He didn’t expect what the police did next.
Jourdan Duncan used to walk to work, and walk back home every day. Though this is normal for some people, Jourdan’s case was completely different. He had to work, go to school, help his parents, and even pay for his own tuition. To make all that possible, he had to go on a seven-mile trip from his job in Benicia to his parents’ home in Vallejo, California. That arduous walk would take him 5 hours a day.
One night, Benicia Police saw him walking in the dark and stopped him in his steps. He was shocked and confused, thinking of what he might have done wrong. Corporal Kirk Keffer, with the Benicia Police Department, pulled up behind him, and waved him over.
But he wasn’t stopped to be interrogated or apprehended, instead, they wanted to help him out. “It’s dark; there’s no sidewalks,” Keffer said. “I asked him where he was walking to, and he says, ‘Home.’”
So, Keffer offered Duncan a ride. While driving to Duncan’s home, they shared stories about their lives, and Keffer was impressed by the teen’s hardwork and dedication.
“People use [a long commute] as an obstacle not to work,” Keffer said. “I wanted to make sure that he understood a good work ethic and dedication like that is going to be noticed and rewarded.”
“I had to start saving up little by little,” Duncan said, explaining that his paychecks went toward helping out his parents, paying tuition for college, and saving up for a new car. “It’s a pretty peaceful walk. I just put in my headphones, play my music.”
The successful GoFundMe campaign started by the Benicia Police Department that raised more than $40,000 over the last four months, allowed Duncan to buy a used Volkswagen Passat to get to his job as a packaging line worker.
“They’re setting an example of what a good community is,” Duncan said. “I thought maybe that could be me—maybe I can have a change in our society and change in the community.”
“He helped make my life easier,” Duncan said, adding that his commute time was reduced to only 50 minutes in one direction. “They care about their community, they care about their people and they care to help us.”