Target: Officers AD McElroy, Justin Jenkins, Toma Sparks, and Robert McCurry, Johnson City Police
Goal: Praise officers who obtained a hotel room and dinner for a homeless family during inclement weather
A homeless family of four was recently turned away from a Salvation Army-run shelter on one of the coldest nights of the year. The shelter had its white flag out, which generally means that anyone can stay the night due to harsh weather conditions outdoors. When the Lejeune family arrived, they were told that their 15-year-old son was too young to stay with the adults and too old to stay with the mother. They were then sent back to their car, where they had previously been staying.
As the Lejeunes were returning to their car, a group of police officers came upon them. When the officers were unable to convince Salvation Army staff to allow the family to stay, they pooled their own resources together to obtain a hotel room for the night. Hotel staff found out what the officers were doing and gave the family a room at no charge instead. Rather than stopping there, the officers used the money they had saved as well as solicited donations from other officers on duty to give to the family. They were able to provide dinner, groceries, and some leftover spending money.
A spokesman for the Salvation Army said that a policy in place to protect children prohibits boys aged 12 to 16 from staying at its facilities. This incident, however, has sparked a review of the shelter’s policy for inclement weather.
Without the help of these caring officers, the Lejeunes would have spent one of the coldest nights of the year with little more than the clothes on their backs. Particularly with tales of police violence growing more common as the year progresses, it is heartening to hear about officers who are focused on protecting citizens. Sign the petition below to thank four officers for their acts of kindness toward the Lejeune family.
Dear Officers McElroy, Jenkins, Sparks, and McCurry,
Thank you for recently obtaining a hotel room for a family who was turned away from the Salvation Army during inclement weather. You and other officers on duty were also able to provide dinner, groceries, and some extra spending money for this family in need.
Without your generosity, this family would have been forced to sleep in their car on one of the coldest nights of the year. We, the undersigned, commend your act of kindness and apparent devotion to protecting citizens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Roger Amaral Scheridon de Moraes via Creative Commons