A desperate mother’s unusual 911 call led to a huge helping hand from a dispatcher and police in Camden County.
The Camden, New Jersey mother of four called 911 back on Jan. 22. The woman told the dispatcher she had no money, food, or options and 911 was the only number she was able to call due to no longer having phone service.
“I had went to local churches and everything trying to find food for my children,” the woman said in the 911 call. “My kids have not eaten since yesterday.”
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“Well this is for police only,” the dispatcher said. “It’s not for this.”
“I know, and my phone is off,” the woman replied. “I can’t call nobody.”
The mother told the dispatcher her food stamps wouldn’t be delivered for at least a month. The call, which went to the Camden County Communications Center, got the attention of a different dispatcher, Tondaleya Bagby.
“I overheard it,” Bagby, who is also a mom, said. “It made me sad. I couldn’t imagine not being able to provide for my child.”
Bagby sent Camden County Officer David Hinton who brought food from a local restaurant to the family at the Crestbury Apartments. Bagby then told her mother, Camden County Police Sergeant Tracy Seigel, about the situation. The mother and daughter, along with retired Lieutenant Scott Bagby and Lieutenant Janell Simpson then used their own money to buy 10 bags of groceries, including milk, bread, cereal, lunch meat, toiletries and other items for the family.
“I went to two stores to just get as much as I could,” Bagby said.
Bagby and her mother then delivered the groceries to the family's apartment that night. Police say the family was overwhelmed and extremely thankful.
“The kids came down the steps in excitement,” Sergeant Seigel said. “And she thanked us.”
For their efforts, Officer Hinton and Sergeant Seigel were named the Camden County Police Department officers of the week.