Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Very Grateful Citizen

My office received a letter recently that I wanted to share with you. The writer, who signed the letter only as “A Very Grateful Citizen,” wanted to call my attention to the actions of one of the patrol officers in our department. To set the scene for you, the police department took a call for service from an elderly female who needed assistance in contacting her church. The female needed food and was unable to reach the church to get this help. Officer Derek Hogan was dispatched with his Officer-In-Training, Officer Rachel Scattergood. Officer Hogan’s response to this citizen’s needs were worthy of sharing. Here is what the writer wanted me to know:

Dear Chief Douglass:

I recently heard about an outstanding young police officer, Derek Hogan, in your department who went above and beyond the call of duty. He responded to a call on the eve of Christmas Eve for an elderly lady who was trying to get a hold of her church because she needed food. She was not expecting the police department to do anything, but help her contact her church (which coincidently, was in service).

Officer Hogan went to her house to check on her. He handwrote the grocery list and returned with over $50 of groceries for her. She must have mentioned she’d be spending Christmas alone, because he also returned with a small ham, saying you can’t have Christmas without a ham. Also, he returned with a beautiful poinsettia to sit in her house for some Christmas cheer. She tried to pay him, but he refused and wished her a Merry Christmas!

As a citizen of this community, it is incredibly heart-warming to not only see an officer like him out to protect and serve, but also to provide and care for our most vulnerable citizens. You should be proud to have Officer Hogan on the Overland Park Police force. He deserves to be recognized not only for this commitment to serve, but his commitment to compassion. And commitment to go above and beyond the call of duty.

A Very Grateful Citizen

To the author of this letter I want to say it was a pleasure to read your letter because it reinforced my belief that our officers are providing a service that, as you said, goes beyond what is merely required. We are fortunate to have officers who have a genuine interest in the citizens they serve. Thank you for taking the time to share this.