For those who don’t know, I’m a police officer with twenty-two years under the badge. I’ve seen people at their worst and I’ve seen people at their best. I’ve had some really great assignments and some that had me worried that I might not make it home at the end of my shift. For the past three years I have been working as a university police officer, and hope to retire from here in a few years. It’s a great place to work. It can be tedious at times, and some of the calls are ridiculous. Kids will be kids, you know?
At the end of last year I was in the Starbucks on campus. I ordered a slice of lemon pound cake and a large coffee. One of our students, a young woman who worked there part-time, but was off that night, was in there, after working her other part-time job, and asked if she could pay for my cake and coffee. When I told her she didn’t have to do that, she said that she had several dollars on her card (most colleges and universities have a card that students can load money on to and use it at the eating places on campus), and she would not be able to spend what she had left before the end of the year. She went on to say that her boyfriend was a police officer, and she appreciated when people did nice things for him, such as pay for coffee or a meal. I allowed her to pay for my cake and coffee.
Fast forward to last night. I had finished eating “breakfast” in the cafeteria and, on my way out, looked to see if they had any peanut butter cookies on the dessert bar. They didn’t, so I walked over to Starbucks to see what they had. The same student was working. I looked at the cookies they had. No peanut butter. She asked if I wanted anything and I said I was looking to see if they had peanut butter cookies and commented that the cafeteria didn’t have any. She said that they didn’t sell peanut butter anymore. I bought another kind of cookie and a milk, and went back to work.
A few hours later I was putting some cones out in a parking lot, when a car pulled in. I heard a woman’s voice say, “Mr Officer” and, when I turned I recognized the student from Starbucks. She came over and handed me a small container, saying, “I knew you’d be out here and I brought you some peanut butter cookies.” This young woman, after finishing her shift, had gone out and found some peanut butter cookies, and then found me on campus to give them to me. When I finished what I was doing, I opened the container to find four peanut butter cookies. I’m not going to lie, I teared up.
After twenty-two years on the job, with all of the awards, commendations and certifications I’ve received and earned, those four peanut butter cookies, and the spirit in which they were given, beats them all hands down.
Note: I purposely left out the names of the student and the university for privacy purposes, however, I did show this to the student before publishing, and she was very receptive to the post.