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Police officer honored after paying for shoplifters' groceries

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Posted at 2:21 PM, Jan 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 16:21:06-05

The City of Fort Smith, Arkansas, handed its Employee of the Month award to Field Training Officer Kenneth Martin after Martin was noted for assisting a family who attempted to steal groceries.

According to Fort Smith City Director Neal Martin, Officer Martin was with a training officer at a Walmart on Nov. 30 when he detained a mother and father who allegedly shoplifted groceries with their children. An off duty officer who was at the Walmart during the incident said in a nomination to the City Director that Officer Martin took the stolen items to the customer service desk and paid for them.

"I proceeded into the business with my wife. She stated it broke her heart that there were young children involved and asked me to find out what they were caught stealing, wondering if it was for the kids," the unidentified officer said. "FTO Martin's act of kindness is a true example of what humanity is all about. He did this out of compassion for the kids, with no intention of being recognized for his actions."

Martin ended up arresting the father, letting the mother go because she was with their two children. Martin sent the mother home with the groceries.

"FTO Martin is a wonderful example of what we all strive for," City Director Neal Martin wrote. "Thank you FTO Martin for setting the example for each and every one of us! Let’s use his example of kindness to treat each other better in 2020."