Our law enforcement officers respond to emergencies every day, but every now and then there’s a 911 call that leads to an encounter of the cutest kind.
That’s what happened to a Greenville County Deputy this week when a toddler called 911 needing some unexpected help.
When you’re two years old, it’s usually a challenge to pick a favorite toy or a color to draw with. For little Aliyah, dressing herself proved to be a downright emergency. It was so much so, she called on Greenville’s finest, Wednesday, to help her with her pants.
“Dispatch actually gave us a call and they said it sounded like a baby on the phone and it was basically a 911 hang up call,” said Deputy Martha Lohnes.
Lohnes was sent to investigate.
“The door opened up and she comes running out to the front with half a pant leg on and she’s just like “HEY,” said Lohnes.
A natural with kids thanks to two baby sisters of her own, Lohnes lent a hand.
“I just ended up sitting down on the stairs helping he put on the rest of her pants and then it was almost like a reward, she just wanted a hug,” she explained.
Needless to say, when mom, Pebbles Ryan, got the call at work, she was a little surprised.
“I came home to “oh, the police helped your daughter put pants on”. I was like “OH! Ok?” Then she wouldn’t let any of the police leave because she wanted hugs,” said Ryan.
She said Aliyah is no stranger to cell phones and they’ve talked about 911 before.
“We’ve pointed out the numbers but it completely surprised me that she actually did it,” said Ryan.
“I thought it was awesome that at two years old, she knew to call 911 at all,” added Lohnes.
Thursday, Aliyah sported a new pair of jeans. This time, these are a little easier to wear. She also got a new friend out of the deal in Deputy Lohnes.
In a job where Deputy Lohnes too often has to respond to tragedy, she’s grateful for the moment to pause to witness a child’s playful innocence and maybe grab a picture or a hug before hitting the road.
Last year, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office responded to more than 250,000 911 calls. They say they respond to every one, not matter what. While they train for every outcome, they added that you can’t teach the passion and charisma that Deputy Lohnes displayed.