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Nashville Officer Mows a Widow’s Lawn After Responding to False Alarm

Sekou Samassi is a Metro police officer in Nashville.  On the July 4th holiday, he responded to a house alarm going off in the Green Hills part of the city.

It’s a neighborhood where you’ll find plenty of brick veneer homes with detached designs because sewers weren’t added to the area until after the properties were improved.

It used to be a place where you could see stereotypical suburbia. Plenty of infill has happened in recent years, causing the open spaces and larger lots to get redivided for high-density development.

Officer Samassi arrived to investigate the alarm report and discovered Mary Catherine outside. She was taking a break from cutting her grass, her shirt soaked from the effort.

Mary Catherine is a widow and is 75 years old. The two investigated the house together and found no evidence of intruders or anything else wrong.

It seemed like the end of the call, but then Samassi saw the lawnmower sitting outside on the grass. He paused for a moment, then turned back to Mary Catherine.

“Hey, sorry to bother you,” Samassi said, “but I’d really like to cut the rest of your yard for you, if you don’t mind. It’d make me happy.”

Serving and Protecting Can Take Many Forms

“You know, it’s the Fourth of July, and this lady is by herself,” said Samassi. “I was like, the least I can do is offer to her to finish to cut the rest of her grass because she cut a good amount of it already.” [[2]]

Although Mary Catherine initially resisted the idea of having someone help her cut her grass, she finally agreed to accept Officer Samassi’s offer.

“It took a little bit of convincing,” said Samassi with a laugh. “I came back and said I don’t really have much going on at this time. I have some time that I can spare, and I would love to cut your grass.”

Mary Catherine Sent a Letter to the Police Chief

As he was working, Mary Catherine took a picture of Officer Samassi working behind the lawnmower. That image was sent with an email to Nashville’s police chief. “I am writing to let you know about my encounter with a Metro police officer yesterday,” she said. “It was delightful.” [[2]]

Samassi has been working with the police department for the past five years. He said that the email created an emotional reaction. “It kind of made me blush, actually,” he said with a laugh. “But I loved doing it. The pleasure was all mine.”

“His visit and concern on an otherwise lonely and bleak holiday was the highlight of my week,” said Mary Catherine. “What a pleasant encounter this was, and I thought you should know. He is a terrific ambassador for the police department.”

Serving The Community

Sekou Samassi stepped up to serve his community, as do many others across the United States. Police officers play a role in numerous innovative and essential programs connecting people, fostering open dialog, and bringing people together.

Here are a few of the different programs that could be available in your community if you’re interested in getting to know your local officers better. [[3]]

  1. Shop With a Cop, which is also called Heroes and Helpers, pairs police officers with at-risk youth to find holiday presents for their families. The funds come from gift cards donated by businesses, nonprofits, individuals, and the officers themselves. [[4]]
  2. DARE is a national program that puts police officers into classrooms to encourage kids to resist peer pressure, avoid violence, and steer clear of drugs.
  3. Police Athletics Leagues are active in more than 300 communities, connecting officers with you through academics, athletics, and mentoring.
  4. National Night Out is a one-day event each summer that connects officers with communities by hosting block parties and festivals.
  5. Cops and Barbers originally started in Charlotte, NC. It is now a global program that brings police officers into neighborhood shops to encourage conversations and build positive relationships. [[5]]
  6. Coffee with a Cop is a program that lets the community get to know their officers on a more personal level while having a cup of Joe together.
  7. Police Explorer Programs allow kids and teens to look at what a law enforcement career could be like for them while learning more about how the criminal justice system works.

References:

[[1]] https://twitter.com/Tennessean/status/1545188502094356482;  [2]https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/activists-launch-cops-and-barbers-initiative-to-build-trust-among-community-and-law-enforcement/281-e607ead9-ffee-48f6-b027-a809b505e5f5; [3] https://www.tennessean.com/story/life/2022/07/28/good-news-brad-schmitt-julys-highlights-newsletter/10149534002/; [4]https://www.waldenu.edu/programs/criminal-justice/resource/twenty-five-ways-police-officers-serve-their-communities; [5]http://www.shopwithcops.com