BEYOND THE BADGE

Officer Rusty Bingham & Officer Trent Thompson, Riverdale Police Department

Sep 6, 2016, 9:22 AM | Updated: Aug 4, 2022, 11:09 am
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The following nomination letter was written by Scott Brenkman, Chief of Police for the Riverdale Police Department:

Officer Rusty Bingham and Officer Trent Thompson responded on a call for service at a local business and while investigating that call they came upon an elderly male who was homeless. He was wet because it had been raining and it was quite cool outside at the time. The individual explained that he had family around the country, but did not want to bother them, he had recently lost his home and was staying in a nearby wooded area. His wallet had been stolen so he had no identification and because of that he was having difficulty finding a job and getting his social security benefits.

Officer Bingham and Thompson took him to a local motel and paid out of their own pockets for him to get a room so he could dry out, take a warm shower and try to get some rest so he could get back on his feet. They also bought food for him and had it delivered to the room. He had several bags of his belongings he was carrying and because of the weight of those bags he had difficulty walking and carrying them. They made arrangements to store some of his belongings at the police department while he tried to take care of his issues so he didn’t have to pack his bags everywhere he went. Within the next few weeks they continued their contact with him and helped him get his state identification so he could collect his benefits and attempt to become employed. Several months later the police department received a letter from this individual expressing gratitude saying, he felt that these officers were angels sent from God to help him get through the difficult time he was experiencing. These two officers went far beyond the call of duty to serve someone in our community who was in dire need of help and did not know where to turn to get that help. They could have went on their way that day as the man was doing nothing wrong, but they seized an opportunity to serve and make someone’s life better. I can’t thank them enough for their generous act of kindness.

Officer Bingham and Officer Thompson throughout their careers have always sought out individuals to serve that were either down on their luck, or in need of a little extra help. Sometimes helping families provide Christmas gifts to their children who couldn’t afford to, or stopping to mow the lawn, or shovel snow for an elderly person who was struggling to do so. They both thrive on the service oriented part of their job and never seek recognition. Most of the time we never find out about their acts of service until the benefactor steps forward to let us know.

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Officer Rusty Bingham & Officer Trent Thompson, Riverdale Police Department