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Here’s how Central Florida first responders are humanizing the badge

First responders go beyond call of duty in their communities

Charley, 3, smiles with Apopka police officer. (WKMG)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Central Florida is home to some of the best first responders out there.

That’s why each week, the News 6 at Nine team likes to take a few minutes to highlight their efforts to humanize the badge and engage in the community.

[RELATED: From cleaning up spills to earning Girl Scout badges, Orlando-area first responders do it all | Central Florida first responders recognized for going beyond call of duty]

The first bit of good news this week happened right here in Central Florida, but involved some outstanding officers from Indiana who were in town for the SWAT Round-Up International competition. The visiting SWAT officers encountered perhaps their toughest event of the competition when they helped rescue a kitten found under a Lake Nona man’s car. It took some work, but they were able to free the tiny feline.

First responders in Sanford showed exactly what it means to go above and beyond these week when, while responding to a call in Goldsboro, firefighters and police officers noticed a resident’s windows had been shattered and pulled together their own money to buy glass to replace them. Very nicely done, guys.

Little Oliver, who wants to be a law enforcement officer when he grows up, is not only melting our hearts, but melted two Orange County deputies’ hearts when he noticed them eating at the same restaurant Monday and asked if he could take a photo with them. The uniforms and giant smiles on all three of their faces were the icing on the cake.

Oliver isn’t the only Central Florida child who looks up to our law enforcement officers. Three-year-old Charley also loves the “powice,” as she calls them. Charley was with her mom when she saw Apopka officer Cynthia Calixto in her car and was overwhelmed with excitement. Calixto immediately stopped what she was doing and got out to hug Charley, completely making Charley’s day. Before saying goodbye to one another, Charley told Calixto to stay safe.

Charley, 3, smiles with Apopka police officer.

If you watch News 6 at Nine often, you may remember meeting Amy Morton, with Orange County Fire Rescue, and Cooper the therapy dog a few months ago. Well, Amy also raises pups for Canine Companions and her most recent, little Morton, just began training to eventually help make life a little easier for someone with a disability. Shout out to you, Amy Morton, for raising hero pups all over and good luck, little Morton.

For more on these feel-good stories and to see other stories that highlight the good news in Central Florida, watch News 6 at Nine on Wednesdays, starting at 9 a.m.


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