There are a lot of stories out there about cops doing wrong, but for every story you hear about an officer breaking the rules there are probably ten stories of police doing something great that you don't hear about. Here are some fun stories of police going above and beyond their duties in the best possible way.
1. The Cop Who Retired in the Best Possible Way
When you get pulled over by the police, you probably get nervous and worry about whether or not you'll get a ticket. But if you happened to be pulled over by Commander Brian Peters on his last day of work, you might have been delightfully surprised to not get a ticket but a gift card.
That's right, to celebrate his last day on the job, Peters sought out people he thought could use a little extra financial help and then gave them $50 gift cards for Target and Cub Foods. He ended up giving out gift cards worth the total of his last paycheck, saying, “The citizens and city have been wonderful to me. I am very blessed, so it feels good to give back.”
2. The Officer Who Bought Groceries for a Mother Caught Shoplifting
Police Officer Mark Engravalle of Roeland Park was called to handle a shoplifting case in July of 2015. The shoplifter wasn't a teen looking for a thrill or someone trying to get a new pair of shoes way out of their price range, but a widowed, homeless mother of six who was trying to steal $300 worth of diapers, shoes and baby wipes.
“What she did was wrong and against the law, but her heart was in the right place with wanting to help to take care of her children,” Engravalle said. So rather than arrest the mother, Sarah Robinson, he offered to pay for the items to help the suffering mother. “Walmart might see her as a criminal, but I just saw her as a mom going through a really difficult time,” the officer explained, though he did still write the mother a ticket as was protocol.
This story has a particularly happy ending as Robinson ended up getting $6,000 in donations sent to the Roeland Park Police Department, which was more than enough to pay for her fine and help her take care of her kids for a while.
3. The Officer That Bought A Shoplifting Father Baby Formula
Like Officer Engravalle, Police Officer Justin Roby didn't want to punish a poor father who was caught shoplifting just to help feed his children. This accused thief tried to take only one item -baby formula, which he needed to help feed his 6 month-old son.
The store understood the father's plight and opted not to press charges and Roby opted to not take the matter any further either, explaining, “He’s already short on money, can’t afford formula, so me making him appear in court, he’s still not going to have any food for that baby."
Of course, he didn't stop there. Roby also wanted to help the dad and ended up buying him several cans of baby formula, ensuring the dad could feed his son for a while before hopefully getting back on his feet.
4. The Cop Who Paid for a Homeless Mother's Hotel Room
When Corporal Che Atkinson of Prince George's County, Maryland heard that a homeless woman and her baby were in her lobby, he followed protocol and called a social worker before heading out on patrol. When she was still there after his shift though, he learned there was no progress in finding them shelter for the night. So Atkinson took matters into his own hands and brought the pair to a hotel and paid for the room using his own money.
When the story started going viral after his sergeant shared a picture of his kindness, Atkinson didn't understand why people were so excited, "I'm a little overwhelmed and shocked. And the reason why is it didn't seem like a big deal to me because I see other officers do stuff like this all the time,” he said, "It's not a big deal."
5. The Patrolman Who Bought a Homeless Man Shoes
Most of us take for granted the old "No shirt. No shoes. No service." signs, but what about those who simply can't afford shoes? When officer Kenya Joyner of Lindenwold, New Jersey was called to usher a "disruptive man" off of a bus, he found out the homeless man was breaking the rules by riding the bus without shoes. When he asked the man why he was barefoot, he learned the man didn't have any shoes.
Joyner then took the man across the street to Payless shoes and spent $45 getting the man a pair of new boots. "You realized the situation was he just didn't have shoes. There was no need to make the situation worse than it needed to be. It was somebody who couldn't afford shoes," he later said of his actions.
A woman filmed the incident and put it online, but Joyner shied away from the attention, saying that his fellow officers did similar activities all time without getting attention.
6. The Officer That Saved A Dog From A Car Crash
Police don't just help people. Patrolman Nick Ague became an internet sensation when a picture of him carrying an injured German Shepherd went online. The dog ran away after it was in a vehicle that was hit by another car. The scared pooch ran so far that the skin on the feet of her pads was peeling off. By the time Ague caught up to her, the dog was simply unwilling to walk, so the officer carried her back to her owners.
7. The Policeman Who Pushed A Stranded Wheelchair User Home
Officer Gil Benitez was on patrol during a particularly bad lightning storm when he came across a man in a wheelchair who was stranded in the middle of the street after his electric wheelchair's battery died. Benitez offered to help the man and then proceeded to push the man all the way home before helping him to dry off and waiting for the man's family to arrive.
8. The Two Cops That Bought a Car Seat for a Family Instead of Issuing a Ticket
When officers Jason Pavlige and James Hodges of Fruitport Township, Michigan pulled over a couple in car last year and found the woman holding a 10-month old baby in her arms, they realized the parents simply couldn't afford a car seat. Rather than punishing the parents for their poverty, the cops took them to Walmart and bought them a car seat and even took the time to show them how to install it.
An employee from Walmart saw the officer's behavior and called the precinct to praise the officer's actions, which resulted in the story going public. “It was only brought to our attention by a clerk at Walmart who saw it and thought they should be recognized,” said Police Lt. Bruce Morningstar , “they were doing it on their own without any recognition.”
9. The Cop Who Fixed a Young Boy's Bicycle
Officer Michael Castillo of Shelton, Connecticut was called to Target to break up a fight between a few kids. When he arrived, he was surprised to discover there was no fight -just a few friends hanging out together. Castillo saw one of the boy's bikes was broken so he stepped in to fix it. That's when bystander Faith Taylor spotted him and took a picture that quickly went viral. The cop didn't even know the picture was online until he was already adored by internet users across the globe, but he was happy when he found out, “It feels great, it really does,” Castillo told WTNH. “There’s so much negativity in police work everywhere. Just to get this one thing — it’s so small, I was just helping a kid out — but it’s big to everyone else, and I think this shows a positive outlook on police work.”
10. A Child's Christmas That Came Courtesy of Two Police Officers
Most of the stories here involve officers being called to handle some kind of crime, but officers Barry Ward and Terrence Paramore of the Boynton Beach Police Department had no idea what they were in for when they were called to deal with someone hanging up on 9-11. The police discovered the call was simply the result of a baby playing with a phone in the house and accidentally dialing the wrong three-digit number.
When the officers were at the house though, they discovered the family was having a hard time financially, learning that the single mother was having a hard time providing for her children. One of the children happened to say she was sad they couldn't afford a Christmas tree. So Ward and Paramore left -and then returned the next day with a tree, lights and ornaments. The video of their kind act went viral, but the officers weren't done yet. The girl's wonder at the tree inspired them to do more, promising to return to the house closer to Christmas with presents donated by caring community residents.
It's important to remember that for all the negativity out there, there's tons of positivity as well. Here's to all the good guys out there that we never hear about.