BTBuzz: Officer helps turtle cross road in downpour


Officer Sharnise Hawkins-Graham was heading home after a ceremony when she was alerted to help an unusual citizen: a snapping turtle.

Carolyn B. R. Hammett and her husband were driving in Greenbelt, Maryland, on a stormy afternoon when they spotted rain-drenched Hawkins-Graham standing over something in the middle of the road.

At first she was confused, thinking the road was flooded, but Hammett soon realized the officer was standing over a snapping turtle that was resting in the middle of the road.

“I couldn’t believe that she was standing there guarding that turtle in all that rain,” Hammett told The Dodo. “Not many people would do that, regardless of their occupation. She was serving and protecting in every sense of the word.”

Once Hammett realized what was going on, she and her husband pulled over to help shield the officer from the rain.

Hawkins-Graham informed the couple that she had called animal control for assistance, but they had yet to respond.

Not wanting Hawkins-Graham to wait in the downpour any longer, Hammett went home and grabbed two shovels, which they used to safely lift the turtle off the road.

“The officer thanked us and we thanked her and we all went on our way,” Hammett said. “She was smiling a big broad smile the entire time and she never seemed to care that she was drenched completely through. She was delightful, inspirational, kind, all the things that you think a police officer should be.”