Baker Police officer helps family in need
BAKER- There are two sides to every story and that's exactly what some officers at the Baker Police Department learned over the weekend.
When officers caught some young boys stealing candy, they could have taken them to the juvenile detention center, but instead, officer Galen Conrad decided to rewrite the ending.
After stealing the candy, officers were able to locate the boys at their home right outside the Baker city limits.
In the children's minds, they had a good reason for stealing the candy.
"We found out they were stealing because they were hungry," said Officer Conrad with the Baker Police Department. "They were pretty low on food."
Once he heard the children's story, Conrad was faced with a decision, lock them up or let them go.
"I chose a different way to handle this because I felt that it would have a bigger impact. Rather than me letting them know 'hey you're gonna go to jail because you did something bad,' maybe I can counsel these kids and show them that you can ask for help. There are other ways to ask for help rather than do a bad thing," said Conrad.
Conrad and his partners at the Baker Police Department banded together and with their own money delivered a second chance.
Officers showed up at Deshawn Henry's home, one of the children caught stealing candy. They were not empty-handed, they had bags full of groceries.
Since the encounter, donations have been coming in for Henry family.
Like so many, they're still recovering from the August 2016 flood. Now, contractors are offering to fix up their home for free.
"Everybody thinks when they see police I'm either going to jail, arrested or harassed. There are good officers all over the state of Louisiana and they reinforce positive reinforcement into our youth. That's our future," says Detective Louis Hamilton.
Baker Police are accepting donations on behalf of the Henry family. Call the Baker Police Department at 225-775-6000 if you'd like to help.