JENISON, Mich. (WOOD) — An Ottawa County sheriff’s deputy went out of his way to help a family in trouble, and that family went out of their way to make sure he got credit for the good deed.
“Thanks officer for going out of your way and helping me and my wife when you didn’t have to,” Westley White said in a video he took on his cellphone.
Saturday was a rough day for White and his wife. Still grappling with the death of one of their children, they found themselves low on money and low on gas. The couple was driving to a pawn shop to sell some of their things so they could fill up when the tank hit empty.
“We were stranded and we couldn’t call anyone,” White told 24 Hour News 8.
So they called the police, hoping for some help to get their car out of the way. Ottawa County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Dyke responded.
“The cop said, ‘Well, usually we can’t really help as far as taking you guys places. My job is it make sure you’re safe,'” White said. But then, “He seen the stuff in the car that we were going to pawn, he had a change of heart, I guess.”
Dyke took the family to the gas station and paid with his own money for them to fill up.
“We filled up our gas tank and it was a blessing,” White said. “We were able to get home.”
Stories about misdeeds of police officers in places like Chicago and Charleston have dominated headlines of late, causing a lot of criticism and overshadowing the good work most officers do every day.
White admitted that he was among those that had an unfavorable view of police officers.
“Being black and African American, there’s been a lot of stuff going on, like very bad and … you hear about the stuff and you kind of stereotype cops because you only see the bad they do,” he said.
His interaction with Deputy Dyke changed that.
“A lot of people don’t see the good things that cops do,” White said.
Stunned by Dyke’s actions, he recorded it and then called 24 Hour News 8.
“Thank you officer and I appreciate it and I thank you,” White said in the video.
“You’re welcome,” a somewhat bashful Dyke responded. “You have a good day.”
Saturday happened to be Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
Ottawa County Undersheriff Steve Kempker told 24 Hour News 8 he is proud of Dyke and that his actions are in line with his character.