On his last day as a police officer, Commander Brian Peters decided that he wanted to thank the community he had served over the course of his career as a police officer.
A 42-year-old commander at the Brooklyn Center Police Department in Minnesota, Peters made the decision to take the money he earned during one day’s work as well as the money the police association was to give him for his service and give the money to the city he loved.
In an interview with ABC News, Peters said, “I’ve got nothing but good things from the city as well as the citizens. Why don’t I take what I make in a day and add that $120 that the [police] association was going to give me, and I’ll just round it up to $500 and get some gift certificates to give to people.”
With money from his own pocket, Peters bought five gift cards from Target and five gift cards from a grocery store, Cub Foods. Peters spent the day handing out these gift cards to strangers in the Brooklyn Center.
“People need groceries, and kids need toys. My goal was to walk around the city and just find people that could maybe use a little extra cash or income to buy the kids some toys.”
In about two and a half hours, Peters had given all the gift cards away. He stated that he had managed to put smiles on several people’s faces. Peters noted a particular case, in which he stopped one woman and gave her a gift card after noticing the condition of her car.
“Her car was really old and really damaged. I saw that her windshield wipers were stuck in the up position. I explained what I was doing and gave her a gift card to Cub Foods, and immediately, she lit up with a smile and started crying.”
“She said, ‘You won’t believe how much this helps.’ And she said, ‘Can I get out of the car and give you a hug?’ And I said ‘Absolutely.'”
The supervisor of the joint community police partnerships for Brooklyn Center, Monique Drier, was with Peters when he gave out the gift cards, and told ABC News, “He didn’t even have a going away party. He wants something in the community.”
Peters has started his new job as the manager of Target’s global crisis command center, and noted that he still wishes to give to the community. “Community service is extremely important, and when you’re fortunate in life, you should give back to others who aren’t as fortunate. That’s what makes the world go ’round.”