CPD officers commended for helping special needs child

Two Columbus police officers received letters of commendation Tuesday at Columbus City Hall for their efforts to help a small child who was found wandering in a local store.

In September, Officers Brandon Decker and Kelly Holley were sent to the store about the unsupervised child, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

When they arrived, officers determined the 4-year-old had special needs and was unable to hear. Holley was able to communicate with the child using sign language and determined the child needed his diaper changed. Holley changed the child’s diaper and kept him calm by communicating with sign language, Harris said.

The officers secured food and milk for the child while they attempted to locate his family. Decker offered to pay the business out of his own pocket and left $20 for the diapers, baby wipes, food and toys that were used. The child was later safely reunited with his family, Harris said.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.