For Kevin Gilbert, being a police officer means helping others – whether he is on duty or on his own time.
Randolph Police Department recently awarded Gilbert a commendation saying he is the “living embodiment of service and selflessness.”
When he leaves work at the end of his shift, Gilbert scours social media and news headlines for people who are in need and those he may be able to help, the department said.
Gilbert, a three-year veteran of the Randolph force, has helped people at home and in places as far away as Georgia and Tennessee. Gilbert sends care packages to sick children in hospitals, and even reaches out to help the children’s siblings and parents with toys and gas gift cards to help with trips to and from the hospital.
“As a police officer, making an arrest is one thing in the course of our duties, but by sending a letter and gift with a police patch to a sick child in the hospital, you can do the most with that,” Gilbert said.
Last month, Gilbert played Santa for a family he found on Facebook who needed help providing toys and gifts for the holiday.
In another instance, Randolph Sgt. Douglas Morgan described Gilbert’s reaction when a woman was caught shoplifting from a store.
“She was a single mother, money was tight, and she was trying to provide for her daughter,” Morgan said. “Officer Gilbert went back into the store and paid for enough food for a couple of days out of his own pocket until her Social Security check came.”
Gilbert credits his parents for his generosity, but said he’s not the only one who quietly helps those in need.
“I’m certainly not the only officer in our department who does it, but it’s always nice to be able to help whenever we can,” he said.