SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – On July 7th, 2016, five police officers were killed in an ambush during a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas, Texas. It was a horrific attack that shocked and saddened the entire nation, including one little girl who saw the news reports and then started a nationwide mission of love.
Rosalyn Baldwin of Hammond, Louisiana was just six years old when those murders happened and it was not long after that when she heard a voice call her name while she was playing alone in her room.
“Someone said ‘Rosalyn’,” the 11-year-old tells Behind The Badge. “I looked around in my room and to my surprise, nobody was in there.”
She and her parents believe that voice was God, who then gave her a calling to embrace the men and women of law enforcement.
“She said ‘God told me to go out to hug people who have not been hugged, who have not been appreciated,'” her mother Angie shares. “And she said ‘I want to love them and reach them in a time when nobody else has. I want to do that. I want to hug them when nobody else has the whole day or the whole week…They’re killing our heroes and they don’t understand. They’re killing fathers. They’re killing mothers. They’re killing futures. Please, I have to go do this’…God touched her so that she can touch others.”
Her father, Errick Baldwin, is a pastor and a teacher who says Rosalyn has looked up to officers since she was two or three.
“When she began to understand that some officers were being killed, not just in the line of duty but indiscriminately, that deeply affected her,” Errick states. “She wanted some tangible way of showing love and in a child’s mind, her inspiration is simply the best thing I can do is you know, give them a hug.”
She started with her local police department and proceeded to visit agencies all over Louisiana.
“Then we went on, boom boom boom,” Angie explains. “Mississippi and then we went to Alabama and then we went to Florida.”
And then 34 more states over the next five years…including a recent stop at the Salt Lake City Police Department.
“This is amazing. I mean Rosalyn coming to Salt Lake City,” SLCPD Chief Mike Brown shares. “She brings with her love, her hugs, her smile, and her dedication, so this means so much to us.”
Rosalyn wrapped her arms around dozens of SLCPD officers that afternoon, adorning each with a sticker reading “Officially hugged by Rosalyn”. She told Behind The Badge every single one of them is “amazing” and “a hero.”
“I mean, think about all the things they do. They go out to risk their lives every single day. More like every single hour,” Rosalyn says. “They are important. Not all of them are bad and they are loved.”
After her stop in Utah, Rosalyn embraced officers in Idaho and Wyoming, meaning she now has 10 more states to go to complete her nationwide Hugapalooza.
If you’d like to follow her progress, go to: https://ahugforlove.com/