In Glendale, Arizona, the police received a phone call from a distraught elderly woman. Her husband passed away in the couple’s home, and she didn’t know what to do about it. However, when a team of police officers arrived, one cop took notice of something “off” about her front door.
Geraldine Tabor was grieving the loss of her husband, who had just passed away in their home when she dialed 911 for help with transferring his body. A team of officers with the Glendale Police Department arrived and tried to console her as they awaited the coroner.
The elderly couple had been left unattended for a long time and only had each other for company. So when the husband passed away, it came as a terrible blow to the elderly woman. Not knowing what else to do, Geraldine gave a call to the local police station to report her husband’s death.
As the officers comforted her, Sgt. Jeff Turney looked around and noticed something amiss about the front door, and it didn’t sit well with him. The lock on the door was broken. Geraldine, whose husband died of natural causes, was now a widow and would live alone in this home that Turney didn’t think would be safe with the existing lock.
Making matters worse, the knob wasn’t even intended to be used for an outside door. “It was a lock that’s normally used in the inside of the house for a bathroom, and it wouldn’t latch,” Turney said. “There was no latch to it, and she was using a deadbolt to try and keep it locked at night.”
Sgt. Turney happened to have a Home Depot card in his pocket, so he pulled it out and handed it to another officer, instructing him to head to the store and get new hardware for the door. Although they couldn’t take away Geraldine’s sadness of losing a loved one, Turney says they would feel better about the situation knowing she’s a little safer at home. “I pulled my tool bag out and we went to town and fixed it before we left,” he said.
The lock had been broken for years, and Turney knew Geraldine had no one else to help fix it, especially now after losing her husband. The old lock didn’t even have a way of locking it from the outside and didn’t even have a key for it, but thanks to the caring officer, she now has a real lock with real keys. “I’ve been doing this for 36 years now and I’ve seen a lot of people in trouble and we try to help them one at a time,” Turney said.
Geraldine Tabor could not believe the kindness of the police officers, taking it upon themselves to do something above the call of duty. “When the coroner finally came and got my husband, I walked over here and he was working on it, and I have never seen that before, that’s a new one,” the grieving woman said with an appreciation for what the officers did for her. “They have enough, a big job taking care of us out there, they don’t need to you know, and I really do appreciate it.”
With Geraldine now living alone and likely having nobody else to help her, Sgt. Jeff Turney is happy that he was there and could fix the door for her. Without his attention to this need, she wouldn’t sleep as safely in her home. But now everyone can rest a little easier, knowing her front door is secured, thanks to the generosity of cops who chose to go above and beyond to serve and protect her.