Carlinville officer goes beyond call of duty

Carlinville officer goes beyond call of duty

THE ISSUE: Officer Mike Stephenson of Carlinville Police Department purchased a new bike with his own personal money for a young man whose bike was stolen.

OUR VIEW: The Christmas spirit shines brightly through the generosity of this police officer.

Often times we erroneously believe that happy endings are confined to Hallmark movies or occur in locales rather than in our own midst. However, such a happy ending recently transpired here in Carlinville the Friday before Christmas.

A young man, well known and liked by many in our city, parked his bike outside the local theatre while he enjoyed a movie. When the movie ended, he exited the theatre to find his bike had been stolen. Upon reporting this to the theatre they contacted the Carlinville Police Department and Officer Mike Stephenson responded to the call, recorded the necessary details of the bike and what had occurred, and completed his report. Case closed? Not hardly.

Knowing that this was the only means of transportation this young man had, Officer Stephenson went to the young man’s residence after completing his shift and invited him to accompany him to Walmart, where he allowed the young man to select a new bike for which the officer used his own personal money to purchase the bike.

Nothing could contain the gratitude of this young man for what the officer had done for him. While the officer intended for his act to only be known between the two, news of such a heartwarming gesture quickly spread via social media, and rightfully so. The officer, newly married and a newcomer to the Carlinville Police Department, certainly went above and beyond the call of duty. We are quite certain he could have used the funds he so generously gave for his own interests, however, he opted instead to listen to the wisdom his mother gave him when he was growing up, which was to always help those in need. And in doing so, Officer Stephenson not only made sure the young man felt safe again within his home, but more importantly, helped restore his faith in humanity again.

Thank goodness for parents like Officer Stephenson’s mother, and thank goodness that we have police officers like Officer Stephenson who patrol our great little city and try when able to make amends for those who seek to engage in criminal activity.

Too many times individuals are quick to criticize our first responders. We hope that the next time they do, they remember the actions of Officer Mike Stephenson, as a shining example of what many of them do on a frequent basis quietly behind the scenes. Well done, Officer Stephenson!