Over the last couple of years, it seems that there have been some disappointing and really tragic stories involving police officers right here in Minnesota. Many times in many communities across Minnesota and the US, there are countless untold stories about things law enforcement has done that aren't recognized publically. It might be an officer mowing the lawn of someone who was taken to the hospital after suffering a medical emergency, instead of citing a mother for no car seat the officer takes that person to Target to buy one. This is one of those accounts, shared by the Chief of the Detroit Lakes Police Department in northern Minnesota about actions his officers took, and told no one, only to have the chief find out after the fact and really by happenstance, that he even saw it.

Members of the Detroit Lakes Police Department located a young boy wandering outside, not dressed for the weather and without adult supervision, and upon reuniting the child with his mother, the child, by the way, happened to just walk away while his mother wasn't looking, took action to remedy a situation they felt needed fixing. The officers realized that the home where the family lived was lacking certain amenities like beds for all the children, a couch, etc. I'll let Chief Steve Todd take it from here.

I need to share some information about actions taken this week by some members of the DLPD and the Boys and Girls Club Thrift Store.

Officers were dispatched on a call where a 4-year-old boy was walking outside, alone, and not dressed for the weather. One officer went to where the boy was, checked on him, and had EMS respond to ensure he was medically ok. The other officer went to where she believed the boy lived and located the boy’s mother at their residence.

The officer described finding the mother frantic, the boy had managed to open the door and get outside the locked doors without her noticing. Officers brought the boy back to her house and reunited them, the boy was fine.

The officers found this was a working mother, depending on a family member to drive over an hour to help watch her children while she worked. Officers noticed there was a shortage of adequate furniture in the home.

Rather than just clearing that call and going on to the next one, the officers contacted the Boys and Girls Club Thrift Store and informed them of the situation, requesting some assistance. The Boys and Girls Club Thrift Store provided and delivered a kitchen table, dresser, and toddler beds and bedding for each of the kids. The officers mentioned to our record’s staff what they were working on which led to a couch being provided. The officers then, out of their own pockets, purchased an entryway rug and set of door and window alarms to alert the mother if one of the kids opened a door again. They finished by providing some referrals to other agencies that will provide some further resources for this family.

I only discovered this situation because I reviewed and approved reports the next day due to a supervisor's illness. The officers and staff never told me what they had done, they sought no recognition. They took these actions because it was the right thing to do and because a community member needed to be blessed with some help.

This story is a testament to the good hearts, generosity, and work ethic of Officer Josie Johnson, Sergeant Robert Strand, Records Technician Jean Livingood, as well as the staff at the Boys and Girls Club Thrift Store. It also shows how important public/private collaboration is in a community like ours. I was incredibly proud and touched when I discovered this situation, I felt you as a community needed to know about it.
Chief Steve Todd

How awesome was that? These officers took it upon themselves to improve this family's situation and wanted nothing in return. These law enforcement officers and their support staff, Officer Josie Johnson, Sergeant Robert Strand, and Records Technician Jean Livingood, really are living to the motto of protecting and serving.

A big thank you to Chief Steve Todd for sharing this online, as these people need a big pat on the back, not that they really need it, but to be recognized for showing kindness and compassion.

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