Milwaukee police officers Vincenzo Paolo and Daniel Resnick were the reluctant stars of a police news conference Monday.
As the two good cops sat facing a bank of microphones and cameras, they looked like they would much rather be back in their squad car and on the beat. Still, they were here because they handled that beat so well.
A few days ago, a resident living in the north side neighborhood surrounding 29th and Locust Streets called authorities to report that a toddler was living in squalid conditions along with his pregnant mother in a boarded-up home. Resnick and Paolo were dispatched to the scene.
“I have five children,” Paulo said. “It hurts my heart when I see children like this. It’s unfortunate, but we see this quite often.”
What Resnick and Paolo saw was a tiny boy bundled away on a bed, wearing three coats and still freezing. Both mother and son were famished. The picture was beyond heartbreaking.
Resnick took on the unenviable task of interviewing the mother. Paolo took the child out to his squad car to warm him up. He called some fellow officers and asked them to pick up a meal of chicken nuggets and fries for the starving child.
“He was actually very happy,” Resnick said. “Very outgoing, friendly, cuddling with officer Paolo.”
Paolo adopted those five children he mentioned. Clearly he and Resnick, also a father, were the perfect officers to handle this difficult task.
“We don’t want recognition,” Paolo said. “It’s just what we do because we’re dads. We’re people. We don’t do it because we’re police officers because it’s our jobs. We do this because we love family and we love kids.”
The boy is now in the care of Child Protective Services and Milwaukee Police say his mother is getting help too.