Sometimes all it takes to make someone’s day is a few kind words or even a smile.
All it took to make Captain Rance Quinn’s day was five words from a teenager.
“Thanks for keeping us safe.”
In March 2016, Quinn of the Kansas City Police Department had been feeling like he and his colleagues were “under-appreciated” given recent anti-police movements.
“It just seems like there’s a lot of anti-police type of activity going on,” Quinn told WDAF in 2016. “I know we’re unwanted, but it makes us feel like we’re under-appreciated.”
While eating at Chili’s with a coworker, a teen approached him.
While Quinn and other officers may have been feeling unwanted, he shared an experience on Facebook that quieted any doubts he had about his profession.
As Quinn and his coworker ate their lunch at Chili’s, a teenager, who was leaving the restaurant with her family, placed a napkin on their table. Written on the napkin was a note, “thanks for keeping us safe.”
“This young lady touched us in a way she might not have realized and before we could react to it the family walked out,” he wrote.
The young woman dropped off a thank you note.
Quinn told WDAF he was able to look up and give the teen a thumbs up, but he wasn’t able to speak to her.
As he and his coworker discussed the simple gesture, a woman walked up to them with two children. She informed them that her 5-year-old son, who was deaf, had always wanted to meet a police officer.
The group chatted for a bit, then the woman and her children took off.
As if those interactions weren’t enough, Quinn was surprised with another when he asked for the check.
When it came time to pay for his meal, Quinn asked the waitress for the check, but was told another table had picked up their tab.
Not surprisingly the table that had paid for Quinn and his coworker’s meal was family of the teen who left the note.
The acts of kindness continued.
Before Quinn and his lunch partner left Chili’s they encountered the woman and her children again. She wanted to give the officers something, a gift card to show her appreciation for all that they do.
WDAF reported that while the officers accepted the gift cards from the women, they ended up donating them to a family in need.
But Quinn did keep the note from the teenager and carried it with him as a reminder.
He also had a message for the young woman, “The message you gave to us that day was powerful. Don’t ever change who you are. Keep that with you through the rest of your life.”