Oklahoma City police officers lend a helping hand to a recruit whose wife recently passed away, by donating their sick time and money.
According to police, 33-year-old Lauren Ridener, wife of police recruit Russell Ridener, was hospitalized last week. Doctors discovered she had a brain tumor. Within a week, Lauren passed away, leaving behind her husband and two daughters, Peyton and Skylar.
Friends, family and even people who didn’t know her have donated more than $29,000 to help with expenses. Because Russell is new to the police department, he has not accrued a lot of sick leave yet, so officers are donating their own sick leave as well as money to help their law enforcement brother.
“Here at the police department, we can donate sick time or sick leave to each other in a case like that, and he's so new, he hasn't had the opportunity to accrue that time. So officers have been donating sick time or money to help with whatever he needs,” said MSgt. Gary Knight. “The police department is a very close-knit family, and even though he's new, he's part of that family.”
MSgt. Knight said they have a peer support program at the police department that's been working non-stop to support the Ridener family, and they're there to meet any need they have.
“Certainly that's there to help him, and again, we're a very close-knit family here at the police department and this is one of those times when we have to come together and take care of one of our brothers,” MSgt. Knight said.