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Sheriff’s Deputy Erik Pedersen Reconnects 94-Year-Old Mondex Woman To the World

| February 3, 2015

Deputy Erik Pedersen and Ann Parker, whom Pedersen helped reconnect to the world.

Deputy Erik Pedersen and Ann Parker, whom Pedersen helped reconnect to the world.

It doesn’t usually make the news, but cops–who, public school employees aside, interact with the public more than any other arms of government–do it all the time: they lend a hand, go beyond the call of duty, sometimes displaying acts of kindness people would expect from a friend or a relative, but not necessarily from a cop. It doesn’t make the news because most public servants don’t usually brag about their own Samaritan acts.

Nor did Erik Pedersen, a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy since 2006.

But Ann Parker, a 94-year-old resident of Berry Bush Street in Daytona North, also known as the Mondex, wouldn’t let him get away with obscurity after what he did for her last month.

Pedersen was on patrol on Jan. 24 when dispatch sent him to do what’s called a welfare check–that is, to go knock on someone’s door and make sure that person is OK. Deputies are sent on such checks daily by friends or relatives of individuals who have not, for one reason or another, given signs of life in a while. In this case, dispatch got a call from Kathy LeBlanc, who was worried about Parker. She hadn’t heard from her in a while. Nor had Parker’s son and daughter-in-law.

Deputies fear the worst when making such welfare checks. But Parker turned out to be fine. The problem was Parker’s phone. It was broken, and Parker, who lives with her disabled 77-year-old son, was unable to leave the house to get a new phone.

Pedersen had Parker call LeBlanc on his personal cell phone to reassure her, then decided to go to a hardware store and buy her a new phone. “Although I had checked on Mrs. Parker and verified that she was okay, I couldn’t leave her without a way to call for help if she needed it,” he said, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office issued Monday. “I went to ACE Hardware in Bunnell and purchased the only phone they had for sale and took it to her.”

Ann Parker's commendation letter. Click on the image for larger view.

Ann Parker’s commendation letter. Click on the image for larger view.

Pederson paid for the phone and would not take Parker’s money as reimbursement. The story might have ended there had Parker not written a commendation letter about Pedersen.

“It was with extreme pleasure that I had the opportunity to meet one of your fine officers,” Parker wrote by hand in a script evocative of the days, so distant now, when students were taught to write in cursive, coherently and elegantly. “He knew I had no connection to the outside world,” she continued. “He is a wonderful young man, courteous, and kind. He left and returned with a telephone and hooked it up for me. He would not take reimbursement. It’s been a long time since I’ve met someone so kind and thoughtful.”

The letter went to the sheriff’s office, alerting Pederson’s supervisors.

It’s not an unusual sort of alert as far as Pedersen is concerned. The sheriff’s office veteran, who is working toward a master’s in psychology, three and a half years ago made news when he helped a 28-year-old woman deliver her baby, three weeks before the baby was due. The birth took the woman by surprise, and Pedersen, who was patrolling in the area, responded to the 911 call and went to work, ensuring that the baby’s color went from blue to pink. He proved as adept with a newborn then as he was with a nonagenarian.

“Deputy Pedersen is an outstanding law enforcement officer who went above and beyond to help a citizen and now a friend,” Sheriff Jim Manfre said in the release.

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11 Responses for “Sheriff’s Deputy Erik Pedersen Reconnects 94-Year-Old Mondex Woman To the World”

  1. LHoffman says:

    Thank you Deputy Penderson.

  2. PC Citizen says:

    Way to go officer. WAY TO GO !!!!

  3. Sherry Epley says:

    What a wonderful. . . good news. . . story about an apparently great police officer! If all those on all police forces were as kind to our citizens as Deputy Pedersen, we would all live in a more secure, peaceful world.

    WELL DONE Officer Pedersen, very Well Done! You set an excellent example of a true, caring professional! Thank you Ms. Parker for writing the letter, and thank you Flaglerlive for publishing this story! It needs to be sent to CNN! We need much more of this kind of news!

  4. lena Marshal says:

    Our Deputy’s rock !

  5. Obama 2015 says:

    Pay it forward.

  6. confidential says:

    My deepest appreciation to officer Pendersen, you are one law enforcement member to really be proud for!
    Also thank you to Mrs. Parker for writing about the deputy’s gesture, Sheriff Manfre for making it public and Flaglerlive for the publishing. This editorial brighten my day!

  7. tulip says:

    There are a lot of seniors here who basically have no one close by to check in on them, take them on errands or call them on a frequent basis to see if they need anything or are ok. It’s too bad that a list of those people couldn’t be worked up and perhaps some kind of wellness check be made a couple of times a week by the C.O.P.S or the sheriff’s office.

    Deputy Pederson went out of his way to be kind an humane and more of us should copy that behavior.

  8. Ines says:

    That’s awesome. We need more people like you Officer Pedersen. And that face…georgeous.

  9. Great job, Deputy Pedersen. You are a wonderful example of a great law enforcement officer. You make me proud to live in Palm Coast. We need more positive stories like this for our small town. Thank you for your service.

  10. Robert Lewis says:

    A hero

  11. Brian Curbow says:

    I have known Deputy Pederson for many years. For him to do something like this to help someone in need, regardless of who they might be, is just Erik being Erik. He will do anything and everything possible to make sure you are safe and have what you need.
    Many of our Deputies and Officers in Flagler County perform Samaratan acts on a daily basis, without seeking recognition or even a thank you. Stories like this just go to show that our line officers do their job to protect and serve all members of our community, and not simply out there to shoot and kill bad guys like the news madia and political activists make them out to be.
    Deputy Erik Pederson is just one example of Flagler County’s finest!

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