When these two officers went to investigate an abandoned house in Milwaukee, they weren’t sure what they would encounter. But when they found a 2-year-old toddler inside, they went the extra mile to make him feel safe and warm because “we’re dads.”
On Oct. 27, 2017, officers Vin Paolo and Dan Resnick responded to a call concerning a pregnant woman and her toddler living in a vacant, boarded-up two-story house on N. 29th St. near W. Locust St. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
When the officers entered the house, they saw a young pregnant woman squatting inside, who told them she had lost her job.
The house had neither heating nor any electricity, and “was very, very cold.”
“Broken upstairs windows, draft through the house, clothes and garbage and beds amongst the house,” Paolo told WISN 12 NEWS.
When Resnik entered the bedroom, he spotted the 2-year-old toddler as he pulled away a pile of winter sheets on the bed.
“I just moved the sheets and that’s when I saw the two-year-old for the first time,” Resnick told Fox 6.
The boy, wrapped in two or three jackets, was fast asleep in the freezing room. And the only food in the house was a bag of chips.
Paolo then took the boy outside into his heated squad car and called a colleague to bring the hungry-looking boy some McDonald’s.
“Oh he was really hungry. He scarfed it down,” Paolo recalled.
“He warmed up to us fairly quick, but he didn’t say very many words. He did say mama and that’s about it,” Paolo told CBS 58.
“It hurts my heart to see children like this. It’s unfortunate, but we see this quite often,” said Paolo, who has adopted five foster children.
“Coworkers often joke with me as if I’m going to take home every child that I see, and I really wish that I could,” said Paolo.
As the boy sat on Paolo’s lap and polished off his chicken nuggets and fries, Resnick snapped a photo of the pair.
This endearing photo of Officer Paolo and the toddler made the rounds online after being uploaded by Paolo’s friend Paulette Rutter Drankiewicz on Facebook. The post has received more than 4,700 reactions and over 2,400 shares.
This is my dear friend. He is a Milwaukee Police Officer. With him is a toddler they found "living" in an abandoned…
“I see this officer at work sometimes daily, he does great work!” wrote Facebook user Jennifer Ralston.
Paolo’s wife, Mel Williams, also joined in to praise her husband. “He did it because he’s a loving, kind, compassionate, great person with a huge heart. He did it because he’s a dad, and wants every child to feel loved, safe, and have a full belly,” she wrote.
“We don’t want recognition,” Paolo told the Journal Sentinel. “It’s just what we do because we’re dads, we’re people.”
According to Milwaukee police, Child Protective Services took custody of the boy, and his mother was working with social services to find permanent shelter.
Hats off to these officers for their conscientious efforts. The toddler will surely be most grateful later on in life.
Watch the video here: