WHO: Limestone County Sheriff’s Deputies Rashad Smith and Candy Moreno; and Limestone County residents Richard and Peggy Cook.
WHAT: A story of peace officers who went above and beyond their call of duty.
WHY IT’S SO GREAT: It’s hot. It’s really, really hot. In Limestone County this weekend, the high is 108 degrees. That is at least eight degrees too many—but most Texans are prepared for the misery of summer with air conditioners, which have allowed us to master our environments in ways that the generations of people who lived here before their invention could have only dreamed about.
So when the AC goes out, it’s much more than a simple inconvenience. That’s what Richard and Peggy Cook, who live out by Lake Limestone, dealt with this week: the elderly couple, who both live with health problems, found themselves huddled near the small window unit in their bedroom after their main air conditioner gave up on them. Peggy’s nephew sent the couple a new unit, but they weren’t able able to lift it to install it in their window. With no family nearby and the heat threatening Peggy’s health—she told KWTX that “I have a serious condition where my lung is cozying up to my bronchia, if I get too upset, [or] too hot, it could just close off”—her sister called the county sheriff to do a welfare check on the couple.
When Smith and Moreno got to the Cook’s home, the deputies went about their responsibility to serve and protect the public by practicing some HVAC skills. Installing air conditioning units isn’t necessarily a common responsibility for peace officers, but it’s one that Smith and Moreno say they value. “That’s one thing I love about this agency, that they encourage us to do so much instead of just going call-to-call and running traffic,” Moreno told KWTX. She said that they like to help out with tasks like changing tires or setting up cable boxes when they can be of service. Both deputies told reporters that they’ve worked in other departments where that level of public service isn’t considered part of the job—but in Limestone County, it is.
Limestone County Sheriff Dennis Wilson says that this aspect of his department’s policy is something he’s proud of. “We’re going to go and we’re going to do the very best service that we can provide, whatever that call is,” he told KWTX. “We are servants, it’s our duty to go out and serve, it’s not just the criminal side of it. That’s something that our guys do get encouraged to do daily, to get out of that car, shake hands, [and] find somebody to help. We enforce the law, but our first duty is to our citizens of Limestone County and to make sure we provide them with the very best that we have.”