Chippewa Falls Police Officers Give Community Member a Warm Place to Sleep
On a recent cold night in November, Top Cops and Chippewa Falls Police Officers James Luckey and Drew Zehm, and Sergeant Deb Brettingen took the situation into their own hands when they discovered a community member was about to spend a sixth night out on the streets. All three officers pooled their own personal money to pay for food and two nights at a local hotel for a community member who was homeless. This selfless act earned Luckey, Zehm, and Brettingen Attorney General Schimel’s Top Cops award.
“Law enforcement officers across our state and nation embody altruism and regularly go above and beyond the call of duty,” said Attorney General Schimel. “The story of Officers Luckey and Zehm, and Sergeant Brettingen in Chippewa Falls is an incredible reminder of the caliber of individuals we have serving on the front lines. I’m glad this account was brought to my attention and thank our friends in the media for giving it the attention it deserves.”
The story of the officers’ actions can be seen at WQOW.com:
“Three officers with the Chippewa Falls Police Department recently helped a person in need get food and lodging at the Indianhead Motel in Chippewa Falls. While they won't identify who the person is, officers said the individual didn't have a place to stay and was found hanging around a local 24-hour business for the past five nights. Officers learned the person was also waiting on their first paycheck from their new job.
After two of the three officers made several phone calls to find assistance for the individual, they contacted Sergeant Deb Brettingen. She said the three of them took it upon themselves to pay for a hotel room and some food out of their own pocket. "This individual was walking an hour back and forth to work every single day and just didn't want to lose that job,” Sergeant Brettingen said. “That was all they had. The shoes and the clothes on their back was all they had. This is a very unique circumstance, and this shows what kind of problem we have with homelessness in the community."
Sergeant Brettingen and the officers said they don't want recognition for what they did. They said they were just simply were doing their job to help someone who was down on their luck.”
“I cannot say enough about the care, compassion and empathy [these officers] showed this person. This is a true example of Chippewa Falls Police Department’s Integrity, Compassion and Commitment. I am proud to have all these fine officers working for the community,” said Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm.
Since this story aired, Chief Kelm reports a number of homelessness service organizations have reached out to the Chippewa Falls Police Department to provide training and contact information, should a similar situation occur again. “Not only was this [one] person helped, now we will be better able to help others,” said Chief Kelm.