CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago police lieutenant was honored Tuesday for helping change the life of a homeless veteran.
The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation named Lt. John Garrido its officer of the month, saying he embodies the oath to serve and protect.
Garrido, a 27-year veteran of the force, was honored for working to help Anthony Johnson, who operates a newsstand at the intersection of Foster, Milwaukee, and Central avenues in Jefferson Park.
The lieutenant saw that the newsstand was run down, and inquired about its operator. That’s when he learned it was run by a homeless Air Force veteran.
Garrido created a Facebook page to reach out to the community to help build a new stand, complete with murals showcasing the neighborhood and the veteran turned newspaper salesman.
Local businesses donated the materials and manpower to renovate the space, and they held a ribbon-cutting to unveil the finished product last fall.
After finding out Johnson slept most nights outside, the lieutenant also set up a GoFundMe page to help Johnson pay rent for a year. So far, the page has raised more than $7,800.
“I think that this is definitely what community policing is about. It’s really about working together with the community, and when we see things that need to get done, just bringing them together, and you’d be surprised just how much the community will step up when provided an opportunity to,” Garrido said.
Garrido also has a soft spot for animals, so he has set up the Garrido Stray Rescue Foundation to help provide medical care and safe foster homes for stray pets until they can be reunited with their families or adopted by new ones. He already has raised more than $20,000.