Officer Russell Ferguson has been with RPD for ten years, but a call for a welfare check where he found two toddlers abandoned, filthy, naked, and starving, was something he just couldn’t shake.
“As police officers, we work on separating ourselves from incidents, and this is the kind of incident you can’t, it goes home with you,” said Ferguson.
As a father of two young children, none of this sat well with Ferguson.
As a veteran with sixteen years on the job, Lt. Jeff LaFave says his first priority after the victims are tended to, is tending to his own.
“They compartmentalize just about everything, and that’s a survival instinct in law enforcement, there’s no other way to survive those types of things,” said LaFave.
Any time something like this happens, LaFave says officers are asked if they’d like to talk to someone about it. In this case, his officers said they wanted to do, not talk.
“In talking to a couple of the guys, you can tell they’re emotionally shook by this, and that’s never going away, but it helps to know they’ve done something to mitigate the damage,” said LaFave.
Ferguson and the other responding officers said their way of coping was following up with the family, and being able to provide them with a crib and other essentials. While Ferguson says this case will always stick with him, knowing the kids are now safe and loved, is the biggest step towards healing.
“Just to see how happy they looked, how healthy they looked compared to a week ago it felt really good,” said Ferguson.