Last night, our Vice President of Homeless Services, Jim Stewart, went on a ride along with one of our charity's first police supporters, Ofc Pete Casuccio (5th Precinct, South Linden). Ofc Casuccio, like Jim, is a Marine. They had an action packed evening, but also managed to bond over their times in the military, albeit decades apart. Jim spoke in glowing terms of Ofc Casuccio's dedication, knowledge, and professionalism.
But all I can think of is one story Jim relayed to me, and it has crowded out everything else:
Ofc Casuccio responded to a report of a person with a gun. It turned out to be a boy of 11 or 12 with a very realistic looking BB gun. Jim said it was very intense, and for a few moments he wasn't sure if it was going to end well. Somehow, Ofc Casuccio was able to determine that the gun was not a threat and he lowered his own weapon without firing. The boy was delivered home to his parents, who were no doubt horrified. Jim said they knew the child had a realistic looking toy gun, but that he'd been forbidden to take it out of the house.
Horrifying, terrifying situation.
Thank you to Ofc Casuccio, Columbus Division of Police, and all the other law enforcement officers across the country who go to work every day and try to make a difference.