A California Police Association collectively raised money to purchase a bicycle for a teenager who has been trekking eight miles to work everyday.
Corporal Kirk Keffer of the Benicia Police Department spotted Jourdan Duncan, 19, walking home late at night and offered to give him a ride, the Benicia Police Officers’ Association wrote in a post on its Facebook page.
During the ride home, Duncan told the officer that he regularly walked from his home in Vallejo to his job at Pro-Form Laboratories in Benicia because he couldn’t afford to fix his broken down Volvo—or even buy a new bicycle. Having recently finished school, he was saving his money for college. And in order not to burden others, he decided to walk. The 8-mile distance between the two cities is only 15 minutes away by car, but it takes two hours on foot.
“I was just like, wow, Jourdan, that’s really impressive, your dedication and your hard work,” Keffer told the Washington Post. “At age 18, that’s a good work ethic to have, and I said, you know, I admire that. Just keep doing what you’re doing.”
Keffer replayed the conversation in his head, particularly Duncan’s nearly five-hour daily commute, and the following day shared the story with his colleagues. Within an hour, the board members of the Benicia Police Officers’ Association had agreed to purchase a $500 mountain bicycle from a local bike shop. The owner of the shop also donated lights and a helmet after being moved by Duncan’s story.
On Sept. 19, the police took the bicycle to Duncan’s workplace to surprise him and to praise him for his work ethic.
“We would like to acknowledge your hard work and dedication for what you do and setting the example for kids your age,” Keffer said they told him. “Hopefully this’ll make your trip easier.”
The Post said Duncan was “bowled over” by the gift and, being a reserved type, by the attention that his story has garnered.
“I was so nervous; I’ve never been on TV,” he said in an interview with the Post. “The walk isn’t hard—it’s like a challenge. To me, it was like a challenge to see if I was willing to do whatever it takes to get to work.”
Duncan said he hopes to work in law enforcement and has found a mentor in Keffer. Keffer told the teenager that he’d allow for him to shadow him on patrols.
“It’s something I’ve been interested in since high school. A lot of my family members, they’re in law enforcement,” Duncan said. “It’s like, what they do and, due to a lot of people thinking that there are bad cops out there, I want to prove that all cops aren’t bad—which is true, due to what just happened to me.”