LINDON, Utah (ABC4) – Changing people’s perception of police means a lot to one officer in Lindon. He’s building connections in ways people don’t often expect, in this edition of Behind the Badge.
There’s an old saying that loosely reads “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind read” (Christian Nestell Bovee, 1862). A police sergeant in Lindon does acts of kindness in ways most people don’t see coming.
Out on patrol in Utah County, Sgt. David Welcker of Lindon likes to do the unexpected.
“A little nice gesture goes a long way,” said Sgt. David Welcker, Lindon Police Dept.
On this day, it’s stopping by the Apollo Burger drive-thru and buying lunch and some ice for a man Welcker knows is living out of his car in a parking lot.
“That’s not what people are expecting, it’s just a way of helping change that perspective to the citizens that we are here, we want what’s best for them, it’s not all just slapping their hand,” said Welcker.
For Welcker, these perspective-changing acts of kindness are kind of the norm. He’s been caught before filling up people’s cars with gas, even getting under the hood to fix a driver’s car that broke down. If fact, the very minute ABC4 News arrived to interview Welcker, he was on his way to give one of his coworkers a thank you gift for housesitting for him while Welcker was out of town.
“Remember that one time you took care of me? This is for you. This is for your boy. I appreciate it,” he said.
Welcker knows each time these gestures cost him a couple of bucks but believes they bridge gaps not accomplished simply through normal police work.
“Not only do I feel like I’m being more accepted, but I do believe people feel like they can trust me more too,” Welcker said.
The way Welcker sees it, breaking barriers and building connections takes officers doing the unexpected.
Sgt. Welker said the end goal is to let people know the police are just as human as you are. Whether it works probably depends on the person. For that, there’s some wisdom from Aesop’s fables – “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”