If you know me through this page or otherwise, Mickey D’s isn’t my jam. But here we are.
But yesterday, I found myself.. beside myself. I popped out of a meeting room and walked up on a kiddo and one of our fantastic officers crawling through the hallway, chasing toy trucks - one of which I hopped over with catlike prowess.
It quickly became clear to me this kid was removed from his home.. as kids sadly often are. That’s why kids are at the police station, if not part of an employee’s fam or part of a field trip. It’s always because something bad happened. The home is a health hazard. Or the parents were abusive. Or grandma drove drunk and kid was in the car. And so on.
I remember how I used to ask what happened under my breath. Like knowing was necessary or made it better. Like asking made me more concerned. But I just stood there, in the hallway. I wonder if not asking and not knowing makes it worse.
I faked a smile and a cheerful line for the kid who was all smiles and I leaned on the wall.
And then I just felt sad. Just sad. I can’t remember feeling that plainly sad in a long time about one thing… and I didn’t even see this kid’s broken home or bad parents or whatever other atrocities I was imagining. Maybe it wasn’t any of that. Maybe I should have asked.
I did ask a few questions to my team. No ETA for CPS (weekday daytime). He had a snack which was cool. Asked if he was hungry.
What sounds good? Smiles.
Another officer- you like McDonalds?
“Yup!” Smiles. Giggles. Back to playing.
I would have been down to go find him a filet, but if the kid wants a happy meal, he gets a GD happy meal. The scheduling, emails, and calls could - and did- wait.
Shoutout to @bluebridgealliancehq - a nonprofit that provides cards to officers to make donation based purchases to people in need. Countless officers gladly spend from their own pockets countless times for worthy moments like this- but this is a fantastic resource and program.