‘I Need Help,” an Email Brings the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office to the Rescue
A story for our personal accounts section from our editor, owner and janitor, Kym Kemp.
An email arrived today while I was sleeping. The heading said, “Help.”
I didn’t know the writer but when I searched I realized I had exchanged emails with the man over a year ago.
The message, edited to protect his privacy, read,
I am staying in a shack…in Westhaven I am being kept from my meds and appointments and food by the woman I paid $600 rent to … I have no sewage or water…shitting in a bucket
The roof is leaking
I am wet
I need help
I cannot see well enough to do this
Who do you call when you get an email like that and live close to two hours away? (And, I get a lot of crazy emails so I wasn’t sure if I was being trolled.)
You call the Sheriff’s Department.
Could they help?
Sure, we can do a welfare check, a Deputy Bronson explained. (She’s still in training and shy about giving her first name)
From first contact with Dispatch to last contact with Corporal Chad Zech, they were kind and helpful.
The man who wrote me was cold, said Zech. He was wet. He didn’t have his medication. And he was living in a chicken coop with an extension cord and some water.
This morning, the Sheriff’s Department made sure he was transported to the hospital.
They are investigating the situation. Zech is filling out papers for Adult Protection Services. “That way somebody else will be watching over him,” Zech explained. “With the cold weather we’ve been having you don’t want him to be a casualty.”
The man who wrote the email credited me with helping him. “I have a friend,” he told Zech touchingly.
But I credit the Sheriff’s Department.
They did what they do so often. They showed up and made a situation better. “I’m just doing my job,” said Deputy Bronson. And a heck of a job she and the Sheriff’s Department did.
Thank you, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department. (Extra thanks to Bronson and Zeck!)