Chuck Elias had a special birthday on February 17, 2018. It was not only special because it was his 30th birthday. It was also special because Patrol Officer Paul Kruger, of the Wabasha Police Department stopped by to wish Chuck Happy Birthday.

Chuck has a brain injury he sustained from a car accident when he was 13 years old. Chuck receives residential services from Great River Homes, Inc. in Wabasha, MN. Chuck is unable to communicate with words, but is able to express his feelings with facial expressions and in other ways.

Chuck enjoys watching COPS on television. Bridget DeFrang, Program Supervisor thought Chuck would like to have a real “cop” visit him on his birthday. Bridget called Police Chief Joe Stark and asked if a police officer could stop by Chuck’s home on his birthday. Patrol Officer Paul Kruger responded. Paul was in his full uniform and showed Chuck his police car with the flashing lights on. Chuck was grinning ear-to-ear and very excited throughout the visit.

Paul Kruger and Joe Stark of the Wabasha Police Department are to be commended for making Chuck’s birthday special and understanding how important it is to serve our community with compassion.

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. This years theme is “See Me for Me” which means looking beyond someone’s disability and seeing the person. Officer Paul Kruger did look beyond Chuck’s disability when he made a personal connection with Chuck on his birthday.

Chuck Elias is pictured above with Officer Paul Kruger of the Wabasha Police Department on Chuck’s birthday. Paul Kruger took time out of his busy schedule and gave Chuck the gift of his time, the best gift of all.