A Kansas police officer, discouraged after months of growing anti-police sentiment, found encouragement in an unlikely place: a local Chili's restaurant.
Officer Rance Quinn says his job has become more tense and confrontational in recent months. “It just seems like there’s a lot of anti-police type of activity going on,” he told WDAF. “I know we’re unwanted but it makes us feel like we’re under-appreciated.”
In March 2016, he and a co-worker visited Chili’s during their lunch break, reports WDAF. A teenaged girl from a nearby table passed by as she left the restaurant. On her way out, says Officer Quinn, she dropped a napkin on the officers’ table.
The Kansas City Police Department posted a picture of the napkin on their Facebook page. The unnamed girl had written, “Thanks for keeping us safe,” on the napkin in pen.
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Since then, Officer Quinn has carried the napkin around in his pocket, he told WDAF. He uses it to remind himself of the people that support him, even on the days he feels like giving up.
According to the Facebook post, the girl’s thank-you note was the first in a series of gestures of support during the officers’ lunch. The occupants of another nearby table bought the officers’ meal for them. Another patron thanked the officers and gave them a gift card, which WDAF says the officers passed on to a needy family.
Officer Quinn says he wished he could thank the girl who dropped off the napkin. He told WDAF that, if he had the opportunity to talk to her, he would want to tell her, “The message you gave to us that day was powerful. Don’t ever change who you are.”
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The KCKPD Facebook post asks people to assist in locating the kind strangers from the Chili’s so that the officers can offer their thanks. The post has garnered over 2,000 shares in less than 11 weeks.
“I’m normally not a big ask you to share person,” the post says, “but in this case please share in hopes that these gestures make it back to the people that did them so they will know just how appreciated and POWERFUL their actions were.”