CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A CMPD officer's patience and compassion at the airport meant so much to one family when their mother went missing it, earned him the Officer of the Month.
Officer Tony McDaniel is being honored for his simple act of kindness. It happened one day at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
“It made me appreciate policemen a whole different way,” said Sandra Parker Murray.
Her mother was flying from Denver to Atlanta to see her other daughter, and the flight had a connection through Charlotte. Sandra’s mom never made it to Atlanta, and she panicked.
“I was going crazy because I knew I was going to be responsible if something happened to her,” Sandra said.
Sandra’s mother has Alzheimer’s. She had alerted the airline in advance about her mother’s condition asking them to keep an eye on her.
“There’s so much that people need to know about Alzheimer's, because they think you can tell her something, and ten minutes later she’ll remember. So they probably told her stay at the gate, but telling her is just like telling a kid who can’t comprehend it. She’ll still wander off if you’re not right there to guide her.”
Sandra called Atlanta airport officials, but they told her there was no sight of mom. She called the airline-- no help there. Then she called Charlotte Douglas, and airport security finally told her mom never made her connecting flight, and that she was at the airport somewhere.
“I was getting ready to go the airport and fly to Charlotte and find her myself,” Sandra said.
But first she called CMPD, and was connected to officer Tony McDaniel.
“Oh she was frantic she was upset. She was assuming the worst,” Officer McDaniel told FOX 46.
But the worst hadn’t happened, and Officer McDaniel found Sandra’s mom pretty quick.
“In about 15 or 20 minutes he called me back and said ‘I’ve found your mother and she is fine. Calm down you don’t have to get on a flight,” said Sandra.
Officer McDaniel didn’t leave her mom’s side. He got her something to eat and drink, got the airline to book her on the next flight to Atlanta, and he even boarded the plane before it departed to alert the other passengers about her condition.
”I mean it made me cry. [I] get emotional talking about it because he was so kind hearted. He said if this happened to my mom I would want someone to do the same thing,” Sandra said.
“My mother actually suffers from vascular dementia, so I understood how to deal with her how to talk with her, so I guess I took a personal interest in this lady,” said Officer McDaniel.
Sandra and family thought so much of Officer McDaniel, they wrote this letter to CMPD in hopes he would get recognized for his simple act of kindness, and sure enough he is, getting results, and once again talking with Sandra on the phone.
“Oh, congratulations,” Sandra told Officer McDaniel.
“I appreciate it, Sandra,” Officer McDaniel said to her.
Cops and neighbors coming together, to make sure our community and its members are safe.