In early March he was dispatched to a call at one of our local motels at 2am. It was a 911 hang up meaning that we got a call on one of our 911 lines and all we heard was “Get off me!” and then the line disconnected. Since it was a land line we could tell it came from this motel so officers were sent to investigate further. They found a family of 5 living in a motel room: mom, grandma, uncle, 16 year old girl and a 12 year old boy. The boy had been trying to call a friend to make some plans for the weekend but somehow the call went to 911 by mistake. They had been living at the motel for about 3 months, The boy’s bed is a pillow on the floor. They moved down here from up north so mom could find work.
A week later Skomski was dispatched to this same room over a family disturbance. There was a dispute over a computer game and the boy was expressing some frustration. In talking to the boy Officer Skomski realized that a boy cooped up in a motel room with nothing to do was likely to be frustrated and angry. He had nothing to occupy his time–nothing to play with. Officer Skomski is a good dad and he knows how important it is for kids to be able to get outside and play. The mother confirmed that the boy had no toys because she couldn’t afford any. Officer Skomski decided to do something about that. He went to Karen Adcock of our Senior Services Department who gave him a soccer ball but he really wanted to get the boy a bicycle.
Afternoon shift put their heads together and reached out to people they know in our community. Target gave them a $25 gift card to be used toward the purchase of a bike. While he was picking up the gift card, a Target employee Lori Kaysish, who had heard the story stopped him and gave him a $100 gift card from she and her husband. So Officer Skomski bought a bike for about $70 and got the balance as a gift card for the sister. Officer Rice
contacted Rainforest Cafe Manager Scott and Assistant Manager Brittany who offered the family a dinner on the house–pretty fun stuff for kids whose life hasn’t been much fun lately.
Officer Skomski told me that he feels strongly about the welfare of kids and he wanted to do something for this boy. We know that Officer Skomski has a young son who is seriously ill. It is clear to me that helping another boy gives him great personal satisfaction.
Too often all the officers get to see is family disorder and how people harm each other. The world can be a harsh place for kids. Although they can’t fix everything, they can do some things to make a kid’s life a little better. And who knows where it could lead? We all hope it is the first step in something good for this family.
The family has told Officer Skomski that they are moving out of Auburn Hills soon to what they hope will be a better housing situation. Thank you to every person who contributed to the bike and the gift card for the sister. And to Rainforest Cafe for the dinner. Auburn Hills is a great community because of its business environment and entertainment venues but its true greatness is because there are so many people with great hearts.