On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS October 24, 2016 #616 Up Next…Helping others!
After further review…A longtime friend and former LSU basketball coach, Dale Brown, sent me this story: When Cpl. Kirk Keffer of the Bencia (CA.) Police Department spotted a lone, lanky black teenager walking on Industrial Way sometime after 11 p.m., he wondered what the young man was doing out there by himself. Industrial Way in Benicia is not known for being pedestrian-friendly. So he stopped his patrol car and called out to 18-year-old Jourdan Duncan, who was equally startled. Jourdan became nervous, but said to himself, “I haven’t done anything wrong, but… is he gonna cuff me?”
told Cpl. Keffer that he had just gotten off his packaging-line job at Pro-Form Labs in Benicia and was walking to his home in Vallejo. “That’s seven miles away,” Keffer said. Duncan said he had just graduated from Bethel High School, his car had broken down, so he was walking to save money, and didn’t want to burden others for rides. Duncan had figured it out to be a two-and-a-half hour walk; but with his headphones on, he said he could just power-walk it!
Officer Keffer was impressed with Duncan’s determination and drove him home, a 15- minute ride. “At age 18,” Keffer said to Duncan, “that’s a good work ethic to have, just keep doing what you’re doing.” When Keffer returned to the police station, he wondered how he could help Duncan and, perhaps, eliminate the stress of that five mile walk. Keffer set his project in action.
Polling the Bencia Police Officers’ Association, he convinced the board to buy Duncan a bicycle, but not just any bike considering the steep hills Duncan had to navigate. Through the help of shop owner, Greg Andrade, they came up with a $500 Giant-brand bike complete with a lighting system, brake light, and helmet.
Shortly thereafter at Pro-Form Labs, Duncan’s boss told him to go outside since “some policemen want to see you.” Again, Duncan’s heart was in his throat! Keffer and other officers were waiting; Keffer said, “We would like to acknowledge your hard work and dedication,” and then presented Duncan with the bike. Duncan’s expression of gratitude included, “The walk isn’t hard. It’s like a challenge – a challenge to see if I was willing to do whatever it takes.”
The TunneySide steps aside from its usual presentation of stories dealing with sports, to relate the impressiveness of Duncan’s challenge, coupled with police officers who help others every day. Yet when they do, these acts of kindness are so often overlooked. This story is dedicated to those men and women in our police force who go beyond to help others.
Will you be willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done?
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