Built by the badge: Officers, city staff perform project for resident in need

When a vision-impaired resident reached out about the dilapidated state of a ramp she uses to enter and exit her home, a group of Temple Police Officers traded in their badges for hammers and came to the rescue.

“Serving and protecting the community does not just apply to on-duty activities.  I could not be more proud of the City, the officer, sergeant and lieutenants that assisted this member of our community in meeting a need,” Police Chief Shawn Reynolds said. “None of the individuals involved did this to receive recognition. They simply heard and saw a need and went to work on making the situation safer for a member of our City.”

Officers volunteered their personal time [EP1] to rebuild the ramp and contacted the City’s Housing & Community Development Department to help coordinate the effort. Chief Reynolds was joined by Lieutenant Buddy Best, Lieutenant Tim Simeroth, Sergeant Keith Mueller, Officer Jacob Cehand and Ron Germann, the city’s neighborhood revitalization manager.[EP2] 

 After securing material donations from Lengefeld Lumber Co. and Lowe’s, the officers and city staff converged on the home to rebuild the ramp.

“We demolished the existing ramp.  All tools were personally owned and provided by myself and PD,” Neighborhood Revitalization Manager Ron Germann said.

A few hours later, the house was sporting a new, sturdy ramp.

“The ramp now features 100% all new wood – new framing, new decking and a new handrail,” Germann said. “In the end, two area iconic businesses donated supplies exceeding $1,000 in value and our great PD team used their day off to get the work done.”

For the officers, their act of goodwill impacted them personally as well as professionally.

“I grew up in that neighborhood only a few hundred yards from her house. It was great to help out in my old neighborhood and to help her in a time of need,” Cehand said. “Contrary to how police are portrayed lately, we do this job to help others and this is a prime example of it.”

City Manager Brynn Myers said those involved demonstrated their commitment to public service.

“Police officers serve their community professionally on a daily basis, but these officers went above and beyond the call of duty to help a neighbor in need,” Myers said. “This act exemplifies the exceptional service that we strive to provide for our residents, and I am proud to have these individuals as part of our organization.”

Germann, who plans to return and paint the ramp, said all involved were grateful to be a part of the experience.

“Handshakes and a joint feeling of having done something special was shared among the team,” Germann said.