On the first holiday weekend of the summer season Officer Tim Harder saw an opportunity to prevent problems from erupting. On May 28th the methadone clinic on Madison's East side had a large overflow of clientele due to a computer problem. This was also aggravated by the fact that the clinic would be closed on the Monday Memorial Day holiday. The clinic serves not only individuals in Dane County but adjacent counties as well, so lines swelled to well over 200 people. Some in the long lines brought their kids, as they queued up to receive their addiction treatment.
Small space, addiction issues, long lines of hundreds of people, some with small children is a potential recipe for problems as frustration grows...however an MPD officer interceded. PO Tim Harder recognized the potential for problems and took it upon himself to ease the burden of the wait.
Tim coordinated with officers to bring toys for the kids waiting in line with their parents. For two hours Tim stayed with the waiting people, handing out water and chatting/joking with those in line. What could have been a bad situation turned into an opportunity for community engagement. As Sgt. Ron Webster reported, people relaxed, the kids played with the toys and calmness prevailed.
Tim knew there would be long lines again for the 4th of July weekend. He made arrangements to be there again to interact with the clinic clients, and have small toys for the kids. This type of performance and service displays exceptional compassion for members of our community and those who come to our community for services.