“What Would It Hurt to Put Them Up for the Night? I Had the Extra Funds. It Made Me Feel Better that I Did This Because … I Wouldn’t Sleep”

On 26 August 2015, Corporal Che Atkinson helped a woman with a domestic dispute while he was at work at the Prince George’s County Police Department’s station in Hyattsville, Maryland. He contacted social services and a relative of the woman. The relative was supposed to pick up the woman and her one-year-old daughter. The next day, however, the woman was still at the police department lobby, sleeping. “She was now homeless,” Corporal Atkinson said. “What would it hurt to put them up for the night? I had the extra funds. It made me feel better that I did this because … I wouldn’t sleep.” He got permission from his supervisor, Sergeant Jimmy Seger, to pay for a hotel bill for the woman. Sergeant Seger wrote this on the police department’s Facebook page: “With his own money, Corporal Atkinson rented the woman and her child a hotel room. He found a child car seat and put it in his cruiser in order to safely transport the little girl to the hotel. He also bought them food and drinks. We wish this mother and daughter well in the future.” Patrolman Michael Owens, a member of the county Police Department, said, “I’m sure Corporal Atkinson didn’t know [his good deed] was going to receive this much publicity. He was just doing his job. Something like this extends a sort of goodwill to the community that one bad apple doesn’t necessarily destroy the whole bunch.” Corporal Atkinson said, “Officers go above and beyond every day. It doesn’t necessarily mean it has to do anything with money, from changing a tire to taking somebody somewhere. This is not a Corporal Atkinson thing. This is for all officers who get up every day, put on a uniform, and try to do the right thing and go home safe to their families.”

For More Information: William J. Ford, “Prince George’s Police Officer’s Good Deed for Woman, Baby Goes Viral.” The Washington Informer. 4 September 2015



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