The Rowlett Police Department recently rewarded a well-intentioned Schrade Middle School student. Sixth-grader RJ Beattie received a surprise lunch courtesy of Rowlett PD in September—a public thank you for an act of generosity.
“RJ and his mom came to the Police Department as we were getting off shift. He had worked and saved $180 of his own money and wanted to take the first two police officers he saw out to eat,” explained Officer Ryan Doherty. “We could not go at that moment so we took his information. We decided we did not want him to take us out to eat. We wanted to come to him, surprise him and eat lunch with him.”
To prepare for the special visit, Doherty spoke to Beattie’s mom, Lori, and learned the 11-year-old loves Subway.
“It is pretty cool that they brought Subway,” he said. “At first I felt like something bad was about to happen, but then I saw them all and thought, ‘No, this is something good.’”
Beattie was right. The Falcon ate lunch with some lucky friends and four officers. After a satisfying bite to eat and photo ops, he got to check out a patrol SUV and even went on a short ride.
The special experience was the result of inspiration drawn from a tragic event. After learning about the attack on Dallas police officers in July, Beattie felt compelled to show his appreciation for local law enforcement. The young do-gooder mowed lawns, played Bingo and completed household chores for two weeks to earn $180. He planned to take at least two officers to any restaurant of their choice.
“He is a really good kid. We wanted to recognize him in front of his peers,” Doherty expressed. “His actions show how his mom is raising him. We think it is great that a kid—especially of his age—would raise that amount of money for us. We really appreciate that. It is a really cool thing.”
“Police officers risk their lives every day to protect ours,” Beattie added. “So I just wanted to show respect for them. I want to keep in touch with them and just hang out.”
Though he was not able to treat the officers, Beattie is still holding on to the money he earned. He plans to continue saving—perhaps for another act of kindness in the future.