October 6, 2015 Dallas, Tx. A Dallas Police Officer while out on patrol observed a 90 year old man trimming some trees in his yard. What he did showed an act of kindness and compassion. Yet a neighbor was angry and called local Councilwoman Carolyn King Arnold over the incident. First the facts.
A 90 year old man is trimming trees on his property and a Patrol Officer stops and gives the man a hand with the task. Apparently a neighbor saw the Officer assisting the 90 year old man and complained to the local councilwoman about it stating that the Officer was not doing his job.
Councilwoman Arnold contacted the Department and confirmed that indeed the incident had happened. She was interviewed by 5NBCDFW at a community get together and did not issue a statement regarding the incident, but rather skirted the issue diplomatically.
While I can see that some individuals may have been upset that a neighbor had been receiving help from an Officer consider what was REALLY happening.
If there had been a call for help the Officer could just as easily have gotten back in his vehicle and gone to the call as he could have responded from anywhere else. So was he in fact taken away from his duty? No he was not. His charge is to protect and serve. Part of his job is to help citizens and keep them safe.
Is it REALLY safe for a 90 year old man to be cutting trees in his yard? Generally, one would think not. Logically one would believe that this is an accident waiting to happen. Had the Officer passed by he could have just as easily been called back there within a few minutes to assist with a medical call from a man with a heart attack, fallen branches on himself or a severe laceration requiring immediate life saving attention.
Secondly and more importantly, with all the negative publicity and opinion going on about the Police doing a good deed for someone out of the kindness of your heart tends to spread good will toward the people that pay it forward and do the good deeds. While talking to the elderly man the Officer may well be making a valuable ally for the future who will be willing to talk to him in the future when he may not have wanted to before. But because of this act of kindness the elderly man now looks upon the Officer differently, more human.
Thankfully Dallas Police told NBCDFW that they would not file formal charges against the Officer and in fact were going to commend him for his actions.
Understanding how Community Policing works and recognizing Officers who go out of their way to be members of the Community that they serve should be a priority of every Police Department across the nation. It is wonderful that the Dallas Police Department did not punish the unnamed Officer for being a decent human being and a credit to his profession with a knee jerk reaction. It speaks volumes about the Department, it’s Officers and it’s mission as a whole.