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I Spy Someone making a difference.

Chaucey Ispy

I Spy: Public Safety team helps student in need

by Mona Prufer Bookmark and Share
I Spy nominees Officer Jack Bodmer, Lt. Matt Crawford and Officer Mary Ann Adams recently helped a CCU student who was sleeping in his car.
I Spy nominees Officer Jack Bodmer, Lt. Matt Crawford and Officer Mary Ann Adams recently helped a CCU student who was sleeping in his car.

When Coastal Carolina University’s Department of Public Safety received a call this past summer about a suspicious person in a vehicle parked outside the HTC Center on an early Sunday morning, Lt. Matt Crawford and Officer Jack Bodmer responded.

“Upon arrival, we found that it was a Coastal student with some issues,” said Crawford, who supervises the 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. shift.

It turned out to be a homeless student living in his car, hungry and in need of a shower. He was parking at HTC to use the free Wi-Fi. His car was loaded down with his belongings, including dirty pots and pans and dishes. He was living primarily on canned corn and canned salmon.

Crawford and Bodmer, now joined by Officer Mary Ann Adams, took the student to the public safety building, fed him their “Sunday family dinner” of pork and potato salad (they rotate who cooks and brings it in every Sunday) and provided access to a shower and washing machine.

“We had just completed Feel the Teal training,” said Crawford, “so we knew what to do. He ate like there was no tomorrow. We packed him a cooler and worked with University Housing to get him a place to stay. We wanted to make him as comfortable as possible.”

The officers also found him a campus job in his area of study.

“This isn’t the first time something like this has happened,” said Bodmer. “But it always makes us feel bad [for the student].”

Crawford, who supervises Bodmer and Adams, nominated the two for I Spy, the employee training and development program that recognizes faculty and staff who go above and beyond the requirements of their job to help people. In this case, there was no contingency fund to assist such students, so the help they provided was out of their own pockets and “from the heart.”

“We’re a team,” said Crawford. “These are the people I lean on, and we are all overworked; they mean the world to me.”

Crawford, originally from Pittsburgh, Pa., has been at CCU for seven years and loves his job. He was previously a school resource officer. His wife is a nurse in Conway, and they have a total of seven children between them – five boys and two girls – and one 3-year-old grandchild.

Bodmer, who is from Brick, N.J., has been on the CCU staff for two years. “I love my job here,” said Bodmer, who was previously an executive protector and the director of security at a hospital in Toms River, N.J.

Adams, a former parole officer for 23 years, has worked part time at CCU for six years and can’t imagine working anywhere else. She is also a CCU alumna who graduated in 1985.

“I love people, and I love being around students,” said Adams, who believes students sometimes need a little guidance, a little “mom help.”

“They’re afraid to say ‘I miss my mama,’ so I’m there for them. I’ll listen to them, I’ll help them,” said the Bayboro woman whose daily motto is, “Touch lives and lift spirits.”

When not policing and lifting student spirits, Adams is happily at home with her two dogs, Charlie the German shepherd and Hattie Pearl the pug. She also shows her horses – Redneck’s Choice and Jose’s Hero. And she is a new coach for Beach Body Fitness and has lost 34 pounds.

The homeless student, who now has a home and a campus job and can concentrate on his education, was “quietly grateful,” said the officers. But gratitude is not what they’re after.

“It’s just something we normally do,” said Bodmer. “We are here to help.”



 

Related Photos

I Spy nominees Officer Jack Bodmer, Lt. Matt Crawford and Officer Mary Ann Adams recently helped a CCU student who was sleeping in his car. Officer Jack Bodmer, left, and Lt. Matt Crawford “I love people, and I love being around students,” said Officer Mary Ann Adams, a former parole officer. Here she poses with President David A. DeCenzo. Lt. Matt Crawford of CCU's Public Safety department nominated Bodmer and Adams for I Spy, but he was an integral member of the team that tackled a difficult situation. Here he receives his Feel the Teal award from President David DeCenzo.
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