December 11, 2015 Washington, D.C. Police Officer Juanita Graham has been with the D.C. Police Department for 25 years starting out as a Cadet and is now a truancy officer. But right now she has a goal and that is to spread good will toward those most in need and inspire others to do so as well.
Officer Graham and her partner Officer Leonard Long Jr. have been as busy as Santa’s helpers can be this year. Every day they put together small bags of items that they make themselves including handwritten cards, sandwiches, toiletries and warm clothing.
The two officers then watch for homeless people on their Patrols that they can strike up conversations with. During the course of their discussions Officer Graham will ask the person if they mind if she gives them a gift and if they accept she bestows upon them one of the bags.
In this way she gets to know the person better and hopes to improve their situation just a little bit and let them know that someone cares about them as a person, that they are not alone and give them hope. She also hopes to inspire other people to do the same and act in the spirit of giving. “We have so much and we take so much for granted,” she said.
“A lot of times, we don’t know what people’s situations and circumstances are. It’s not always because of drugs or alcohol,” she said. “Sometimes people have lost their jobs. They may have lost their home due to a fire.” She was reported as saying to News4.
MPD Third District Commander Jeffery Carroll said wants D.C. residents to see the range of ways officers work to help communities.
“When the community sees officers out there interacting with the homeless people and other people in need, they realize there’s more to just enforcing the laws, arresting people and issuing traffic tickets,” he said. “They realize they are real human beings and they’re out there helping people in a variety of ways every day.”