Bystander moved by St. George police officer’s quiet act of kindness

St. George Police Officer Jace Hutchings in line buying food at Maverik on St. George Boulevard for a hungry man he found sleeping in a car Christmas night, St. George, Utah, Dec. 25, 2017 | Photo by an identified person via the St. George Police Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — An officer on routine patrol Christmas night came upon a man sleeping inside of a vehicle, and what happened next was witnessed by an individual who was so moved by the incident he contacted the St. George Police Department.

“We thought we’d shine a little light of kindness following the darkness from the great power outage of Christmas 2017 that was shared with us,” St. George Police Public Information Officer Lona Trombley said.

The incident came to the attention of a supervisor at the police department after the witness relayed details of what occurred, and even provided a photo taken from inside the Maverik on St. George Boulevard near 1000 East.

The incident occurred around 9:30 p.m., just after a power outage hit several communities across Washington County, including St. George, as temperatures hovered in the mid-30s.

St. George Police Officer Jace Hutchings, was “conducting his normal, proactive patrols on Christmas night,” Trombley said, when the officer found an individual sleeping in a vehicle. After speaking him, Hutchings learned the man had not eaten in a while.

The officer then went to the Maverik, located at 995 E. St. George Boulevard, one of the few stores open Christmas night, and purchased several food items to last the man through the night, for which the individual was very grateful, according to the witness’s account.

Trombley said the man “was grateful for this officer’s kind act, as was our witness and as is our police department.” She added, “It’s all in a day’s work with many of our officers here at the St. George Police Department.”

Whether it’s an officer giving his gloves to someone in need, or purchasing food or clothing – these acts can go unnoticed by others, but it happens more than some may think, she said.

The citizen who witnessed the incident contacted a supervisor at the police department and described how the officer helped the man that night. Hutchings had no idea anything was even said until he was tagged in a post on the St. George Police Department’s Facebook page, Trombley said.

The post triggered a stream of comments from readers, she added.

Trombley said that when Hutchings heard about it, he told her, “It’s not me that they love, it’s the human behind the badge, and the citizens seeing who we are and what we stand for is what they are loving so much.”

Trombley agreed, saying, “We are blessed to work with some genuinely good-hearted people in a kind and generous community.”


Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


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  • chris keele December 28, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    This one incident is but one of many that our amazing men and women of law enforcement do for our community every day, we should always remember that when on occasion sometimes there is a situation that seems to the contrary, sometimes you would have to have been there to understand each and every situation as it unfolds in real time and often in milliseconds. Please be respectful and show your gratitude towards them.

    • desertgirl December 29, 2017 at 8:43 am

      Well said, Chris. Happy New Year.

  • DRT December 29, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Unfortunately, there is a faction that totally hate cops. A cop could save their life and the lives of their families and they would still hate cops and badmouth them as loud and as long as they do anyway.
    A cop is just a human being. One that has gone through a tremendous amount of training, (now days,)
    and has sworn to up hold the law. As a human, they make mistakes sometimes. As humans, sometimes the powers that be fail to weed out the folks who have no business wearing a badge and carrying a gun. The media is quick to jump all over themselves to publish sensationalism when a cop screws up.
    I’m very thankful to SG News for their continued publishing both sides of being a cop.

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