The Sanford Florida police department has received a rash of bad publicity ever since the horrible incident involving the murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. I don't know how much of that criticism and bad publicity is warranted and how much is hyped however there is one thing I know for a fact. Last night one of their officers went out of his way to help me when I was stranded with a flat tire near the Sanford airport. As a token of my appreciation for his actions I wrote an email to Cecil Smith, the Chief of the Sanford Police Department to tell him how much I was impressed with his officer. That email follows:
Cecil Smith, Chief
Sanford Police Department
I returned to the Sanford International Airport about 11:00 p.m. last night and on exiting the parking lot discovered that my left rear tire was flat. I pulled off of Airport Boulevard at Carrier Street and called AAA for assistance. As I waited, one of your officers (whose name I never got but you could probably figure it out from records of who was near that intersection at that time) came on the scene, stopped, and asked if I needed assistance.
I informed the officer that I had a flat and had contacted AAA. He asked if I needed any assistance from him and I asked if there was a 24-hour tire repair service nearby. He thought a minute and then said that he had a portable air compressor that might work to at least fill the tire with air. Did I want to use it? Thinking it was in his car I said yes and the officer said "I'll be right back." He then took off to a nearby police storage facility, retrieved the air compressor, and about 10 minutes later returned. He hooked up the compressor and we chatted while the tire filled with air.
When it was filled I thanked the officer profusely and told him to tell his captain that he is a saint. Now with a tire full of air I dashed back to Sarasota (never exceeding the speed limit of course) and this morning took the tire in for repair.
I'm writing to tell you about the selfless actions of your officer and to let you know how much I appreciated him going the extra mile to help me in the middle of the night. Most people would have vacated the scene once they knew that I had contacted AAA for assistance but your officer chose to stay. Then on telling me about the air compressor he went out of his way to retrieve it and then hooked it up to refill my tire. In all your officer spent more than 30 minutes taking care of me. He could have spent that time tracking down bad guys but instead he wanted to make sure that I was ok and wasn't going to abandon me until he knew that I was.
I hope you can figure out the officer's name and pass on this message to him. As a token of my appreciation for him going above and beyond I'd like to suggest that you send him home a few hours early some Friday afternoon (without charging him vacation time) and tell him its because the guy from Sarasota with the flat tire was impressed by him, his concern for my dilemma and for his professionalism.
University Park, Florida 34201