Police officers, generally speaking, don’t care much for talking to television reporters. But when you save Easter, your bosses tend to make an exception.
That’s why officers Timothy Hicks and Michael Gunter agreed to be interviewed on Wednesday. And they can blame it all on their own decision to do a good deed and on a burglary victim’s insistence on taking the officers’ picture to prove it.
It started with a Saturday night call to help a car burglary victim at the 4100 block of Barberry on Houston’s southwest side.
"It's not the best neighborhood,” admitted Hicks.
And in this not-so-best neighborhood, they found Brittney Turner.
“It’s unbelievable,” she said of what happened.
Turner and her two young children were visiting relatives. She parked her car with all of the children’s recently purchased Easter clothes and their just-purchased Easter baskets. She even had a third Easter basket for a niece.
“We come outside and find out the passenger window was busted,” Turner said.
Thieves had taken everything from her car, including the three Easter baskets.
“We were like, 'Wow, that's not cool at all,'” said Officer Hicks. The officers, working as a duo for the last four years, have seen plenty of bad stuff. But this one really ticked them off.
"Despite the fact that they lost property out of the car, it was the Easter baskets that really bothered them,” said Gunter.
"I can understand the normal things that people go through. But Easter baskets, why would you want to take those from children? That was real hard for me,” said Hicks.
It bothered them so much, the officers went shopping.
"He just said he was going to be back in, like, 30 minutes,” said Turner.
"And as soon as we got in the Tahoe (their HPD SUV), I was like, 'We need to go get them baskets,'” said Gunter. “And my brother didn't question, he didn't say anything he's like, 'Yep, you're right.. Let's go.'"
“I agreed. Let’s go get those baskets,” Hicks said.
Thirty minutes later, as promised, Hicks and Gunter did come back with three replacement Easter baskets. Gunter says Turner and her family at first thought they’d found the original stolen baskets. But they were even more elated when they found out the officers had gone to the nearest Walmart and bought replacements on their own dime.
Brittney Turner and her cousin Myesha were so happy, they demanded the officers pose for a picture -- the two women, the two officers and the three Easter baskets.
"We tried to escape without taking a picture,” laughed Gunter. “But they were pretty adamant about it.”
A picture that Brittney kept as proof that good guys really do wear blue.
“It was beautiful. I really appreciated it,” Turner said, admitting that where she comes from she’s had plenty of reasons not to trust police.
“I just want to tell them thank you,” she said. “Because they didn’t have to do that. And they did. It’s like a door opening to let you know there’s some good ones out there.”
"To see the joy that they got from just the little simple thing as three Easter baskets...it was nice,” said Gunter.
A nice gesture that two officers didn't think would get them noticed. They just thought it was the right thing to do: the right thing to help save somebody's Easter and maybe restore a bit of faith at the same time.