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‘Beds for Kids’ – Seattle Police Officers Go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

“However, I’d argue, having been a cop, I got to see what cops do more than the average person gets to. I saw this kind of generous spirit all the time with my own eyes.”

Last night, a child slept on a floor, wrapped in an old blanket, trying to stay warm against a threadbare carpet. Tonight, thanks to two Seattle police officers, Ryan Gallagher and Jeremy Wade, the child will be sleeping in a soft bed, perhaps the first bed they could call their own in their young lives. And so will hundreds of other children if the pair of cops get their way.

In 2013, officers Gallagher and Wade responded to a 911 disturbance call. During their investigation, they saw two little girls sleeping on the floor. They were living with their grandparents and had no beds. Struck by the scene of these kids sleeping on the floor, the officers went out, bought beds for the children, came back, and set them up.

These cops are not the exceptions; these cops are the rule.

In 2014, this kind act morphed into Beds for Kids – Seattle. The effort has provided beds for over 500 western Washington children. Their ambitious goal this year is to get beds for 600 kids. They have partnered with the Seattle Police Foundation and have established relationships with several corporate allies.

Their generosity as police officers is not surprising. I worked with Ryan and Jeremy for several years at Seattle’s East Precinct. They began their shift as I was finishing mine. They are both kind and humble men. I’m sure they are embarrassed at the media attention, but I’m also sure they surrender to the discomfort of the spotlight because they see it as a small price to pay to help kids.

Other times parents may have made poor choices, and their children suffer the consequences, which can include sleeping on the floor. Either way, it is never the child’s fault.

I cringe when people argue that police officers like this are an anomaly. These cops are not the exceptions; these cops are the rule. People might expect me to say how great cops are because I spent a career in law enforcement. However, I’d argue, having been a cop, I got to see what cops do more than the average person gets to. I saw this kind of generous spirit all the time with my own eyes. I saw cops pull out their wallets because some officer was raising money for a family whose car was broken into or home was burglarized.

Some parents legitimately cannot afford to provide every necessity for their families. Other times parents may have made poor choices, and their children suffer the consequences, which can include sleeping on the floor. Either way, it is never the child’s fault.

Officers Gallagher and Wade know this is the case, and these two fine police officers and even finer men are doing something about it.

Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens Contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including Is There a Problem, Officer? and the upcoming De-Policing: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. He served as a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and as a precinct mountain bike coordinator. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys riding his Harley and hiking and cycling with his wife who is also an English major as well as a retired firefighter.

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