officer of the month homeless vet

Franklin Police Sergeant Charlie Richards has been honored for his work to help a homeless military veteran who had been exploited by a thief and left with nothing but the clothes on his back.

While working the midnight shift, Sgt. Richards stopped to check on a man asleep on a Franklin park bench. During their conversation, Richards learned that the man had walked to Franklin after the backpack containing everything he owned was stolen from him in Nashville. During their conversation, Richards confirmed that the man had no warrants and that he was not suspected of any crimes.

Sgt. Richards did not arrest the man for loitering in the park after-hours or simply tell him to move along. Having a good feel for the man’s motives and heart, the sergeant enlisted the help of local clergy and arranged for a hot meal and an overnight stay at a Franklin motel. What happened next is what prompted Chief Deborah Faulkner to select Richards as the Department’s Officer of the Month.

“Sergeant Richards didn’t give the man directions to the motel; he gave him a ride,” Faulkner said in a press release describing the incident. “After dropping him off at the motel, Sgt. Richards went to Walmart and bought him t-shirts, underwear, socks, shorts, some non-perishable food, water, and a new bag to carry it all in, all in an effort to replace what was stolen from him. Then he put this homeless Vet, who served our country, in touch with a support organization that helps heroes get back on their feet. It is very clear that these two men did not meet by accident.”

ToyotaCool Springs and Franklin Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram are the sponsors of the Department’s Officer of the Month Program. Each month they honor a Franklin Police Officer with a commemorative plaque and a $150 check for the officer to donate to the charity of their choice. Richards is donating the money to his favorite charity: Community Outreach Ministries, a Franklin organization that offers help, hope, and healing to the tired, bruised, wounded, broken and sometimes invisible and forgotten of our community.

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