Officer Freeman, assigned to the Central Patrol Station, has been an Patrol Officer at Central for 12 years and works the Near North Side Neighborhood. During her time she has made outstanding relationships in the community. One of them is with Mr. Pena , whom she checks on from time to time. Recently, she observed Mr. Pena in need of dire assistance. Officer Freeman took to Facebook and posted a picture with her and Mr. Pena with the following message:
“I need a Christmas miracle...this is Mr. Pena, a citizen friend in my beat who I check on time to time. He's a proud and strong 75-80 years old young man (he won't tell me his age lol). He needs a new wheelchair...anybody know anyone who may have a gently used one or somewhere I can find one cheap. The foot rest thingie is broken and he keeps hurting his feet (he's already healing from a broken leg) and the wheels don’t work well either. He was also asking if anyone knows anyone who maybe able to fix the hole in his roof and maybe help around the house a little.
Any help will be greatly appreciated. Please pass on to your church/friends.”
Officer Freeman was able to work with Officer Vogelsang of our Homeless Outreach Team to get a wheelchair for Mr. Pena. The HOT Tram also provided a warm jacket and blanket for Mr. Pena. Captain Guinn-Shaver of Central Patrol reached out to Walgreens located on Studemont and Washington and they provided numerous gifts (wheelchair cushion, cookies, pants, and socks) to make his Christmas one he will never forget. This is a great example of excellent community policing and using the tool of social media to assist our wonderful community.