Connecticut woman says officer’s kindness changed her view of law enforcement

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HARTFORD, Conn. — A Colchester woman said a Hartford police officer’s act of kindness changed the way her entire family views law enforcement. She is only sharing her story with Eyewitness News.

Last Saturday, the Gilbert family was in downtown Hartford. She said the traffic was a nightmare, and many roads were closed because of the Susan Komen Race for the Cure.

Normally, Leah Gilbert of Colchester is nervous around the sight of police cars and officers.

“I’ve definitely gotten my share of speeding tickets,” Gilbert admitted.

It was a real struggle for Gilbert, her sister Keri, and Keri’s two children as they tried to make it to the Connecticut Science Center. They nearly threw in the towel.

Instead a Hartford police officer went above and beyond to make their day a little easier. “It changed my whole view on them,” Gilbert explained.

Right when her sister Keri was about to head home they decided to ask for help.

“She rolled her window down to a police officer that was blocking the road off and she said ‘how do I get to where I’m going’ and ‘can you help?'”

At first, the officer told Keri that she should park about half-a-mile away and walk. Then he saw the young woman’s five-month-old daughter and two-year-old son in the back seat.

“He said, ‘I’ll tell you what’ and he pointed to a car right there and he pointed to a parking lot and ‘you meet me right back here and I will give you an escort to the front entrance of the Science Center,'” Gilbert recalled.

Leah was so touched that she asked for a picture with the officer before he dropped everyone off at the museum. After Leah got inside the Science Center, she felt an immediate regret.

“I completely forgot to get his name and badge number, and I was so disappointed because I want him to know how much we appreciate that.”

On Monday, Eyewitness News helped Leah track down the policeman whose name is Lieutenant Paul Cicero.

He said he is happy the family is grateful, but Cicero explained that he was just doing his job.

“I think I’ve done a few escorts. Most officers have, and they were such an appreciative family. Such a great family,” Cicero said.

His actions may seem small, but his small gesture made a big impact on Leah and her family.

“I just really wanted him to realize how much we appreciate it, and how blessed I feel that there are people in this world like him.”

Leah said Lt. Cicero’s generosity has also inspired her family members to follow his example and perform acts of kindness for strangers over the next few weeks.

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