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COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Two Cottonwood Heights police officers responding to a trespassing call at a local diner quickly realized a homeless woman down on her luck just needed a warm place to stay Thursday.
"She was just trying to escape the cold," said Cottonwood Heights officer Joey Incardine. "It was about 20 degrees outside."
He and his partner, officer Kevin Salmon, said the woman, who is in her late 60s, was down on her luck. She had lost her home, her car and had medical problems, among other things.
The diner felt the woman had overstayed her welcome after staying inside for 13 hours, but the officers said they felt they couldn't make her go back out into the cold.
"She was continuously buying small dollar items — whatever money she had left so she didn't get kicked out, trying to stay in the warm," Incardine said. "So we kind of feel bad for her that they wanted her to leave, so officer Salmon and I decided we want to help out."
Officers called to an unwanted guest at a diner this morning. A homeless female had been there for the last 12 hours using $2.00 in change— CH Police (@CHPolice) December 7, 2017
every few hours to buy a drink so she could stay inside and warm. Officer
Incardine paid for a hotel with his own money. #policecompassion
Incardine and Salmon took her to a motel and split a two-night stay for her.
"I wouldn't leave my dog out in the cold," Salmon said. "Definitely wouldn't leave a person out in the cold."
They also gave her some pamphlets with information that can help her get back on her feet.
The department shared the story on Twitter Thursday, where it was quickly retweeted over 20 times and received over 100 likes. Cottonwood Heights Police Chief Robby Russo told KSL he offered to reimburse his officers, but they both refused.