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Life has its own way of surprising us. One minute it can be going one way and then turn 360 degrees around the next moment. So, when one morning Milwaukee police department received a call from the child welfare workers’ department, they had no idea that this call of duty was about to change many lives- including their own.

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A concerned neighbor near 29th and Locust had called the child welfare department about an abandoned house. He had seen a distressed pregnant woman going in it; he was concerned about what was happening. The house was completely shuttered up from the outside and had no heat, electricity, or plumbing. But when officers Vin Paolo and Dan Resnick knocked on the door, a series of very fortunate events followed.

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When the officers knocked on the door of this abandoned building, a pregnant woman opened the door. The young woman seemed very sweet and greeted them in. She told them that she had lost her job and had nowhere to go, so she was living there temporarily. But when Paolo and Resnick investigated the house, they found out that she was not alone.

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The house was in a very bad condition. They wondered how a pregnant was woman surviving in there. And even though the young lady seemed sweet, the officers had to pry further. So, they began searching the premises. Officer Resnick found one mattress in only one of the bedrooms, with a pile of winter sheets kept over it. But when he moved the sheets, he saw something that crumbled his heart.

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Beneath those pile of sheets was a sleeping 2-year-old boy wearing 3 winter jackets. The woman told the officers that he was her son. And since the house did not have any heating mechanism, it was the best she could do. Later, while reporting the incident to WISN 12 News, Paolo said, “The house was very, very cold. Broken upstairs windows, draft through the house, clothes and garbage and beds amongst the house.”

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Paolo’s fatherly instincts kicked in instantly; he picked up the boy and carried him to his cruiser, as even with 3 jackets and a pile of sheets, there was not enough heat to keep him warm. He also grabbed a packet of chips lying on the table, which evidently was also the only food in the house. Resnick, however, stayed in the house with the mother.

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After turning the heat up in his cruiser, Paolo opened up the packet of chips and offered it to the toddler. But the boy couldn’t reach it. He recalled to the FOX6 News, “I offered him chips. But because of his jacket, his three coats, he couldn’t get his hand inside the bag of chips. It was so thick and I actually had to feed him chips.”

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Considering the condition of the house, Paolo assumed that the boy was still hungry. So, he asked another officer to bring chicken nuggets from a McDonald’s nearby. The boy, indeed, was really hungry. As soon as Paolo gave him the chicken nuggets, he gulped it down. While the boy was eating, Resnick came out of the house.

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When Resnick returned to the squad cruiser, he found the whole scenario very cute. So, he took out his phone and clicked a picture. The toddler was sitting in Paolo’s lap in the driver’s seat. Resnick jokingly shared the picture with Paolo’s wife to tease her, as the pair has adopted 5 foster kids. But no one had a clue how special this picture was going to be.

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In the interview with WISN 12 News, Paolo said, “Coworkers often joke with me as if I’m going to take home every child that I see, and I really wish that I could. It hurts my heart when I see children like this.”

Meanwhile, Paolo’s wife, Mel Williams, shared the picture on her Facebook profile. But she had no idea that the picture would go viral in no time.

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The picture received more than 4,000 likes and was also shared more than 2,000 times. A plethora of positive comments also followed. While responding to the blessings, Mel also took the opportunity to show how proud she felt of her husband. She wrote another post linked to the picture, “I just have to make a disclaimer……my husband had NO IDEA ANYONE TOOK A PICTURE OF HIM. He did it because he’s a loving, kind, compassionate, great person with a huge heart. He did it because he’s a dad, and wants every child to feel loved, safe, and have a full belly. He wants ZERO recognition for this. He’d do this for anyone, uniform or not.”

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When the reporters asked Paolo about his encounter with the toddler, he said that he wanted to keep the kid’s mind off of what was happening outside the car. Moreover, being able to feed him a nice meal and keep him warm really made him happy. He added, “I know these kids go through a lot of difficult times. I try to make every encounter with the police a good encounter.”

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While Paolo was busy distracting the kid, Resnick was counselling the young lady. Both of them played significant roles in the incident. Thus, were showered with praises and blessings, both in person and online. But despite oodles of applaud, they remain very down to earth and try to dampen the reaction. Resnick, in fact, being camera shy, tossed the question to the foster dad, Paolo.

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On being called heroes, Paolo said, “We don’t want recognition. It’s just what we do because we’re dads, we’re people. We don’t just do it because we’re police officers and it’s our job.” Also, he cleared that despite Resnick’s constant cheeky remarks, Paolo and Mel have not taken the kid in. He is in foster care while the social services help his mother find a new house.

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No one had thought that one phone call would touch so many lives. While Paolo and Resnick still do not like being deemed as heroes, they certainly remain ones for the young lady, her kids and thousands of people who followed the story.