The police force is often seen as a cruel and uncaring organization that cares more about laws than people. However, despite the negative media coverage, countless police officers are continuing to serve and protect the public people. They are often underappreciated, but these brave men and women continue to do their best to help others. When one police officer spotted a down on their luck family accidentally breaking the law, he did his best to help them.
Technically, most public parks close at a certain time, and it is considered trespassing to remain in the parks throughout the night. Robert Wood did not know this, so he and his family were spending the night in their car at Alton Baker Park in Oregon. It was freezing cold on that night, but Robert, his pregnant wife, Heather, and their two sons had no other place to sleep. The family was moving away from Alaska, and they did not have money for a hotel or temporary housing. Until they could find a house in their budget range, the family was having to sleep outside. Robert wanted to get a job and take care of his family, but so far, he was not having much luck.
When Lieutenant David Natt, an officer for the Eugene Police Department, first saw the parked car at night, he was going to reprimand whoever was trespassing in the park. If the family had been told they could not sleep there, they would have had to move to an even colder and more unsafe area to rest.However, when he looked in the car, he saw a sleeping family. Robert was holding the four year old on his chest, while Heather was curled around two year old Logan to protect him from the cold. When he saw this heartbreaking scene, Lieutenant Natt knew that he had to help the family instead of just telling them they had to leave the area.
The police officer told the family that they could not sleep in the park, but he would help them find a place to stay. He took them to a local motel, and paid the bill for a few nights so they could stay someplace safe and warm while the Wood family got back on their feet. The Eugene Police Department started to work with a church in the area to provide assistance for the Wood family while Robert finds a job.
The compassionate actions of Lieutenant David Natt were at first unknown, because he did not want to brag about his actions. However, Robert and Heather Wood were so grateful that they started sharing the news about how they had been helped instead of chastised after found asleep in a park. A Facebook post started to spread the news, and people around the world begin to applaud Officer Natt for his charitable deeds. Instead of allowing himself to become flattered by the attention, Officer Natt remains humble. He says that his actions are just “part of our three word motto: protect, serve, and care, and you have to take each one of those, in all circumstances, to heart.”