Two Phoenix police officers will be held forever in the heart of a young Latina girl who went home on her first day of school much richer than when she’d left.
Officer Ben Carro was assigned to help with traffic control on August 5, the first day of school for Loma Linda Elementary, when he saw a young girl walking alone toward to the school who appeared to be crying. A school aid asked the child, name Leslie Gonzales, what was wrong.
Leslie said she was upset because she didn’t have a backpack and that her mother wouldn’t be able to afford one in the next two weeks. The aid, Jill Lebario, did the best she could to console and encourage the girl, but she was still crying.
Ben then called his fellow Community Action Officer, Jon McLachlan, and the two decided to take a ride to the local Target store. These officers not only purchased a pink plaid backpack for Leslie, they also bought a lunch box, water bottle (since she walks to school), folders, pens, markers, crayons, a ruler and pencils. The officers took the purchases back to the school and, before her first hour class was over, presented them to Leslie.
The Phoenix Police Dept. Facebook page posted a photo with the caption, “We’ve Got Your Back (Pack)”. “Leslie had come to school crying and upset, but in the end, on that ever so important first day of school, she was smiling and enjoying a fresh start to the new school year!”