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Fountain Police Officers recognized for their "Heart Behind the Badge"

dianne and fountain police heart of badge
Posted at 4:13 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 00:34:03-04

FOUNTAIN — The Fountain Police Department is now giving shout-outs to some of their officers who go above and beyond the call of duty. It's called "Heart Behind the Badge."

"I grew up in a long line of law enforcement," said Fountain Police Sergeant Noah Walter. "My dad has been a cop since I was a young boy, my brother also works for the department, my sister was in law enforcement for a while."

Walter says he knew he wanted a career with purpose.

"When I go to work I don't want to just punch a clock and be done with it," Walter said. "I'd rather have something that is meaningful, that you can help somebody out, you can make the world a better place."

Walter is now doing just that, he and Fountain Police Department Corporal Andrew Anderson are the latest officers being recognized as the "Hearts Behind the Badge" for the Fountain Police Department. It's a new push to tell stories about how their officers are making the world a better place.

"They don't want to be known for doing these things but we wanted to share the stories," said FPD Commander Mark Cristiani. "We want to get it out to the public that officers are real people, have real families, and do real things."

Last month the officers tracked down Lara Mendez's car when they responded to a call about a vehicle that was side-swept by a hit and run driver. However, one problem, Mendez is deaf and said that she didn't even realize what had happened.

"She probably didn't even hear it because of the hearing impairment," Walter said.

"She could read lips very well," said Anderson. "That's when I asked her to turn on her front porch light and she said, 'I can't'."

Electricity to the home was shut off the day before. The family says they barely get by on the disability payments Mendez gets each month. After hearing about this, the officers stepped in, they handed over what money they had, and paid the family's utility bill.

Mendez and her son, Gunnar McClearen, say they were relieved to get that kind of help.

"We get power," McClearen said. "We can do dishes, we can do laundry, take a shower with the lights on."

McClearen said the officers didn't tell the family they were going to pay the utility bill but McClearen figured out that it had to be them.

"It shows that they are people instead of just being forced to do something," said McClearen.

"A lot of people in that situation don't want our help because of the way we are portrayed," said Anderson. "But I can promise you any one of the officers in this department would've done the exact same thing."

"We don't want to do that to get recognized," said Walter. "It feels weird and awkward."

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