Appreciation of service
Through its daily efforts, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) showcases the invaluable impact of public service. From a rookie police officer delivering a baby in traffic, to the annual Bike to D.C. event to honor fallen officers, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers have shown the empathy, dedication and determination necessary for their roles in the community.
In honor of Police Week, check out stories that captured headlines over the last month.
Compassion goes viral
Responding to a missing person call, Officer Tim Purdy approached an autistic Charlotte youth who was in a heighted emotional state and a potential danger to himself. To ease the tension, Officer Purdy sat down with the young man, engaging in a lighthearted conversation about school, sports, and life. Officer Purdy established a connection with the young man and eventually returned him to his family. The genuine moment was captured in a photo and later posted to CMPD’s Facebook page.
Hours later, the photo went viral — unbeknownst to Officer Purdy who does not have a Facebook account — tallying more than 725,000 reactions and 30,000 comments and has been covered by several national news outlets.
Although the moment received such an overwhelming show of support, Purdy says this type of interaction occurs on a daily basis. Click here to watch Officer Purdy’s account of the encounter and his reaction to the community support.
You probably noticed blue ribbons around town tied to trees, light posts and mail boxes. The ribbons hold significant meaning for the CMPD family and the Charlotte community. Watch the video below as CMPD Chief Kerr Putney and volunteers explain the importance of the campaign and reflect on those who lost their lives in the line of duty.
The highest honor
Six CMPD officers took on the ‘unbelievable challenge for irreplaceable people’ by swimming the 34-mile length of Lake Norman May 18 to raise college funds for the children of CMPD Officers Sean Clark and Fred Thornton who were killed in the line of duty.
Starting at Blythe Landing, the officers swam throughout the night, eventually reaching the finish line the next day. The officers alternated swimming in 30-minute intervals until the goal was reached. Similar to the Bike to D.C. challenge, these officers tested their will, determination and physical abilities to pay tribute to fallen.
A festival will be held once the swim is concluded on Thursday, May 19 at Blythe Landing. Click here to learn more about the effort and to follow the officers’ journey.