Officers help mother, kids after thieves strike

Officers in Dayton Police’s K-9 unit spent $600 out of their own pockets to “return Christmas” to a single mother and her five children after thieves broke into their home, ransacked it and stole the family’s television.

“Everything in my house, I work hard for; I bought,” said the Dayton mom, who wished to remain anonymous. “The fact that someone felt it was OK to come into my house and take things devastated me.”

When K-9 handler Tedd Trupp responded to the call and learned that it would take her two to three months to replace the television, he approached his unit about replacing it.

“A lot of times, we’re touched by the people that we come across,” said handler Nathan Speelman, one of the officers who donated to the family. “Everyone’s a victim so, in something like this instance where we’re actually able to help somebody out, it means a lot more.”

Speelman said the unit called the woman and told her they “had an update on her case” when, in fact, they planned to surprise her with a brand new TV and Kroger gift cards donated by Police and Clergy Together.

“Almost immediately, I started crying because I knew it wasn’t an update they had,” she said tearfully. “And when they walked in with a TV, I was blown away. Nothing like that ever happens to me.”

The mother said she plans to “pay it forward” and give one of the gift cards to another family in need. But because of the officers’ generosity, her kids have resumed their tradition of Friday night “family movie nights.”

“Just being able to help her out is what Christmas is all about,” said Speelman.

Earlier this holiday season, the department teamed up with Police and Clergy together to surprise 110 members of the community with gift cards.

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