As the stay at home order has been extended, people who are most at risk of contracting coronavirus are running low on options when it comes to running essential errands. Members of the LAPD are volunteering their time to help these people in need under Operation Blue Heart.
It was started by Captain Shannon Paulson of the LAPD Mid Wilshire division. She asked members of the LAPD to pitch in and volunteer their time to help people who are most at risk by doing things like picking up medicine, taking a dog for a walk, or picking up and delivering groceries.
“We have the community that we’re sworn to serve, facing an aggressor that we can’t see — that we can’t protect against. I think a lot of my officers found that exceptionally frustrating,” Paulson said.
That’s why she put out a call for LAPD volunteers. On their time off, they run any errands that people most at risk may need.
“It makes me feel good. It reiterates the reason I came on this job is to help people,” Sgt. James Mankey said about Operation Blue Heart.
Mankey made a stop at Sprouts for Operation Blue Heart, filling up his grocery cart with all the food on the list from a couple in need. Then he loaded up his car and dropped it off at Matthew Tallmer’s home.
“I’m diabetic. So I don’t want to go out unless I absolutely have to, and I read about this in the paper and this is a lifeline for people who really can’t go out,” Tallmer said.
For the volunteers, it may not be the way they’re used to serving their community, but it’s what many people need most right now.
“If we can continue what we are doing and lessen the chance of other people getting sick, and exposing themselves to it, then that’s what we are going to do,” Mankey said.
What seems like a small errand goes a long way for those trying to stay home and stay safe.
“It means more than just getting groceries. It means to me that there’s people out there, officers and the department, who actually care,” Tallmer said.
Operation Blue Heart is new, but it’s being extended outside the Mid Wilshire division. If you are interested in finding out more, you can send an email to [email protected].