Tonight the Temecula City Council formally recognized Deputy Bruce Pierson of the City of Temecula Police Department for his on-duty act of humanity; ending the year on a note that Temecula has Heart and encouraging all to continue with kindness.
On November 8, 2015, Deputy Bruce Pierson responded to a call that a teenager was peering into cars parked at the shopping center, Promenade Temecula. When Deputy Pierson arrived, he learned the young woman was walking from vehicle to vehicle to stay in the shadows of cars in order to avoid her bare feet from being burned by the hot asphalt as she made her way across the parking lot. Accompanied by two dogs, homeless and 18 years old, she informed Deputy Pierson that she had not worn shoes for 2 months.
Deputy Pierson’s compassionate response to bring the teen inside the mall to purchase shoes was caught on camera by a local resident who posted about the incident on Facebook, unbeknownst to Deputy Pierson. The post did not name Deputy Pierson but he was quickly recognized and, to date, acknowledged by over three-quarters of a million people worldwide with 420,389 likes and 326,807 shares on Facebook plus Instagram and Twitter; and still counting. News stations and online news media networks from KTLA in Los Angeles to Yahoo.com also reported about Deputy Pierson’s kindness, and the City of Temecula has received emails from Tennessee to Venezuela commending the Deputy Pierson.
Small acts of kindness are common in the City of Temecula. In fact, so common, that the City began an initiative earlier this year called “Temecula Has Heart …Because Nice Matters” to highlight the prevalence of kindness within Temecula recognizing that even the smallest of good deeds can positively influence someone’s day. Temecula Mayor Jeff Comerchero, who kicked off the initiative in February, stated, “Deputy Pierson’s act of kindness is what the ‘Temecula has Heart’ initiative is all about – people helping each other through random acts of kindness. We are lucky to have Deputy Pierson keeping us safe, and proving that being nice really does matter.” Mayor Comerchero also expressed appreciation to citizen Joshua Rounds who contributed toward the purchase and posted about the experience which proliferated a great message world-wide, from Temecula. The teenager left Temecula Payless ShoeSource that afternoon with two pairs of shoes, socks, and a scarf.
Temecula Police Chief Jeff Kubel noted, “As a law enforcement officer, there are times when someone is in need and you do what you can to help. It’s seldom seen by others, but it’s something that law enforcement officers do quite frequently in the communities they serve.” Kubel further added, “We are very proud of Deputy Pierson for his actions here. He’s showing a great example of what it means to be a public servant.”
When asked about the incident, Deputy Pierson responded humbly, “I did it because I wanted her to have shoes. The soles of her bare feet were as black as my boots so I took care of it like any other Deputy would have done.” Deputy Pierson added, “Law enforcement as a whole does this every day, and this is just one small occurrence that happened to get noticed.”
The young woman, named Frankie, was later given dog food for her dogs, as well as warm sweaters and a blanket through donations received by Deputy Pierson’s wife. Frankie was also connected to nonprofit organizations that are equipped to provide services that offer homeless individuals a helping hand up.