OREM — A call to respond to a domestic violence situation, though often disheartening, is somewhat routine for most police officers.
That’s how Sgt. Bill Crook of the Orem Police Department felt when he responded to the home of Ashley Simmons a couple weeks ago. But he said he went back to the home a few days later to see how Simmons and her kids were doing following the incident.
It was then he realized what Simmons and her kids needed.
“She was sleeping on the floor, but her kids were in a bed,” he said. “Her kids had clean clothes, but she didn’t have a washer and dryer ... she was doing the laundry in a bath tub.”
Crook started asking around town to see if someone could help. An anonymous donor donated a brand-new washer and dryer for Simmons and her family.
“I didn’t ever think someone else would help me out like that,” Simmons said. “I’m so lost for words.”
On Wednesday, Crook, a few fellow officers and firemen arrived at the Simmons home to bring them their gifts.
“I wasn’t expecting all that,” Simmons said, “but Sgt. Crook, he did an amazing job. I can’t believe he thought about us enough to do something like that.”
Simmons also got a brand-new mattress and headboard; she had her first night’s sleep in a bed in a while Wednesday night.
“I got to sleep in a bed last night, and it was amazing,” Simmons said. “I used to have a lot of furniture and I lost it all; I’m pretty much starting from scratch.”
Crook said it was refreshing to see a silver lining in what was a miserable situation.
“You got to look at it as. Domestic violence is a huge issue,” Crook said. “She’s a victim, her children are victims. Anything we can do to lessen the issue is helpful.”
For Simmons, it re-energized her trust in the police and the men and women protecting the community.
“I’m benefiting so much from them; that’s saving me eight hours a day washing clothes,” she said. “They say they serve and protect, and they really did. I don’t think they understand how much they benefited my life.”
Simmons said she is grateful for Crook and how the other officers blessed her life and her children’s lives.
“They are my guardian angels,” she said. “I don’t know where I’d be without them.
Crook said as heartwarming as the incident was for him and the officers involved, it happens more often than most know.
“That it’s really cool to have a positive spin on things we do in law enforcement,” he said. “This kind of stuff happens all the time. That’s why we do our job.”
Simmons hasn’t had a chance to use her new washer and dryer yet; she still has to get a dryer vent.
But she’s excited and eager to put her brand-new appliances to good use.