Cop kindness

Posted 1/28/21

By ARDEN BASTIA Warwick Police Officer Jill Marshall has reminded the world that while COVID-19 may take away lives and a normal way of life, it can never take away kindness. Police1, a law enforcement news network, recently recognized Officer Marshall

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Cop kindness

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Warwick Police Officer Jill Marshall has reminded the world that while COVID-19 may take away lives and a normal way of life, it can never take away kindness.

Police1, a law enforcement news network, recently recognized Officer Marshall for her dedication to her community. Marshall made the Police1’s “2020 in Review” list, detailing an outstanding officer in each state across the country.

In March 2020, when the pandemic first hit, Marshall was on second shift duty on a Friday. She received a call from Westbay Community Action about an 87-year-old woman who was homebound without enough food. Westbay was unable to help her until the following Monday, so Marshall stepped up to assist.

“It’s something so simple. To me, that’s a no brainer,” said Marshall in an interview. “You hear that someone needs food, it’s automatic that I’d step in an help. It blew me away that it became something so big because it was such a simple act of kindness.”

Marshall went to the woman’s house, and was given $100 and a grocery list. “When I heard her say this is all she has, I thought no way. We have people in the community, maybe I could figure something out.”

With the generosity of Shaw’s market and members of the public who overheard the story, Marshall was able to purchase everything on the list with no cost to the woman. “I never asked, but people heard, and in their kindness, came over to help,” Marshall said of employees and shoppers at Shaw’s that helped her out. “It’s unbelievable how generous people were.”

Marshall has been a police officer for 19 years. She has three children, and is married to recently retired WPD Captain Timothy Marshall. She has had several roles within the department, including second and third shift patrol, undercover detective work, conducting background investigations on police recruits, and most recently, working as a school resource officer at Winman and Warwick Veterans Middle Schools.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, Marshall said her “world was changed a little bit. School resource officers were told they had to go back to patrol, and I took second shift.”

“I feel like the mom on the shift, everyone else has been on maybe a couple of years,” she added with a laugh.

This isn’t her first example of going above and beyond for her community. Marshall explained that she’s always done what she can to help those that need it. Last November and December, Marshall, and other officers, held several donation drives to give back to the Warwick community. She described the “incredibly successful” coat and toy drives, where officers were able to fill a shipping container with donated toys. “I still cannot get over the generosity. I have not seen anything like it in my nineteen years,” she said in an interview.

The Warwick Police Department held a coat drive at Walmart over two weekends in November, and in three hours, Marshall says four shopping carts of brand new coats, hats, gloves, and other warm gear were collected.

In December, along with other school resource officers, Marshall got in touch with the principal at Warwick Veterans Middle School to ask about any families who were in need over the holidays. “Teachers reached out with students and families that could use food and toys, and we were able to connect to different families through the school.”

Another highlight to Marshall’s career was her time on the television show, LivePD. “That was an incredible experience, a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Marshall. LivePD provided viewers a chance to ride along with Warwick police officers as they answered calls, both good and bad, across the city. “The support from the community in Warwick was humbling. I can’t tell you how many people in this community thanked me for my service and how much they loved the show.”

Marshall says she is grateful for that opportunity and, if the show returns to network, don’t be surprised if Warwick makes another appearance.

When Marshall first became a police officer, she really wanted to be part of the community police team. “It’s funny how I jumped on towards the end of my career.”

Marshall is able to retire in December, and is looking forward to another chapter. “I’ve always had opposite schedules to my husband and children, and no real normalcy.” She is considering a new career as a paraprofessional in schools.

“Something flexible, maybe with summers off,” she said, and then added, “I think I deserve it.”

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