Compassionate Cops


hugging cop               female officers with child

Compassionate Cops?

Hey friends, family, supporters, followers, and look-e-loos! I’m starting this page to show people a completely different side to law enforcement, that of compassion. I invited law enforcement people to submit poetry, blogs, flash fiction, anything demonstrating the compassionate side of what we do. With all the death, violence, negative media, and sometimes poor decisions made by cops, I felt our noble profession was being wrongfully degraded. This page is about one thing, showing people that cops are human. We make mistakes. But, our thoughts and beliefs are very much like everyone else’s. We love our families and the men and women we work with. I hope this page gives you guys some insight into our lives. See below for the first post from my friend, Ian Snyder.

C. L. Swinney

JUNE 22, 2015:

Vallejo PD

Everyday the men and women of the Vallejo Police Department stop their law enforcement duties in order to console the victims and witnesses of crimes, automobile accidents and situations involving many other traumatic events … it is more than just a job!

May 15, 2015:


Brian Schottel says his 7-year-old son, Bryce, has a tumor in his stomach that’s so big, the boy looks like he “could be a 50-year-old with a beer belly.”

Dallas police Senior Cpl. Damon Cole saw an online picture of Bryce, dressed up as Superman for Halloween. Cole has a 7-year-old of his own — a daughter — and was touched by Bryce’s story. He wanted to do something to help the boy and his family, the Dallas Morning News reports.

One super problem: Bryce and his family don’t live around here. Not even close. They live in Smithton, Ill., a town of 3,500 people about 30 minutes outside of St. Louis.

So Cole hopped in his Superman-wrapped black 2012 Dodge Charger this month and drove up, up and away for 11 hours to spend time with Bryce.

When he got to Illinois, Cole knocked on the Schottels’ door in a full Superman costume and greeted Bryce, who was diagnosed with lymphoma Feb. 28 and has been receiving chemotherapy treatments. Cole showed Bryce his car. He gave him his spare Superman cape, an action figure and a keychain.

“All Bryce kept saying was ‘Wow,’” Brian Schottel said.

Dad said he was in awe, too.

Cole has been dressing as Superman for years now. He is part of a cadre of Dallas officers — called “Heroes, Cops and Kids” — who portray superheroes regularly to mentor kids.

But Cole’s love of Superman goes back further. When he was a Little Elm cop eight years ago, he had the Superman logo stitched into his bulletproof vest.

“You get some kids who are scared of us because when their parents are out, they’ll see us and say, ‘Hey, if you don’t behave, I’ll get that officer to arrest you,’” Cole said. “We don’t want that. We want the kid to know he can come to us at any time.”

He said he builds a rapport with kids when he shows them the vest. The kids then ask where his cape is.

“I’m like, ‘Well, I can’t wear my cape with my uniform. It’ll get wrinkles,’” he said. “And they believe it, and they eat it up.”

Tags: Dallas PD, Officer Kindness, Texas, The South


IAN SNYDER’S Thoughts:

If I’ve learned anything in my 3 plus years in law enforcement it would be that being a cop is not only about enforcing the law. It is truly about helping others in need. Whether it be lending an ear, keeping the peace, being there to help change a tire or giving people options that they may not even know are available. A police officer wears many hats during his or her career.

Being a cop is not a job, it is a way of life, a brotherhood. It’s not what you do, but who you are. If you’re a cop you’re a cop for life whether on the job or off. Even well into retirement, a cop will run towards the danger, not away from it. The badge and uniforms are symbols and are there to let others know who we are. Even without those items being a cop is something that you have inside you and something that will never leave you. It is something that you will always be until the day you take your last breath. A cop will selflessly give his or her life to save another, even if it means he or she will not return home to our own family.

It is very difficult if not impossible for someone who does not live their life this way to understand what it means to be an officer of the law, or to understand that we don’t do what we do for ourselves, but for others. We do it for everyone else. Many times our family and friends do not understand, and it can be difficult as a police officer’s family to be well aware that each and every time we put on our uniform and leave for the day, we may not come home.

There are three rules to being a cop.

  1. go home to your family at the end of the day

  2. stay safe and be aware of all that is around you at all times.

  3. Keep your fellow officer’s safe and always have their six.

Everything else comes naturally.

It is hard for us to see society having less and less respect for who we are and what we do. We do not expect a pat on the back or a medal for what we do. It does not matter if you love us or hate us, we will still help you when in need.

I am proud to be a member of a brotherhood that spans across this great country of ours and to help keep my community safe. To my fellow brothers and sisters, stay safe and always walk that thin blue line.


Thanks Ian! Let’s keep the submissions coming in! You can submit something via my email, or add a comment to this page!




**UPDATE** 4-11-14




4-27-14 Compassionate Cops?

