OSU-Tulsa Police Officer Jack Robison believes in divine intervention. One rainy day this spring, he found someone in extra need of such help.
“As police officers, we have laws that we need to enforce. But I really like to help people,” he said. “If I can help somebody, it makes my job so much more enjoyable and satisfying.”
It was pouring rain the day that a black Toyota Prius with Kansas license tags came to a stop on John Hope Franklin Boulevard, just outside of OSU-Tulsa’s Administration Hall. An elderly man in the driver’s seat flagged down Robison, who was on patrol nearby.
“He stopped in the street trying to talk to me,” Robison recalled. “He asked for directions and I asked him where he was going. He said he didn’t know. I asked him where he was coming from and he didn’t know that either.”
Robison then asked to see the man’s identification and was handed a credit card.
“I thought, ‘I can’t let this guy go,’” he said. “I realized this wasn’t a normal situation and I knew the gentleman needed help.”
OSU-Tulsa police not only serve students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus, but they are committed to the surrounding community as well.
As a certified police force, OSU-Tulsa officers are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to emergency situations and investigate suspicious activity.
When Robison realized the Kansas man was in need, he called OSU-Tulsa Police Chief Melvin Murdock and the two brought him into the police department in Main Hall to see what they could do to make sure he was safe.
“We said, ‘We’re going to take care of you,’” Robison said.
An emergency mental health team evaluated the 83-year-old man and believed he suffered from dementia. Robison called the Kansas Highway Patrol to see if there were any Silver Alerts out on the man. No public notifications on missing senior citizens had been made.
Robison left campus and brought him back lunch. Since the man’s cell phone was dead, they charged it and ultimately found a phone number for one of his sons in Kansas. It was then they learned the man had taken off in his Kansas son’s car to head to Florida where another son lived. After contacting the man’s relatives, both sons believed their father would be fine continuing on to Florida.
“We didn’t think it was a good idea, but we couldn’t legally hold him,” Robison said. “We loaded the GPS on the phone with his son’s address and bought him a phone charger and tried to keep in touch with him along the way.”
They heard from the Florida son several days later that the man had made it, despite getting lost a couple more times on his journey.
“I was so distraught about him driving on to Florida,” Robison said. “But as a Christian, I believe in divine intervention. I don’t know what would’ve happened to him if he wouldn’t have flagged me down. I just know that I’m glad I was there.”