GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Gallatin police officer has made a difference in a young boy’s life, making it possible for him to keep playing a sport he loves.
When mother Angela Rogan couldn’t afford the equipment her 10-year-old needed, she called the officer who always promised he’d be there for her.
Without hesitation, Lt. Ricky Troup paid for the gear out of his own pocket, making a difference for the local family in a world where police are not always perceived as the good guys.
“I’m grateful to Ricky Troup and the Gallatin police for all they have done,” Rogan told News 2.
Rogan says the act of kindness sends a powerful message.
“That [my son] can trust him,” she said. “That he does have someone on the police force he can trust, and if I can trust him, then he knows he can.”
Her son Malachi is a promising football player, a budding nose tackle in the Gallatin youth football league.
When she realized she couldn’t afford all the fifth grader’s equipment, she knew she could ask Lt. Troup for help.
“Every time he told me he would do something or I needed him for something, he has been there,” the mother told News 2.
The officer took Malachi shopping on Tuesday, buying new cleats, gloves, a face shield and chin strap.
Lt. Troup says the gift makes him feel good.
“He needed something. I thought, this is a kid who wants to play football, and I’d rather see him on the football field than running the streets,” he told News 2.
Troup said he paid for the equipment out of his own pocket because he sees something in the young man with a size 11 shoe.
“He looked me in the eyes and shook my hand and he commanded respect, and I wanted to give him respect, and it said a lot for this kid,” Lt. Troup explained. “I think he has a future and I wanted to help him out anyway I could.
Malachai is grateful to the officer, telling News 2 he thanks Troup and really appreciates the help.
“It really is a powerful message, especially with all the things across the country with police relations. It sends a powerful message that there are good cops and they are not all bad,” his mother noted.
“I didn’t think about the color of his skin or the color of my skin. I thought of it as a young man who needed something and I was able to help him,” Troup said.
The officer has promised the 10-year-old he will come to his games and plans to check on him with his teachers and coaches.