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The Up-Beat: Cops help homeless, breastfeed child, save runaway

By PoliceOne Staff

Lending a helping hand is part of the job for officers of the law — but their daily good deeds rarely make headlines. With our new series, we aim to bring some much-deserved attention to the little things our officers do for our communities every day. Check out this week's round-up of inspiring stories from around the country.

1. Ariz. officer gives shoes intended for son to homeless man

PHOENIX — A Phoenix officer’s act of kindness has people praising his actions, 12 News reported.

Officer Mark Valenzuela was on patrol when he noticed a homeless man he was speaking to did not have shoes on.

Valenzuela took the man to find shoes at a nearby store, but couldn’t find any that fit the man. The officer then took out a pair of shoes intended for his son and they fit the man perfectly. 

“Most officers that come on this job come on because we want to help people," he said. “It doesn't take much to show a little bit of kindness and give a complete stranger something."

2. Ore. deputy rescues runaway 2-year-old on highway

01092016 Media Release

The following video is for educational purposes and not intended to ridicule or question those involved. The incident was investigated thoroughly and determined to be accidental and no criminal charges will be brought to the parties involved. The video is intended to focus on traffic safety and the dangers of distracted driving.

Posted by Lincoln County Sheriff's Office - Oregon on Thursday, January 21, 2016

NEWPORT, Ore. — A Lincoln County deputy rescued a 2-year-old child who was found running down the middle of a highway, KGW reported.

Dash cam footage showed the child, barely visible in the distance, running towards the officer’s patrol vehicle. Deputy Jeremy Gautney grabbed the child and brought them into the vehicle safe from the danger of passing cars.

"Shortly after removing the child from the highway, Deputy Gautney was alerted to the child’s frantic parents who were searching for him," sheriff spokesperson Lt. Curtis Landers told the news site. 

The family was at a nearby gathering when the child slipped through the doors and ran away down the highway.

The child was returned unharmed.

3. Colombian officer saves abandoned baby by breastfeeding it

COLOMBIA — An officer is getting high praise for going above and beyond the call of duty after she helped save an abandoned baby by breastfeeding it while the ambulance was en route, Metro news reported. 

Luisa Fernanda Urrea, a new mother herself, was called to a remote settlement when police found the baby in some undergrowth. The baby was starving and at risk for hypothermia.

Urrea breastfed the child while the ambulance was on its way. 

“I’m a new mother and I have milk and I recognised the needs that this poor little creature had,” Urrea told the news site. “I think any woman would have given her nourishment in the same circumstances.”

The infant was treated and is expected to make a full recovery.

4. Minn. hitchhiker fed by trooper, kept warm in sheriff’s office

AITKIN COUNTY, Minn. — It was 15 degrees below when a man on a 50-mile trek needed shelter, FOX 9 reported.

Eventually the vagabond decided to try and keep warm on the side of the highway. That’s when passersby noticed him in the frigid weather.

A motorist called dispatch and Trooper Glen Bihler arrived to assist.

“He had been walking from Grand Rapids since early yesterday morning. And just got to the point where he couldn’t feel his feet anymore,” Trooper Bihler told the news site.

The man hadn’t eaten in over 24 hours, so the trooper took him to McDonald’s to grab a warm bite. Then he took him to the sheriff’s office. 

“That’s the only place in the county that’s open so that’s where he spent the night,” Bihler told FOX 9.

The trooper was praised for his actions by the motorists.

5. Ariz. officer assists driver having seizure


TPD OFFICER PREVENTS DRIVER FROM COLLIDING WITH ONCOMING TRAFFIC DURING MEDICAL EMERGENCYOn September 30, 2015, Sgt. Martin Espinoza of the Tucson Police Department was in a marked patrol vehicle in the area of Country Club and Fort Lowell. Sgt. Espinoza observed a white vehicle in the roadway surrounded by several individuals. The vehicle was facing westbound and was blocking the southbound lanes on Country Club. Sgt. Espinoza drove through the Circle K parking lot in order to get behind the vehicle. As Sgt. Espinoza approached, one of the individuals outside the vehicle advised him that the driver was having a seizure. The vehicle began to travel westbound. Sgt. Espinoza activated his emergency equipment, but the driver was not responsive. As the vehicle continued to travel westbound, the vehicle drifted in the direction of oncoming traffic. Sgt. Espinoza positioned his patrol car between the vehicle and oncoming traffic. The vehicle collided with his patrol vehicle at a very low speed. This action prevented the vehicle from drifting into oncoming traffic. Once the vehicle was stopped, Sgt. Espinoza made contact with the driver. The Tucson Fire Department responded to the scene, and the driver of the vehicle received medical assistance. Thanks to Sgt. Espinoza's quick thinking and response during this situation, he most likely saved the life of the driver and possibly other motorists on the roadway.

Posted by Tucson Police Department on Thursday, January 21, 2016

TUCSON — Dash cam video captured a heroic moment by a quick-thinking officer when a motorist succumbed to a seizure while driving.

Tucson.com reported Sgt. Martin Espinoza first spotted the motorist drifting into oncoming traffic on Sept. 30. He used his patrol vehicle as a blockade to stop the vehicle and keep other cars from plowing into the vehicle.

This action prevented motorists from a possibly deadly collision as Espinoza slowly stopped the vehicle.

“He most likely saved the life of the driver and possibly other motorists on the roadway,” the department wrote on a Facebook post.

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