I seem to be having a tough time getting my brothers and sisters in law enforcement to submit work regarding the compassionate side of what we do and how we live. I can’t let this concept go to the wayside; however, and have decided to put my own work up in a serialized fashion. That is, when I see compassion or feel compassionate about something, I’ll post it on this page on my blog.  Among  all the other stuff in my life I can’t guarantee this will be regular, but I’ll do my best to keep this thing alive 🙂

The most recent thing I can recall is members of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office conducting a fundraiser event for Special Olympics. Many people in the general public who are not fans of law enforcement believe officers “just do these events to keep a decent public image.” Not true. The men and women I see volunteering hundreds of hours of time for planning, preparing, soliciting, and running these events is overwhelming. They do it because they are kind people, and feel the need to help others. It’s why they wear a badge and swear to protect society. It runs through our blood, an insatiable thirst to do good for others, particularly for those who may not be able to to it for themselves, or those who need a tiny bit of assistance.

Men and women wearing a badge are ordinary people just like everyone else. Many of them have children with special needs, debilitating diseases, or huge obstacles to overcome. They cry and stress out just like you. We’re not any better than the next person, we’ve just chosen a profession that is highly visible and overly scrutinized. All that we can ask is that society is a fair to us as we are to them every time we show up to a call. Nothing more, nothing less. Law enforcement, in my eyes, is the social glue that keeps society together and allows cohesion to form among all members of society. We aren’t looking for handouts or freebies. Our primary mission is to serve and protect, but it would sure feel great to believe we are on the same playing field as the rest of society.

Thanks and God Bless,

C. L. Swinney


**UPDATE 5-29-14:

Another one!

I was at the local coffee shop grabbing a cup of joe, hold the half and half, and noticed a homeless man kind of loitering in the street nearby. He seemed out of place, lost maybe, and disoriented. Several of the patrons in the store were snickering and making snide comments about the man. I’d seen him before, but he was never this bad off. I was about to order my breakfast and felt something inside me saying, this just isn’t right.

I went outside and began speaking to the man. Instantly I see he’s prideful and agitated. His clothes are dirty and his shoes are torn and ragged. I looked him in the eyes. What I saw was sadness and desperation. Nevertheless, a man in his shoes, unlike many other homeless folks I’ve met, would not and has not ever asked for money. He cannot work due to physical injuries. I have no idea if he collects welfare. I have my own opinions about the welfare system. I feel I have to pay for everyone who doesn’t work as well as for myself and family, but when you’re right there in the moment, you can’t think about that because it really doesn’t matter then.

I offered to buy the man some food and drink. He refused and became agitated further. Obviously I’d disrespected him. Now an audience had formed at the coffee shop.  I felt the stinging glares on my back and heard the giggling. I resisted the urge to identify myself to him and ask him to kindly move along. That was the easy route.

Finally he asked, “What do you care?” When I’d asked him if there was anything I could do to help him.

Hmm, great question I thought. “Because someone has to, right?” He just looked at me funny.

“Listen, bub, why don’t you just leave me be?” He asked. I could tell he was hungry because the people who came outside with muffins and bagels caught his attention. He stared at the food as it went by.

I replied. “I can’t. You might get hit by a car. Why don’t you take a seat,” I said as I pointed at the bench in front of the store. He looked at me and we stared at each other. I could only imagine what was going through his head. He finally went to sit down. He stumbled and began to fall. Without hesitation I grabbed him and dropped some cash on the ground right where he was. No way anyone saw that. A lady came out and helped me stable the man and get him seated.

Once he was content, I pointed to the money and said, “Hey, you dropped some money.” The man looked at the money, at me, back to the money and shook his head.

“Not mine.”

I shook my head. “Me either.” Obviously this wasn’t going to work. I was frustrated, but determined to find some way to help him. As I struggled for another idea, a man exited the coffee shop and asked if he could help.

“Sure,” I said.

He began speaking to the seated man and he listened intently. The man from the coffee shop offered the man a place to stay and wash up and said he could pick from his clothing and shoes to get him back on his feet. I was shocked. More importantly, the man agreed! I was pretty happy for him, and thankful the stranger came along to help. They turned to walk away.

I shook both of their hands and patted the homeless man on his back. At the same time I slipped some cash in his coat pocket. I’ll never know what happens with him or the money, but it seems by just talking to him, reaching out to him, he will have at least a decent rest of today. And, isn’t that all we can ask for? Just live day by day and try to be happy.

Anyway, I’m a cop and there were several other ways, perhaps even less friendly ways, to have dealt with this situation. However, hiding problems is not the answer. Taking them head on, in my opinion, is the only way to deal with them effectively. Just remember there are plenty of compassionate law enforcement members out there trying to do good things for people.





HOWARD COUNTY, Md. — A Howard County police officer saved a drowning 9-year-old girl whose foot was trapped under a rock in the Little Patuxent River near the Savage Mill Trail last weekend, police said Wednesday.

