ST. GEORGE — Washington City, UT Police officers have been seen on video and photos performing random acts of kindness. Two officers were recognized by residents and bystanders for going above and beyond the call of duty, acts that did not go unnoticed by their communities.
An incident took place September 3, 2019 which involved a man who was sitting under the Exit 10 overpass with a sleeping bag and his belongings in the heat that reached triple-digit temperatures that day.
Washington City Police officers Matt Pratt and Vince Neighbor were checking in on Project Lifesaver recipients and was dispatched to another residence when they noticed the man that may have needed some assistance.
Officer Pratt said, “I looked at the outside temperature display in the truck and saw that it was 110 degrees.” Their human instinct kicked in that allowed Officer Matt Pratt and his partner Officer Vince Neighbor to pull into the Chevron gas station on West Buena Vista Drive and picked up a gallon of water, a bag of candy, protein bars, Powerade and a chicken sandwich.
The officers returned to where the man was sitting.
With the expression on the man’s face, “it appeared the man thought he was going to be asked to leave. He looked like he thought we were there to kick him out and started gathering up his things,” Pratt said.
Instead, the officers handed the food and water over to the man and gave him their business cards, telling him to call them if he needed anything – even if it was help getting into a shelter, Neighbor said.
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Both Officer Pratt and Officer Neighbor said they became police officers because they wanted to help people, a trait ingrained in the men since childhood. For Neighbor, the decision to join the police force was an extension of his service in the military.
“I joined the military because I wanted to help people, and once that was over, I joined the police department for the same reason, “Officer Neighbor said.
Pratt told St. George News that when he was growing up his father would buy an extra meal while going through the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant, and then he would give the meal to a homeless person or someone in need.
“He never said a word to us about what he was doing,” Officer Pratt said. “He would just hand the meal to someone that looked like they needed it and I’ve never forgotten that.”
This article was originally featured in the St. George News on September 11, 2019 from Cody Blowers from the St. George News and was submitted to Law Enforcement Today by Eyvaine Walker-Lindsey.
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