Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officers take pride in being engaging, present and community-minded while serving and protecting our Charlotte-Mecklenburg community. So when local Army veteran George Scott fell on hard times, CMPD officers in the Independence Division quickly teamed up to help.
On Tuesday, March 29, Mr. Scott’s apartment was ruined due to an upstairs fire in his apartment building. With only the clothes he was wearing, his car keys and his Bible, Mr. Scott, his daughter and his grandchild made it out of the building. After the fire, the family received a voucher from the American Red Cross to stay in a hotel for a couple of nights until more permanent housing could be arranged.
Mr. Scott gave the voucher to his daughter so she and her child would have a safe place to stay. With limited options, Mr. Scott stayed with a friend for a few days. He eventually parked his vehicle in the parking lot of the apartment complex and slept in his car.
While patrolling the area the following Saturday, Officer Jonathon Brito encountered Mr. Scott. After learning about the veteran’s situation, Officer Brito got the ball rolling to help get Mr. Scott a hotel room, gas and groceries for the next few days.
“Something I learned in the Army is comradery. We learned to take care of each other and to make sure that no one is left behind. At one point, I felt like I was left behind,” said Mr. Scott. “But Officer Brito, not knowing me at all, took time out of his day to take care of me. So, anything CMPD needs or wants, and I can help with it – I’m in.”
Officer Brito quickly connected with Officer Matthew Cooper and brought him up to speed on the situation. Officer Cooper used his own personal funds to secure a weekend hotel stay for Mr. Scott. Fellow Officers Terence Funderburk and Margarita Boric both pitched in with assisting with groceries and gas, respectively.
“I don’t think we did anything extraordinary. It comes with the job, and I’d like to think any officer in this situation would have done the same,” said Officer Cooper.
Officer Funderburk further aided Mr. Scott by connecting him with a Food Lion grant that is awarded to individuals stricken by tragedy.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Community Emergency Needs Fund also provided additional funds and helped to fill the gaps along the way, including an extended stay at a hotel until permanent housing is available.
“The fact that Mr. Scott is a veteran, a wounded veteran on top of that – he’s served our country,” said Officer Brito, who is also a veteran. “It feels good, honestly. I would want someone to help me if I was in that situation.”
“People need to understand police officers are just like me and you. They’re real people with jobs to do and this time they went above the job to get things taken care of for me and my family,” added Mr. Scott.
Visit the City of Charlotte website to learn more about CMPD’s active involvement in the community.