Police said Sgt. Michael Johnson, a 16-year veteran, was walking foot patrol with a park ranger at 4:15 p.m. May 25 when they heard screaming near the river. Police said Johnson ran toward the screams and saw the girl in shoulder-deep water being pushed by the current.

He called dispatch and asked for the Howard County Fire and Rescue Services department’s SWIFT water rescue team, police said. While awaiting their arrival, Johnson saw the girl, who said her foot was stuck under a rock, struggling to stay above water, police said.

Sgt. Johnson then jumped in the river to try to save the girl, police said. As he was swimming toward her, the current picked him up, but he was able to grab onto a crate jammed between two rocks, police said.

Police said he was able to move himself in front of the crate and, with one hand on the crate, was able to lunge toward the girl and free her trapped foot.

Police said he then pulled her to the edge of the water where a bystander helped her onto land.

“This is an example of the ways in which our officers put their lives on the line every day,” Police Chief Bill McMahon said. “We are very proud of Sgt. Johnson for all that he did to ensure this situation had a good outcome.”

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Copyright 2014 the Howard County Times



UPDATE 6-20-14**

If you want to know about an internet sensation and police department that just gets it, check out the Brimfield Police Department. A town of 11,000 residents and a Facebook page with over 150,000 likes! Anyway, among the many things they do for their community is the Badges and Bobbers program where thousands of kids get fishing poles and go fishing with cops. They also give kids citations…for wearing their helmets for a free ice cream! Another fine example of law enforcement working TOGETHER with their community.


UPDATE 7-3-14**

Just a terrific example of when law enforcement gets it right. I know not everything is perfect in my profession, but I enjoy talking about these stories.


NJ cops help teen with muscular dystrophy fulfill cop dreams

The move came as a surprise for the teen, who was told only to expect a welcome home party

By PoliceOne StaffWANAQUE, N.J. — A 19-year-old battling with muscular dystrophy achieved his dream of becoming a police officer Wednesday with the help of the Wanaque Police reports Aaron Risher was sworn in after a month-long stay at a New York City children’s hospital.The move came as a surprise for Risher, who was told only to expect a welcome home party.

Wanaque Police Captain Kenneth Fackina was told about Risher by his medical staff, and he’s made regular visits to the teen for months prior to Wednesday’s event, ABC 7 reported.

Wanaque police provided him with a badge, uniform, business cards, and a name plate, according to the report


******EDIT September 19, 2014 

EVEN OFF-DUTY COPS are getting it right. Check out this story. It’s another reminder that not ALL COPS are bad!



By Erika Pesantes
Sun Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. —  A birthday celebration at a downtown nightclub earlier this month turned bloody when a bar patron slipped and cut an artery on her wrist with a broken beer bottle —  a potentially deadly injury.

Fort Lauderdale police officer Nick Rollins spotted the bleeding woman, who had her wrist elevated with a napkin over the wound, and sprang into action.

Recognizing how serious the cut to the artery was, he applied a tourniquet to Jenon Wehby’s arm to help stop the bleeding.

“If he hadn’t done what he did, my wife may not be here today,” Jeremy Wehby said. “This could have shattered our world.”

Jeremy Wehby joined police during roll call Wednesday to publicly show his gratitude to the officer who saved the life of his wife and mother to their four children, ages 6 to 12.

“According to the ER doctors, he saved a life,” said Police Chief Franklin Adderley before roll call.

On Sept. 6, the Wehbys were celebrating the birthday of a friend’s wife at Vibe on Las Olas Boulevard. Jenon Wehby, 38, slipped while holding a beer in hand and cut herself with the broken glass when she fell to the ground, her husband said.

The deep gash on her left wrist bled profusely. Rollins was nearby working an off-duty detail.

Jeremy Wehby said Rollins quickly came to his wife’s aid as he debated the quickest way to the hospital: hailing a cab or waiting for the ambulance. The officer comforted the Plantation couple as Jeremy Wehby began to “freak out.”

“He was like a ninja,” Wehby said, “He was all over the place.”

After Rollins applied the tourniquet, Jenon Wehby went to the hospital by ambulance where doctors stitched her up. She remains recovering at home to regain full use of her arm, her husband said.

On Wednesday, Rollins said he was appreciative that Wehby took the time to say thanks and extended kudos to fellow officers who also help people daily.

“This is a very positive experience for me and all of us,” Rollins said. “For Jeremy to reach out, even though we do this every day, that’s a huge feeling.”

The road patrol officer is also on the SWAT team and has been with the police department for nine years.

It’s not the first time Rollins has been recognized for a life-saving act. More than five years ago, he and other officers received a departmental life-saving award for helping rescue children from a Fort Lauderdale house fire, he said.

After the grateful husband handed Rollins a brand-new tourniquet to replace the one used on his wife, he suggested Rollins also get a treat from his boss.

“He should get a couple days off, chief,” he told Adderley before roll-call.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Copyright 2014 the Sun Sentinel

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