We all know that police officers risk their lives to help citizens every day, but did you know they also “protect and serve” the animal kingdom, too?
On a stormy day in Greenbelt, Maryland, Carolyn B. R. Hammett and her husband Kevin were driving down the road when they spotted something unusual. A police officer was standing in the middle of the road in the pouring rain. Stranger still, the cop had a huge grin on her face.
Thinking the road ahead was flooded, the family pulled over. It turns out that Officer Hawkins-Graham had been heading home from a police event when she saw something that required her assistance.
“As we got closer, we realized that she was standing over something,” Carolyn said. The object that Master Officer Sharnise Hawkins-Graham was protecting turned out to be a large, snapping turtle.
Snapping turtles can be very dangerous to handle, so the officer had alerted animal control and was waiting to hear back from them. In the meantime, she was determined to shield the helpless animal from oncoming traffic.
Touched by her decency and kindness, the Hammett family decided to help her out. Carolyn’s daughter Honora snapped a photo of the officer standing in the rain, and Kevin immediately started rummaging around in the car in search of an umbrella.
“The officer thanked us and we thanked her and we all went on our way,” Hammett said. “She was smiling a big broad smile the entire time and she never seemed to care that she was drenched completely through. She was delightful, inspirational, kind, all the things that you think a police officer should be.”
After Carolyn shared the story of Officer Hawkins-Graham’s kindness, the story went viral around the web, and everyone was blown away by how sweet and selfless this cop is.
Officials in the City of Greenbelt agreed, and a few short weeks later, they named Officer Hawkins-Graham their Officer of the Year.
Well done, Officer Hawkins-Graham. Thank you for caring for even the smallest citizens in your community. You are a role model to us all!
If you agree, please SHARE this story to say thank you to Officer Hawkins-Graham.