Belleville police constable Todd Bennett is being hailed a hero for reuniting a mother and son on Christmas.
Compassion, approach-ability and selflessness are just part if of Cst. Bennett’s inherit nature. His dedication in guarding the community, finding out of the box solutions to complicated issues and going above and beyond the call of duty has a local family nominating Cst. Bennett for the Police Association of Ontario’s Hero of the Year Award. Cst. Bennett is now the third member of the Belleville police service to be nominated by the public this year for going above and beyond the call of duty. Detective Constable Mark Abrams and Belleville Police Sergeant Pat Kellar have also been nominated for the award. Nominations close March 19.
In 2016, the family was going through guardianship issues regarding their young grandson and Cst. Bennett was able to intervene on his own time to ensure the little boy could be with his mother on Christmas day.
“After losing both her grandparents within three months of each other in 2014 she (the mother) was left with PTSD and separation anxiety which caused some serious issues,” the child’s grandparent wrote. “Just before Christmas 2016, CAS became involved and apprehended my grandson, putting him in my custody. Todd was one of the officers on duty that day. As the Children’s Aid Society representative explained the legalities to our family including retaining a lawyer and court dates, Todd asked to speak with her privately. They came back and Todd had requested that the apprehension be just placing my grandson in my care without it being legal. They agreed to that. Because this happened right before Christmas my daughter and grandson were both devastated that they wouldn’t be able to be together Christmas day. To our surprise Todd, going way above and beyond – volunteered to come on his own time and stay for an hour Christmas day so my daughter could spend that time with my grandson and give him his gifts.”
A very humble and appreciative Cst. Bennett said it wasn’t about being a hero. It was about ‘being human.’
He added Christmas is a time to be together and enjoy family and it meant the world to him to be there for them.
On top of ensuring the family was together, Cst. Bennett arrived with gifts for both the mother and son. He also brought all the fixings and cooked breakfast so the family could spent time together.
“He is one of our unsung heroes,” beamed PAO president Mike Doucette. The Belleville police Sergeant was Bennett’s supervisor in 2016 and the pair have known each other since their high school days, so this selfless act of kindness on Christmas Day doesn’t surprise Doucette.
“He is generous with his time,” Doucette offered. “He is always involved in community events, fundraisers and on his days off. He is certainly a compassionate officer. Everybody in town knows him. He is a social butterfly. We often get people calling the station with random questions and they ask for Todd. He’s very skilled at working through what we call our ‘can of worms’ calls where it is complicated. We can give him one of those calls because he is good with people. He has the knowledge, skills and ability to sort through it very easily. All of this makes him a good police officer.”
“It was his faith in my daughter that was a turning point for her and she got her son back right after Christmas,” the grandparent revealed. “I have never seen such a selfless act of human kindness and Todd has a friend for life. There’s an eight-year-old boy who really believes in a real life Santa now. He’s a police officer named Todd Bennett.”