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Author: Chief Joel F. Shults, Ed.D.

By PoliceOne Staff

GREENBELT, Md. — A Maryland officer was praised for helping a small turtle cross a road in soaking rain.

Earlier this month, Carolynn Hammett and her husband told WTTG that they spotted an officer in uniform standing in torrential downpour as she helped a small snapping turtle cross the road. Storms ravaged the area in early June, creating flooding conditions.

Despite the soaking rain, Hammett said the officer, identified as Greenbelt Master Police Officer Sharnise Hawkins-Grahams, still had a huge smile on her face as the turtle crossed the road.

“I couldn’t believe that she was standing there guarding that turtle in all that rain,” Hammett said. “Not many people would do that, regardless of their occupation. She was serving and protecting in every sense of the word.”

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Greenbelt Police Officer standing guard over a snapping turtle as it crosses the roadway in a pouring rain. Thankful…

Posted by Jim Craze on Sunday, June 3, 2018

According to The Dodo, Hawkins-Grahams was on her way home from a ceremony when she spotted the turtle. The officer called animal control for assistance since snapping turtles can be dangerous.

When animal control didn’t immediately respond, Hawkins-Grahams stood and protected the turtle. Hammet said she and her husband, who gave the officer an umbrella, hurried home to get two shovels to lift the turtle safely off the road.

“The officer thanked us and we thanked her and we all went on our way,” Hammett said. “She was smiling a big broad smile the entire time and she never seemed to care that she was drenched completely through. She was delightful, inspirational, kind, all the things that you think a police officer should be.”

The Greenbelt City Police Department praised Hawkins-Grahams, who was recently named Officer of the Year, for her actions and the Hammett couple for helping out.

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