Derby police officer recognized for good deed



DERBY, Kan. (KSNW) — A Derby police officer went above and beyond while serving his community Wednesday.

Officer Gary Palmer of the Derby Police Department responded to a report of larceny at a local grocery store in Derby.

Palmer says after the victim was done shopping, she went to put her groceries in her car. He says that she had her wallet in her cart, put the cart up, put her groceries in her car, and then realized she did not have her wallet. It was gone.

Among the contents in her wallet were identification and money.

“Unfortunately, she had about 1,400 dollars worth of cash in there, multiple credit cards, her military ID, as well as some of her husbands’ things in there,” said Officer Palmer.

According to Palmer, the money was for moving expenses, as the family is moving to a new duty station.

Palmer took her report.

“I try to leave the person in a better position than they are, in a dark situation like that, I try to at least bring some type of light with jokes, laughter, whatever it may be,” said Palmer.

After giving the victim a case number and saying he would investigate it further, they parted ways.

But before Officer Palmer got far, he saw the victim waving him down.

Officer Palmer said she asked for five dollars to put in her tank, as she was out of fuel and did not have any cash.

Officer Palmer told her that he didn’t have cash, but he had his debit card. They headed to the grocery store’s fuel station.

Instead of putting five dollars in her tank, he went ahead and put in 20 dollars worth.

“It wasn’t a big deal to me; it’s just 20 dollars. Just a small gesture and this type of community is usually welcoming and giving. I just wanted to give back in a bad situation,” said Officer Palmer. “Twenty dollars is nothing like the 1,400 she lost. I really wish I would’ve been able to give her more.”

After the victim received help from Palmer, she made a Facebook post about him.

Palmer did not initially know about the post.

“I got back to the station … and my sergeant actually said, “Good job, looks like you made the Derby chatter Facebook page,” and I was like, “What?” “Yeah, you paid for that lady’s fuel; she made a post about you,” and I was like, “Oh, was not expecting that.””

“I didn’t even know she took the photo,” said Palmer.

As for getting the victim’s money back, Palmer says she “may be out of that money for a while.”

The case is ongoing while Derby police try to find the suspect.

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