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Policeman buys formula for breastfeeding mother in crisis: See the act of kindness


On June 15, Corporal Hunter Willoughby convinced grocery store employees to open at 3 a.m. so he could buy his own baby formula.

An Ohio police officer came to the aid of a mother who desperately needed to feed her baby last month, earning praise from local community members and social media users across the country.

Corporal Hunter Willoughby works for the Miami Township police, about 26 miles northeast of Cincinnati. In the early morning hours of June 15, the department received a call about a mother who was unable to breastfeed her baby, who was just a week old.

Willoughby went to a nearby Meijer store, which was closed at the time, and asked if they would be willing to open a store so he could buy formula and baby bottles. After making his purchase, he went to his mother’s and delivered them to her.

“He refused to accept any payment for the formula or bottles,” Miami Township Police Chief Mike Mills wrote on Facebook July 2. “It’s not often you hear about everything an officer does during his shift, but I did, and this is an example of the Miami Township Way.”

The corporal’s heroic response saves the day

Body camera footage from the victim shows Willoughby repeatedly knocking on the store door until an employee finally comes out to see what is going on.

“There’s a mom,” he says in the video. “She said her milk’s dried up and she can’t find anywhere to buy formula. Is there a way someone here can get a cash register going? I’ll buy some for her and take it to her.”

Another clip released by police shows a corporal trying to decide which type of mixture to choose.

“What the hell is the difference?” he asks himself, before reaching for a can of Similac formula.

When a store employee asks if the nursing mother has bottles, Willoughby decides to grab a few just in case. The employee helps him choose a set of bottles before leading him to the checkout to sign out.

The corporal has been honored for his service in the past.

Willoughby has received numerous accolades for his police work.

According to the department’s entry, his swearing-in took place on the evening of April 18, 2017.

In May 2019, he was named the 2018 Miami Township Police Officer of the Year. In a Facebook post about the achievement, the department said Willoughby embodies the agency’s core values ​​of commitment, integrity and accountability.

He was promoted to corporal in April 2023, the department said in an online congratulation.

According to the department, Willoughby served as a patrol officer, field training officer and detective for six years before deciding to make a change.

Throughout his career, Willoughby has been recognized by members of the community for helping them get help. In January 2021, two people he had previously arrested thanked him for helping them get treatment for drug addiction.

“Jennifer and David stopped by to show their appreciation for Officer Hunter Willoughby,” the department wrote at the time. “They were both addicted to opiates when Hunter arrested them in 2019, which prompted them to seek treatment. Both made it clear they would not be alive if it weren’t for Officer Willoughby.”

Saleen Martin is a reporter on the NOW team at USA TODAY. She is from Norfolk, Virginia – 757. Follow her on Twitter at @SaleenMartin or write to her e-mail address [email protected].