GALION — In recent months, police officers and those who serve in any capacity of public safety have dealt with an unfortunate negative turn in the court of public opinion. Without question, the men and women who serve and protect us on a daily basis have a difficult and often thankless job to do.
But here in Galion, recent acts of kindness by Galion Police Officers have been noticed and praised. As recently as last week, a post on social media gave thanks to an unknown officer who kindly paid for the meal of the car behind him in the drive thru line at a local fast food restaurant.
Many little league baseball players at Heise Park were also thankful last summer when officers showed up to pass out free Popsicle on hot summer evenings during and after games.
And when two GPD officers stopped to play a friendly game of basketball with some kids at Heise Park a couple of weeks ago, many residents took notice.
Officers Corey Grant and Austin Chaplin had just finished up a call to the playground at Heise Park when Chaplin noticed a boy playing basketball alone just across the street at the basketball courts.
“I asked Officer Grant how he felt about playing a little basketball, and then we headed that way,” said Chaplin.
While both officers had intended to join the lone player for a quick game, they were meet by a large group of kids when they parked their patrol car.
“It was a huge coincidence when they other kids showed up,” said Chaplin. “And when we asked them if they wanted to play basketball with us, they weren’t sure what to think.”
“We picked some teams and got a game going, and the rest is history.”
“It was nice to deal with kids in the community in a different manor than what we usually do,” Officer Grant noted. “The kids probably looked at us a little different after we played.”
Officers Grant and Chaplin played basketball for about 15 minutes before returning to their patrol car, but it made a huge impression to many. Video and pictures of their simple gesture showed up all over social media.
“We didn’t think it was going to be a big deal at all,” Grant said.
Thankfully, sometimes the smallest gestures carry the biggest impact.