Video: Young girl fights to save dad's job as officer

Proposed budget in Anderson, Ind., would eliminate seven police officers and more than 20 firefighters


WXIN

ANDERSON, Ind. — A young girl created a video and posted it on YouTube in order to try to save her father's job.

Mariah Grant, 11, recorded the video Monday, and it was posted that night.  It is titled "Little Girl Saving Her Daddy". 

"Her dream is that her daddy gets to keep his job of being a police officer,” Kristian Grant, Mariah’s mother, said.

Her father works for the Anderson police department.  He has been working for them about two years, and it was his dream to become an officer.

"It’s always been my dream.  I love to help people and obviously I don't do it for the money.  I do it because of what I want to do in life.  I wanted to help somebody," Officer Jamie Grant said.

He said he was surprised when he found out his daughter put together a video. 

"I know my daughter (is a) big daddy's girl and she's pretty upset when we heard about the possible layoffs or whatever," Officer Grant said.

Thursday, the city council will hear the first reading on the mayor's city budget.  The proposed budget would eliminate seven police officers jobs and more than 20 firefighters.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.  Two hours before the meeting, people are planning to picket outside the Anderson city building in downtown.

"I hope people do see this (my daughter's video) and they realize the seriousness of this situation," Officer Grant said. 

The Fraternal Order of Police VP William Ray said people will rally on Thursday. 

"We've tried to get a message out to the public that we are….we're here to serve them and we're scared that with the traumatic reduction of our manpower that our services are going to be cut to them.  We want them to support us as we support them," Ray said.

In the four-minute long video, Mariah Grant does not speak.  She is silent, but raises her arm toward the camera with different note cards.  On those note cards, she scribbled her message.  Her mom said she expressed her pain about her dad possibly losing his job.

"It's more than a job.  It's more than money and as a wife, I see him hurting,” Kristian Grant said.  "I'm trying to be strong for my family and keep motivating him to not give up.  You can't give up,” Kristian Grant said.

"We've been through a lot and she knows everything we've (been) through.  She told me she wants to help me out and she’s going to fight for me,” Officer Grant said.

Officer Grant has five children, and he is the sole provider.  His wife said it could mean losing their home.

"Knowing we could lose…especially (having) to leave the city that we love.  We love being here,” Officer Grant expressed.

“He’s an officer 24-7.  This is a passion for him,” Kristian Grant said.

Officer Grant wants to be able to continue living his dream.  "I tell my kids you never give up. 
If there's something you feel strongly about, you stand up and say what's right,” Kristian Grant said.

Deputy Mayor Pete Heuer said this situation has been emotional and he said it has not been easy.  He stressed the police department and the fire departments are not the only agencies facing possible layoffs. 

"They're not the only ones who are affected by this.  They happen to be the largest department in the civil city budget,” Heuer said.

“I hope the public officials will realize that we are here.  We do this job because it’s in our hearts,” Ray said.

Deputy Mayor Heuer said the city is in its position today because of previous decisions. 

"Unfortunately the revenue is just not there and we do feel very badly about what could possibly happen to these young families,” he said.

During Thursday’s meeting, there could be a second reading on the proposed budget.  During those two meetings, people can voice their opinions and concerns to the council.  The council will vote October 23 at 5 p.m. 

The city is also fighting the firefighters union about their contact, which does prohibit layoffs.  It is in the court system.

Reprinted with permission from WXIN

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