Do you remember Kristen Miller? She’s an officer with the Gainesville Police Department in northern Florida, and she made a house call in response to a cry for help that has resonated throughout the community ever since.
Ninety-two-year-old Cynthia Hill received a visit from Officers Kristen Miller and Jessica Van after Hill’s family raised the alarm. The family were concerned for the elderly woman’s wellbeing, but what should have been a routine house call turned into something altogether more involved.
“Gainesville is a community oriented city, which I love,” Miller told Abernathy Cochran’s “Faces of Hall County” project back in 2015. “Everyone comes together during meaningful times. If you truly need help, the community will be there to lend a hand.”
According to the Gainesville Police Department’s Facebook post, shared after the event, the 92-year-old’s relatives knew that Hill was vulnerable in her own home but were unable to help on their own. Officers Miller and Van drove to the residence to check on her.
Happy 70th birthday Momma Van! I mean, 30th birthday. I am so glad to be able to spend this time with you and the…
As Officer Miller approached the front door, it became apparent that Hill’s electricity had gone out. Her fears were confirmed upon entering the house; Hill’s food had spoiled and her water supply had dried up, leaving the frail woman without any home comforts, food, or drink.
The Gainesville Police Department reported that Hill’s water service had been shut off, but the 92-year-old was unable to resolve the situation herself. Mobility was a problem, and she had no means of transportation.
Officer Miller almost broke down in response to the vulnerable woman’s plight, and immediately decided that her choice was to go big or go home. She went big.
Earlier today Officer Kristen Miller responded to a welfare check on a 92 year old female, her family was worried for…
A short while later, having left Officer Van to hold the fort and comfort the distressed older woman, Officer Miller returned to the home with a huge haul. She bought groceries, water, and non-perishable items of food to re-stock Hill’s cupboards. She even bought Gatorade to help Hill to hydrate as quickly as possible.
Everything had been bought with Officer Miller’s own money. Hill was overwhelmed with gratitude.
Officer Miller exemplified the spirit of the Gainesville Police Department at large. The GPD later confirmed that they were working on getting Hill’s utilities reconnected. It was unacceptable to them that a vulnerable member of their community should have to endure a crisis on her own.
Officer Miller didn’t hesitate in going above and beyond the call of duty, and it all stems from her personal family history. “My family has played a big role in my life,” she explained after her story went viral. “Both my parents had cancer; my mother had breast cancer followed by leukemia and my father had a brain tumor.”
“I spent my high school and college experience taking care of them both.”
Support for the kindly officer flooded social media in response to Miller’s genuine desire to pay it forward to a member of her own community. “This is what 90 percent of police work is about,” the GPD posted on Facebook, in honor of one of their own.
What was Miller’s message to her community? “I want everyone to look after one another and put the hate away,” she said. “I feel if people focused on what is important, like loved ones, then some of the strife I’ve come across would not exist.”
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Author: Louise Bevan