Author David Cimperman Jr.
About 10 years ago, I got called to Walmart. The manager meets us at the front door. A 30-something guy with a 6-month-old is standing with her, several items in his cart. A package of bologna, a loaf of bread, a package of diapers, and a gallon of milk.
Manager says she caught the guy trying to walk out with the cart. Gave her no trouble, and she is forced to call us by policy. I asked, if you were not forced to call, would you have, she says no. Okay, how much for the items? She says about 12.00.
Okay, ask the guy what’s going on. He says his wife got hooked on drugs and left them several months before. They are homeless, living in his car.
It is apparent he is only taking what he must have. Diapers, milk, cheap bologna and bread.
I call dispatch. Get a few numbers for him to call the next day for help, including a church that will help him out while waiting on the Government agencies to fill out paperwork.
I pull the manager off to the side and the other officer who responded with me. I tell her, unless she demands I arrest the guy, I’m letting him go. And I tell her I have $6.00 on me to let him buy some of what he needs, she pulls out $3.00 and the other guy pulls out a few. She rings up the stuff at employee discount; we pay for it.
We see the guy a few times as the year progresses. He got help, and an apartment and as far as the following two years went, did fine.