Overland Park Police Department Officer Derrick Hogan went beyond the call of duty last month after he was dispatched to an 86-year-old woman's house.
On December 23rd, Hogan met an elderly homebound woman in need to help contacting her church. Because she was on medication that made it impossible for her to drive — and because the close relatives who often helped her out recently passed away — she had only a niece to help her out.
She was in need of food.
"She was a very nice, sweet lady. Reminds you of your own grandmother," Hogan told KCTV 5.
Hogan assumed that no one would be available at the church so close to Christmas, so he asked the woman to write out her grocery list instead.
What followed moved the woman to share her story with someone who anonymously wrote a letter of thanks to the chief of police, who gave commendations to the kind officer.
"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!" wrote "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," Police Chief John M. Douglass wrote on his blog.
"This makes this hard," Hogan said of the attention he received, noting that his fellow officers would have done the same thing. "This happens all the time and people don't see it. I don't feel like it should be me sitting here."