Ryan Van Wyk launched a GoFundMe campaign on April 26 aimed at raising $20,000 for the police department. His motivation was to repay some of the income lost by the 10% pay cut.
As of May 18, that fund had raised $6,156 of its goal.
“They were willing to take the pay cut not just to help their fellow officers and employees but also so they could continue to serve and support the community effectively,” Van Wyk said of the force. “I really think it says something when somebody believes in their job enough to keep doing it even though they’re not fully compensated.”
Van Wyk knows first hand the importance of having a police force available that is well-trained and willing to serve.
In October 2016, his then 2-year-old daughter Olivia had been running a fever, which Van Wyk, his wife and their doctor were monitoring. Then, at 3 a.m., his daughter started to go into a seizure and became completely non-responsive.
“My wife immediately called 911, and within minutes, two Chesterfield Police officers were at our side and took control of the situation. While one officer worked on our daughter, the other calmed us explaining that they had seen this before with little kids,” Van Wyk wrote on his GoFundMe page. “A few minutes later, my wife was in an ambulance headed to Mercy Hospital. Olivia had an infection that had resulted in a febrile seizure.
“It’s not an exaggeration when I say that we called 911 and there was an officer at our door in less than 5 minutes.”
Van Wyk said he knows he is not only in having a story like this to share.
“Ryan’s story was very moving,” said Chesterfield resident Helen Crist. “But I think that he is not alone. I think there are many households in Chesterfield that have benefited from the police department, the fire department, you know, in various ways at different times. I think we all need to be aware of what they do for us and … if we can band together to show how much we appreciate their efforts it would be a job well done by the community.”
Both Crist and Van Wyk said it’s not the amount of each donation that matters, it’s the message behind the effort that counts.
“One of the things that is really special about Chesterfield I really do believe is this department and how they treat the city. They are really something to be proud of and support.”
To support the Van Wyk’s efforts, click here.