchez received correspondence from a local community member who was stunned by an officer’s kindness helping someone in need.
“… Dear Sir, I am writing to inform you of the absolute generosity I just saw one of your officers partake in. Today, around 4 p.m., I was walking out of the Whole Foods on Arroyo Parkway, when I observed security and other Whole Foods Staff standing with an elderly woman. To my shock, I learned the woman was being detained for shoplifting vitamins. This woman was sickly, white hair, of advanced age. She looked disheveled, but not homeless.
“Moments later, one of your officers arrived. I’ll admit my nosiness kept me there. Your officer met with staff and then contacted this woman. I heard the woman tell the officer that she’s living on social security and has no money. The officer asked the woman how much the vitamins were. Staff returned and told him the amount, which was over a hundred dollars. What I saw next amazed me, your officer reached into his wallet and said, ‘I’ll pay for them,’ and handed the staff the cost of the vitamins. The officer told the elderly women he paid for the vitamins. She was overwhelmed and began to tear up. And, just like that the officer walked away.”
Needless to say, Chief Sanchez immediately looked into the matter and quickly discovered that Pasadena Police Officer Barry Glockson was the peace officer involved in this “exceptional example of public service and compassion.”
According to Lt. Tracey Ibarra of Pasadena Police Dept., “Stories like this are not uncommon in the city of Pasadena. One year a woman’s purse was stolen, which contained all her food and rent money … the team investigating the crime collected the money the woman lost.”
Officer Glockson is to be highly commended. Officer Glockson is not alone in this selfless act of helping a person who may be “down on his/her luck,” as the old axiom goes.
In another recent incident, a senior Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy out of Temple Station went on a routine call in his service area to discover a single young mother, with children tugging at her legs, had no working refrigerator in her less-than-modest mobile-home. In fact, the deputy opened the door to what was once a working fridge (circa 1950) and immediately knew what he had to do.
That deputy, William Harrington, went out later that same day and bought the young woman a brand new working fridge which was delivered a day or so later. Deputy Harrington went far above and beyond and paid for the appliance with his own money.
When I first heard Deputy Harrington’s tale, I said I wanted to do a story. He was reluctant. “I didn’t do it to get a pat on the back. It’s just what we do …” he said casually. Most law enforcement members care deeply about their fellow man – Harrington and Glockson are the epitome of such compassion.
During a time of racial and public tension over issues of police conduct and tactics, a Virginia state trooper’s recent good deed is heating up social media outlets.
Officer Matt Okes was praised by Dr. Nada Owusu, a pediatrician from Danville, Va., on Facebook after her son got a flat tire driving home from college at Virginia Tech. “This kind officer approached him, didn’t ask if the little Mercedes was stolen, but rather got on his knees to replace his tire,” Owusu wrote on a social-media site. Owusu said the officer even positioned his car to make his headlights shine on other drivers on the road so they were aware of the stranded car.
Attached to Owusu’s Facebook post on Tuesday morning was a picture on of her son and the officer. The picture has more than 19,500 shares by May 15.
“There’s a lot of good in America and that needs to be heard. Police need our support.” Owusu said according to a CBS News report.
In his weekly commentary last month, “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer said that the “overwhelming majority of police officers are professionals who deserve to be commended, and that the coverage of some recent police controversies doesn’t paint a complete picture.”
Schiefer said it well. An old Editor’s proverb in this business is “If it bleeds, it leads … .”
For the majority of news outlets, this is still true today, thereby circumventing some astonishing human stories about the gargantuan benevolence of our local , federal and state police.