Police officers uphold the law and keep their community safe. But behind the badge, officers are no different than the people they’re sworn to protect.
In Westwood, New Jersey, the Westwood Police Department remembers what it’s like to be a kid. That’s why they jumped to action when they heard 13-year-old Quentin Reilly’s bike had been stolen.
“I was really angry—why did they have to take my bike?” Quentin told NorthJersey.com.
Quentin left his bike on the porch of his home on Kinderkamack Road overnight. When he awoke the following morning, his prized BMX bicycle was nowhere to be seen.
The situation was particularly upsetting to Quentin’s mother, Sara Reilly, who works four jobs to make ends meet. She said the bike was a gift from Quentin’s uncle, and she wouldn’t be able to afford purchasing a replacement.
“My son doesn’t always get what he deserves,” Sara told the Daily Voice. “He is a great kid who tries his best to never complain when [we] can’t get something right now, that we can’t afford it.”
The family called the police and reported the theft. Officer Greg Dorfman responded to the call, and later passed on the information to Special Officer Ryan Sestanovich.
Sestanovich sympathized with Quentin’s plight, having experienced the same thing when he was a 13-year-old.
“The feeling has stuck with me to this day and hearing about Q’s bike brought it right back,” Sestanovich told NorthJersey.com.
“I thought, if I’m in the position to reverse that feeling and give the kid a bike, I’m going to do my best to do that.”
Sestanovich started working his contacts, and eventually found an unnamed bike shop willing to donate a blue Mongoose BMX bike at no cost. The smile on Quentin’s face as he posed for a photo next to his new bicycle spoke volumes.
Quentin was happy to have his mode of transportation back in time for the summer break, but his mother was even more grateful. Unburdened by the thought of her son going without, she praised the police’s kindness.
“They took the opportunity to do something so meaningful for my son, who doesn’t get a lot, from me at least,” Sara told PoliceOne.com.
“This was amazing because he’s a good kid and he didn’t deserve to have his bike stolen. It shows how awesome this department is.”
Police officers provide a necessary, but dangerous service. Their work is difficult, and after long, trying days, Sara hopes they remember the kindness they showed her son, and how much he appreciated their efforts.
“I hope when you guys have a rough night that you can reflect on this day and know you did something great for this kid that he will always remember,” she said.
Quentin Reilly, 13, is enjoying the summer cruising around town on his new bicycle, thanks to the @WestwoodPolice who replaced his bike after it was stolen. Check out the video by @MitsuYasukawa – full story t/c tomorrow @northjersey 🚲💙 pic.twitter.com/RnRIeJILcs
— Sarah Nolan (@SarNolan) July 5, 2018