Good deed changes woman’s opinion of law enforcement
When Peabody resident Linda Culp saw part-time Marion sheriff’s deputy and Peabody officer Gary Slater approaching her house with a mower in tow, she was worried she was going to receive a citation.
“I thought my lawn was too long, and he was going to get me for an ordinance,” she said. “Our mower has been under repair and we’ve been waiting for parts.”
Much to Culp’s surprise, Slater, who was off duty, was instead there to perform a good deed. He mowed the yard free of charge.
“If he hadn’t helped us it would have been at least another week or two before we could have done it since the mower should be ready soon,” Culp said.
Linda’s husband, Terry, and Slater have developed a friendship. Terry Culp, a Vietnam veteran who served at the same time as Slater’s dad, often goes on walks around town, and Slater stops to talk to him.
“I have a lot of respect for him and those that served,” Slater said. “I saw the need and had the time to take care of it. It’s the small things we do that the public often doesn’t see.”
Slater works full-time at Barkman Honey in Hillsboro, but has a deep passion for law enforcement. He said he learned his attitude about service from his mother.
The Culps were appreciative of his kindness.
“I was almost kind of dumbstruck,” Linda said. “He is just such a nice guy, and it was such a generous thing that he did. He’s my hero.”
She said Slater even apologized for not being able to get down into a ditch all the way with his mower.
“I told him he probably didn’t need to worry about that too much, considering he just mowed the whole yard for us,” she said.
His kindness led Linda to reconsider some of her once negative opinion on police.
“I’ve said negative things in the past,” she said. “That’s why when something good happens, I want people to know that we have good law enforcement officers.”
While Slater isn’t seeking any attention for his good deed, he does say we’re all guilty of ignoring situations in which we could do more for others.
“When we see those opportunities there to pay it forward, we need to take them,” he said. “We’re all guilty of it, including myself, seeing situations where you could help out but you think you’re too busy. We can take advantage of those opportunities. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, you can always do these types of things for other people.”