‘Thanks for keeping us safe’: Police search for teen who wrote powerful note on napkin

Posted at 11:56 AM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-31 12:12:32-04

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The Kansas City police department posted a photo of a napkin on its Facebook page -- and now they want to find the teenager who wrote: "Thanks for keeping us safe."

“We're human too. We like to feel the love just like everybody else does,” Officer Rance Quinn told WDAF.

Officer Quinn hadn’t been feeling a whole lot of love, working in tense environments day in and day out, with people who are rarely happy to see him.

“It just seems like there's a lot of anti-police type of activity going on. I know we're unwanted but it makes us feel like we're under-appreciated,” he said.

But last week, that all changed. Officer Quinn and his co-worker were on their lunch break, when a teenage girl approached their table.

“She laid the napkin kind of nonchalant on the table, looked at us and kept on walking," he recalled.

They looked down and saw the message. Short and sweet, it read, “Thanks for keeping us safe.”

“By the time I looked over my shoulder I was able to give the girl a thumbs up and she smiled,” Quinn said.

Officer Quinn wishes he could’ve said more to the teen. A small gesture, that made a big impact. Officer Quinn now carries the napkin in his pocket.

“Carried it ever since,” he said. “It's a good reminder.”

When Officer Quinn and his partner tried to pay for their lunch, the waitress told him the teen girl already did. Even though Officer Quinn couldn’t tell her this in person, he hopes she hears it.

“The message you gave to us that day was powerful. Don't ever change who you are. Keep that with you through the rest of your life,” Quinn said.

After seeing the gesture, another family approached the officers on their way out and handed them a gift card. The officers passed it along to a family in need.