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'Every Day Is An Opportunity To Change The Narrative': Plano Police Officer Helps Needy Family Escape Heat, Pays For Hotel

PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - What a family first perceived as a case of police harassment had a far different outcome in Plano.

In fact, the officer's actions have earned him praise.

On one of the hottest days of the summer, Officer Lance Buckley decided to approach a couple with a small child who looked like they could use some help, or at least directions.

Plano officer body cam of homeless family
Plano officer body cam of homeless family (credit: Plano PD)

"Dad had a towel around his neck and sweat showing from a shirt and I knew at least that day the heat index was 105 or 106," said Officer Buckley. "Surrounded by all their luggage, they had a little kid probably three or four years old running around them."

From the other side of the Officer Buckley's dash camera, Maasai Shepard prepared for something he had seen several times before.

"I've had some run-ins as a family from the police departments in different states over some of the most ridiculous things, over things like wearing masks and 'what are you doing in this hotel trying to get a room'," said Shepard.

But harassment wasn't on Officer Buckley's mind.

He joined the Plano Police Department five years ago right after several high-profile police shootings and said he starts every evening shift with the simple goal, to help people.

"Every day I show up to work is an opportunity to change the narrative," said Officer Buckley.

He found out the Shepards had just relocated from California and were struggling financially without a place to live.

"We are business owners and due to the pandemic caused us to lose a lot of business, leaving California and now relocating down here to Texas," explained Shepard.

"The walls kind of came down and the dad leveled with me that they could use some help for the night," said Officer Buckley.

It didn't take long for the officer to fill his patrol car with luggage and drive the family to a local hotel room where he footed the bill.

"He treated us to dinner and we appreciated him very much," said Ciara Shepard. "He helped us out get a room and also helped us out with some resources. Every officer should follow Officer Buckley's lead when you see a family or any minority look to help them first and not everyone is up to bad or doing bad."

The Shepard's are still in need of long-term assistance and Officer Buckley, who's remains in touch, said he isn't closing the case until he makes sure they get it.

Anyone interested offering help to the Shepards can do so through their businesses or a cash donation:

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