A sheriff’s deputy in Spokane County, Washington, is making headlines for spearheading a new program that allows him to aid the homeless during his shift.
According to KREM News, Deputy Randy Watts began developing the idea after encountering a homeless man found sleeping below a building last month.
“One of the instances I had a transient that was sleeping underneath a closed business,” Watts said. “So someone called in a suspicious person. We contact that person, there’s no law enforcement action necessary so then we turn to what can we do to help him.”
Following the incident, Watts headed down to the Union Gospel Mission and devised a way to provide the homeless with much needed items while on patrol.
With bags full of hand warmers, socks, toothbrushes and water, Watts began handing out the “transient assistance kits” on a daily basis.
“I pass two or three out a night,” Watts said. “It feels good as an officer to be able to help.”
The Union Gospel Mission stated that Watts’ program has yielded enormous success since the pair partnered less than one month ago.
“He has been just absolutely phenomenal as far as spearheading this…” an employee said.
In an effort to battle misinformation, Watts also includes important facts on the role of local shelters inside each kit.
“It’s been really great,” Watts said. “There’s a lot of miscommunication or misinterpretation that the transients have about the warming shelters… about the services offered in Spokane.”
Similar actions by officers such as Watts seldom receive recognition as they are often ignored or overshadowed by instances of police corruption.
Late last year another set of peace officers in Utah made headlines as well after embarking on a 350-mile journey to safely transport an 87-year-old woman to her sick son.
The woman had initially backed into an officer’s vehicle after being pulled over, prompting the officer to escort, not arrest, her to another officer to be given safe passage.
One of the officers involved joined the Alex Jones Show last month to detail his experience with the woman.