Last Wednesday was just another day at work for Cpl. Che Atkinson of the Prince George’s County, Md., Police Department. He was sitting at a desk filling out some paperwork when a front-desk officer came up to him saying that there was a homeless woman at the station with her baby.
The woman told Atkinson that she was in Prince George’s County because she had left an abusive home. She had been staying at a shelter but had to leave for some reason. The woman told Atkinson that she was out of options when she came to the Hyattsville police station.
Atkinson went into action to get some help for the woman.
“All morning I’m calling, trying to get assistance; no luck,” Atkinson told news station WUSA9.
Atkinson finally got ahold of a social worker and then continued about his business. His work, however, wasn’t done yet. The next morning, when he arrived at work, he saw the woman sitting in the same spot where he’d left her yesterday.
“I was like, ‘Did she come back this morning?’” Atkinson said. “And the other officer says, ‘No, I think she’s been here all night.’”
That was when he decided that enough was enough and took it upon himself to help out the woman with his own money.
“I told her this is what I’m going to find. I’m going to find you a place … I’m going to put you up for the night,” the officer told the news station. Atkinson paid for a room at a nearby hotel as well as some food for the woman and her baby.
“It was, here’s somebody here with a child—1 years old—had nowhere to go,” Atkinson said. “I had the extra money. What would it hurt just to put them up for a night to make sure they’re safe?”
Atkinson even got a car seat for the baby. While Atkinson took action, packing the woman’s luggage into a patrol car, his sergeant quietly took photos of the officer’s acts of kindness without him knowing and posted them to the department’s Facebook page, WUSA9 reports. As of Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., the post had 4,008 shares and 16,767 likes.
Atkinson, for his part, doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. “I’m a little overwhelmed and shocked,” he said. “And the reason why is, it didn’t seem like a big deal to me because I see other officers do stuff like this all the time. It’s not a big deal.
“This is a helpless child, so it’s our duty to help, and that child was definitely in need,” he added.
The woman is now with relatives, the station notes.
Read more at WUSA9.