By Ryan James, Staff Writer
On Labor Day, Armstrong campus police officer Kurt Purtee took his mother to lunch at Texas Roadhouse where he is known by the staff as a regular. Little did he know, this would not be a regular trip. While Purtee and his mother were finishing their meals, the waitress presented them with a $50 gift card, paid for in full by an unknown gentleman. When Officer Purtee asked where the gentleman was, the waitress informed him that the patron had already left.
Of this random act of kindness, Purtee said, “I had never received anything like that before. It was touching. It was a very humbling experience because sometimes even I get lost in that feeling of ‘let me eat my chili and go.’ There is no feeling in the world that can describe how I felt when that happened.”
Purtee paid for the meal with the card and left the rest for the waitress, paying it forward. Purtee later posted a picture of the card to Facebook in hopes of being able to find and thank the person himself. So far he has had no luck.
Purtee said, “Sometimes people just like the anonymity of doing a good deed and not being recognized. If I were to do a good deed for someone I would probably want to be in that guy’s same situation.”
Officer Purtee began his career in law enforcement 14 years ago in Michigan when he was only 19. He worked in Garden City for 10 years before coming to Armstrong four months ago. During his time in Garden City, Purtee worked on sexual assaults, child molestation, thefts, armed robberies, stabbings, and shootings.
Craving a change, he applied for the lieutenant position at Armstrong. Now he is happily getting to practice what he refers to as “community policing,” which focuses more on interacting and building positive relationships with students and faculty in the Armstrong community.