One police officer is being hailed for her diligence in protecting and serving the members of her community – even the non-human ones.
The compassionate cop was spotted by Carolyn B. R. Hammett earlier this week when she was driving through the pouring rain near her home in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Hammett and her husband were surprised to see the officer standing in the middle of the road – but they were even more confused as to why the policewoman was smiling, even though she looked drenched to the bone.
As they got closer, they realized that the officer – who was later identified as Sharnise Hawkins-Graham – was protecting a snapping turtle who was stubbornly sitting on the pavement.
“I couldn’t believe that she was standing there guarding that turtle in all that rain,” Hammett told The Dodo. “Not many people would do that, regardless of their occupation. She was serving and protecting in every sense of the word.”
According to Hammett, a local resident had called animal control about the turtle because they were concerned for its safety on the busy street. With all the bad weather, the person was worried it would be hit by a car.
Additionally, snapping turtles are dangerous to handle without proper equipment – so when Hawkins-Graham got to the scene before animal control, she resolutely took her place on the road to watch over the reptile until help arrived.
Instead of leaving the officer to her job, however, Hammett’s husband held an umbrella over her head while his wife went home to get some shovels. The couple then used the shovels to escort the turtle to safety on the other side of the road.
“The officer thanked us and we thanked her and we all went on our way,” Hammett added. “She was smiling a big broad smile the entire time and she never seemed to care that she was drenched completely through. She was delightful, inspirational, kind, all the things that you think a police officer should be.”
Slow And Steady May Win The Race, But We Can’t Wait To Share This Sweet Story With Your Friends – Photos by Carolyn B R Hammett