2019 was a memorable year for law enforcement agencies, filled with compassionate actions and above-and-beyond service from brave men and women. But if you tuned into the news or checked your social feed, you would probably find that these stories are rarely shared.
While a large majority of interactions between law enforcement and citizens have no use of force, much of the content on social media shows the opposite. This misrepresentation breaks down trust between the community and law enforcement.
ShareBlueSmiles, a social media campaign powered by CentralSquare, aims to change this. The campaign is dedicated to spotlighting stories of officers and deputies going above-and-beyond for their communities. Thousands of stories are underreported – every day, officers are helping kids, bringing meals to the elderly, rescuing pets, driving those who are stranded and performing innumerable acts of compassion.
Here are five heartfelt interactions between law enforcement officers and individuals captured by ShareBlueSmiles that will put a smile on your face:
- Whether out on patrol or in the outfield, Officer Ashley Allen from the Antioch Police Department, California, inspires the next generation of women leaders. An avid athlete her entire life, Officer Allen took time out of her busy schedule to stop by the Antioch High School softball team’s practice to field ground balls and talk to the young women. She has since become an active mentor to the softball team, inspiring the players to overcome any obstacle and achieve their every goal.
- Michigan winter storms can be fierce, destructive and even deadly. When an elderly woman had no food during a severe winter storm, Deputy Rob Owen and telecommunicator Beth Owen from Calhoun County, Michigan, didn’t let anything – not even a massive storm – stop them from helping. Despite all the stores being closed, Deputy Owen and his wife gave the woman food from their own home to make sure she would make it through the storm.
- A birthday is a time of pure joy and celebration for a young child. So, there was nothing worse for young Anthony of Punta Gorda, Florida, than when rain cancelled his birthday festivities. A few deputies from Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office heard Anthony was disappointed and swung by to cheer him up and make sure he had his best birthday ever.
- Officer Lynema with the Grand Rapids Police Department in Michigan gave a young boy a ride to school after the bus passed them by. During the ride, the boy confided he was being bullied at school and that it might lead to his classmates skipping his birthday party. Not only did Officer Lynema accept the boy’s invitation to attend, he came back the next day with a couple of his colleagues bearing presents and treats, easily making it one of the boy’s best birthdays ever.
- Homelessness is an epidemic across the country, where even the smallest gestures can have a huge impact. In coordinating the Rolla Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team in North Dakota, Corporal Robertson worked with a homeless resident, helping him to find a home and furnishings, and personally providing him with meals almost daily so he wouldn’t go hungry. Corporal Robertson is well known in the community for her willingness to go the extra mile to lend a hand to those in need.
Law enforcement personnel put their all on the line every day to keep their communities safe from harm. They also make the time to inspire young children, feed the hungry and spread a little bit of hope and cheer everywhere they go.
Do you have a “smile” story you’d like to share? Submit yours to ShareBlueSmiles.com today.