While there's been no shortage of controversy surrounding police officers in recent times, there's been just as many incidents of officers reminding us that the majority of them are men and women who just want to serve and protect the public. Some have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help out their local communities, and we've loved seeing their stories unfold online.
Unfortunately, being a police officer does mean putting yourself in the line of fire at some point or another, and while many officers are able to return home after bad situations come up, not all of them do. While these fallen officers often draw a pension that provides some level of security for their loved ones, that still does very little to help out with the sheer amount of grief that their family must go through after their passing.
Such was the case with the family of Matthew Edwards, a Taylor, Michigan officer who was shot six times while investigating a breaking and entering report. Edwards passed away from his wounds, and left behind his wife Shannon, and two children, Luke and Moriah. After hearing about their situation, Danny McWilliams, an officer from Texas, knew exactly what he had to get them for Christmas...
McWilliams is a volunteer with the Thin Blue Line Dog Project, a group that takes in rescue dogs, trains them as therapy companions, and gives them to the families of fallen officers in order to ease their pain. When he heard about the Edwards's loss, he had a little buddy in mind for the grieving family.
The pup for the job was Preston, who was actually the first dog to complete the program and be ready to help. Preston was originally rescued north of Houston from an owner who gave him up due to him constantly eating socks. “That dog had no manners and was all over the place,” McWilliams said. Thankfully, he completed his training with flying colors!
When McWilliams was approached to comment on the program, he was nothing but optimistic:
“This is the first dog we’ve ever done,” he said. “I believe things are put in place for a reason. I wasn’t just going to release the dog to anyone. (Shannon and I) talked and shared stories. It just (fit) the right way.”
McWilliams flew from Texas to Detroit with Preston at his side, and then drove to Taylor in order to bring Preston to his new family. The Taylor Police Department were thrilled to see him, as was the Edwards family, who immediately fell in love with Preston. As Shannon Edwards said:
“Back when Danny and I first talked, it was just a random conversation. We’re really humbled by the outreach of The Thin Blue Line. This is very special. Luke and Moriah have their own dogs, little ones, but I never got another dog after Matt’s death. My husband had a German Shepherd, but it essentially grieved itself to death after his passing …”
What do you think of this police officer's good deed for the holidays?