Keith McCord ReportingThis next story is about some West Valley City police officers who went well beyond the call of duty. They were able to reunite a homeless man with his family. And they did it on their own time.
Meet three of West Valley City's finest: Lt. Kelly Rushton and Officers Darrell Dain and Sean McCarthy. They work the graveyard shift and for months have been keeping a close eye on a guy named Jimmy Deblasio, who lives in a tent next to the Jordan River.
Lt. Kelly Rushton, West Valley city Police Dept.: "We meet our fair share of transients but for some reason jimmy really stood out. He was a person who obviously needed some assistance, and we were in a position to do that."
Officer Dain first saw Jimmy a couple months ago, walking oddly down the street. He assumed Jimmy was drunk.
Officer Dain: "He was walking funny because his feet were amputated because of frostbite. So I started checking on him here and there."
Occasionally, on their nightly patrols, the officers would bring him a burger or cup of coffee. And during the holidays they collected donated clothing and other items for him.
But they knew he probably wouldn't survive the cold temperatures out here for very much longer. So they asked Jimmy if he had any relatives.
They worked the phones and finally tracked down Jimmy's brother John in California, who hadn't seen Jimmy in 12 years. But John didn't have the means to bring his brother home.
So last Sunday, on their days off, officers Dain, McCarthy and Rushton took Jimmy from his tent, and drove him to California. It was quite a reunion.
Officer Dain: "And as I got turned around, two people came running out of the house both sobbing , crying, yelling his name, Jimmy, Jimmy, and waving at us."
Lt. Rushton: "That was probably one of the most rewarding experiences of my life."
Officer McCarthy: "Gratified, satisfied, knowing that he was finally somewhere where he would be warm and safe."
In many cases, people like Jimmy Diblasio end up being taken to jail. For these seasoned officers they were glad that this case had a much happier ending.