Truth and Grace in the Same Police Incident

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Manchester, New Hampshire police officer Lisa Mackey is scheduled to retire next month. But, before she does, she provided a practical illustration of truth and grace operating together when she arrested a homeless couple.

Mackey and her partner, Kevin Gelinas, responded to a report of a stolen purse and, in so doing, tracked a car that looked like the suspect vehicle in a McDonald’s parking lot.

Upon investigating, Mackey found Christopher Greene in the driver’s seat of the car waiting for his girlfriend, Holly Solans, who was inside the McDonald’s. There was a used heroin needle on the passenger seat beside him.  He was arrested for drug possession. The stolen purse was in the car’s back seat.

When Mackey found Solans inside the restaurant, the Officer learned that she and Greene were “homeless, desperate and hungry.” Mackey arrested Solans for the theft of the purse.

But it’s what she did next that made this an unusual stop.

Manchester Police Department Sgt Brian O’Keefe wrote: “Even though Solans had broken the law by allegedly stealing a purse, Officer Mackey did what many on the outside feel is unexpected: She purchased food for the subject, allowed her to eat, and then took her into custody for receiving stolen property.”

A witness, impressed by the demonstration of compassion, reported it. But O’keefe said that Mackey is “far too humble to speak about the incident” to the press. “She is quite embarrassed about [the attention].”

Lisa Mackey demonstrated the coming together of truth, as she upheld the law, and grace, by demonstrating meaningful kindness for someone who was hungry for it.

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 2.19.54 PM