IMPD officers reach into their own pockets to help family in need

Officers arrived to a southeast Indianapolis home to find the refrigerator and freezer all but empty. (Photo: IMPD)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - A pair of Metro police officers are being praised by a central Indiana family who made a desperate call for help.

"Always somebody out there that can help you. You just got to swallow your pride every now and then, because everybody, everybody has a down time," said Bill Haines.

Haines called IMPD for help, so dispatchers sent two officers from the Southeast District to help. The result ended up being life-changing.

"They helped us out and helped us get back on our feet," Haines said.

Haines, a triple bypass patient, admits his family fell on hard times. He and his wife called 211 after running out of food.

Bill Haines called 211 for help when his family ran out of food. (Photo: IMPD)
Bill Haines called 211 for help when his family ran out of food. (Photo: IMPD)

"They called us back because they are so busy, but they also suggested that I talk to the chaplain at the police department," Haines said.

IMPD Southeast District Officer Dan Disney and a second officer responded with the chaplain. While en route, dispatchers advised them of even more heartbreaking news.

IMPD Ofc. Dan Disney
IMPD Ofc. Dan Disney

"At which time we were advised that an elderly couple was eating dog food because they have nothing else to eat in the home," Disney said.

The chaplain helped the officers get some food for the couple from a local food pantry. When officers arrived at Haines' home, they found the shelves of the couple's freezer and refrigerator empty. They decided to do something about it, especially after what Disney saw in the couple's kitchen.

"I noticed that the only means of cooking they had was a microwave, some butter dishes and some plastic forks. Also, they had no more food. They did have a couple of canned goods, but they didn't even have a can opener," Disney said.

The officers left Haines' apartment and headed to a Family Dollar store. Using their own money, they bought some things the family needed.

"Some pots, pans, utensils and a couple packs of dishes for them to be able to cook food properly," Disney said. "He tried to hide a couple of tears, but was unsuccessful."

"I am thankful from the bottom of my heart and my wife's heart," Haines said.

The officers went one step further, asking people in the neighborhood to look out for Haines and his family.