City cops buy back pawned wedding ring for elderly Cornwall couple

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Cornwall police

CORNWALL, Ontario - A collection of Cornwall police officers went above and beyond the call of duty on the weekend - helping an elderly couple buy back a wedding ring that was pawned to buy groceries.

Coun. Andre Rivette updated city council on the story Monday night, which goes something like this:

City cops were attending what they believed was a domestic call at a Cornwall home involving an elderly couple who were in the midst of an argument.

Upon visiting the home police discovered that an elderly woman was suffering from dementia. They further determined that the husband had recently pawned his wedding ring in an effort to purchase groceries.

The couple had been married 54 years and the husband admitted he was finding it difficult to not only care for his wife, but to put food on the table.

Police quickly began canvassing among themselves and raised $150 to purchase groceries for the couple, as well as $130 to buy the ring back from a local pawn shop.

Rivette's story was met with an ovation from those in the council chambers.

"This really shows that our officers have a heart," he said.

The officers who helped will receive a commendation from the police services board soon for their efforts.

The Alzheimer's Society and Community Care Access Centre are now involved in the case.

The members of the service involved in helping the couple include constables Kim Norman, Cody Casselman, Michel Riel, Rodney DeGray, Casey MacGregor, James Lemoyre, sergeants Patrick Paquette, Dan Doyon and George Knezevic as well as civilians Jody Sheard, Josee Lalonde, Claire Denis, Jenna Legault and Tasha Marcotte.

Geographic location: Cornwall, Ontario

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Recent comments

  • Nicole Giroux
    February 03, 2015 - 15:34

    As a girl brought up in Cornwall who moved away year ago it makes me proud to see how big the hearts are still in my home town Congrats!!!!

  • Barb Barbour
    February 03, 2015 - 07:07

    nice to get up in the morning and reading such a heart warming class act of the generosity that was given to the senior couple who has fallen on hard times. If everyone of us did a good thing for each other to help someone in need what a better world this would be.........

  • Stella Castaneda
    January 31, 2015 - 20:14

    Could you please tell me if you are raising money to help this couple on permanent basis? I would like to contribute. Please send me an email and tell me know how can I help.

  • Dave
    January 31, 2015 - 17:51

    Class Act Folks. I am very proud of you. Bravo!

  • Marge
    January 31, 2015 - 17:49

    Wonderful story and a group of good guys!

  • Heather Foster
    January 31, 2015 - 15:51

    Thank you for proving the world is filled with wonderful, caring people.

  • norm
    January 31, 2015 - 14:59

    Is there a fund for this man and police officers to accept donations?

  • Mary Peluso
    January 31, 2015 - 09:58

    Is there a fund for this man to accept some donations?

  • Patricia Goodwill
    January 30, 2015 - 18:35

    Wonderful gesture of kindness, how can we help? Donate? Thank you

  • Kevin Crosby
    January 30, 2015 - 10:00

    I know of several people that would like to donate to this couple. Has there been a trust setup for them yet?? Thanks

  • dave
    January 29, 2015 - 18:43

    I needed to hear this compassionate act. GOD BLESS.

  • Kent S
    January 29, 2015 - 16:17

    I commend all of those officers and for posting their names as the ones doing the good deed. I would have been in tears

  • Joyce kailing
    January 29, 2015 - 15:02

    I think it was very nice the Cornwall police did for this elderly couple. Sometimes police get a bum rap. They try their best, but to some people it is not good enough.

  • Sue
    January 29, 2015 - 12:33

    I think these officers should be commended for this. I don't care if they make millions. It is the fact they saw a need and took the incentive to reach out and help someone. I am sure the couple did not care how much money the officers made, they probably were happy that someone actually cared. God bless our police officers who serve us everyday.

  • Mark
    January 29, 2015 - 12:23

    Well, it is amazing how a kind gesture gets negative comments from so many on being 'short-sighted', not giving enough, that they should risk their lives to save a life, etc, etc. Some of you should go out on a ride along to see what police have to do and how they are the thin end of the wedge of social welfare and were able to make referrals that got this couple some help. So yes, they did something great, and they probably saved two lives, they bought time for the other agencies to become involved. And I doubt they willingly put their names forward for recognition. When you do things that are the right things, you don't look for recognition, you do it because it has to be done. Look to the government to see how your precious tax dollars have been misspent, not people giving from their own pockets.

    • Goychi Mulleda
      January 31, 2015 - 09:36

      Commendable, indeed! To God be the glory! These people are simply overflowing with His love and grace and decided to share those with others. May there be more random acts of kindness like this for that is what's expected of us as God's ". . . . workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10)

  • Liz
    January 29, 2015 - 11:31

    I salute to officers like Cornwall. He not only helped the elderly couple survive daily hunger , but marked the word of horned of helping those in need!! I am proud to be Canadian because of true leaders like Cornwall that give our community true meaning of kindness to ty neighbor. My hats off to you Officer Cornwall!!

  • Wesley
    January 28, 2015 - 22:03

    It's good that they raised almost $300 BUT for a group of folks who all make $75,000 - $90,000/year, pitching in 10 bucks is like losing a looney on the street - no big deal. The couple will once again be in trouble in a week or two as $150 does not go very far in a grocery store these days. For a very well paid group they could have done so much more.

    • Elizabeth Lesperance
      January 29, 2015 - 08:13

      And what is it Wesley that you are doing to help out this elderly couple? It's easy to shoot your mouth off and judge people from behind a computer screen. Maybe you should step up and put some money where your mouth is( after you move your foot)

  • Dana
    January 28, 2015 - 20:34

    Is there a fund being set up for this gentleman to help him out? I hope it will be MC/Visa accepted or Paypal. Please let us know. So sad what this gentleman has to go through.

  • Filomena
    January 28, 2015 - 18:05

    I am Happy that the officers did something good as help this couple there should be more people like the officers to help anyone who needs it

  • Ralph Vendegna
    January 28, 2015 - 17:15

    This is awesome to see a police department officers went above and beyond the call of duty to help an elderly couple. Dementia when is full blown and it comes to having to get help for the person and does not know where to turn to for help. By receiving a call from the home and the officers who responded seen and heard the problem jumped into not only get other officers to donate for food and help get a wedding ring back but to also get the mans wife the medical help she needs. This is GOOD POLICING...

  • Pamela Nutter
    January 28, 2015 - 16:20

    People portray POLICE Officers in a bad light ALL the time... they forget these officers have families they want to come home to at the end of the day. They have caring hearts this is ONE Reason they decided to Serve AND Protect. Thank You ALL for doing what you do EVERYDAY and helping this couple .

  • Jennifer
    January 28, 2015 - 14:51

    I hope that this couple has been referred to CCAC and is getting more supports and services in place. Bravo for a job well done to all the officers involved.

  • Dave
    January 28, 2015 - 10:36

    What else can be said except, Well Done!

  • Harold Steinburg
    January 28, 2015 - 10:08


  • Charles
    January 28, 2015 - 09:40

    Well done gentlemen, well done.

  • Lynda
    January 27, 2015 - 21:35

    It's like that here in the US, but I thought Canada was better. Please be what I thought you were.

  • Carol Maw
    January 27, 2015 - 21:04

    Kudos to you fine examples of humanity you should be given a medal..... I am in my sixties and blessed with children who care...there are many older people who have no one..... I thank you for your compassion...

  • RonRon
    January 27, 2015 - 20:35

    Yeah, what they did was kind but dare I say a tad shortsighted. Solves their problem for this week but what happens when he has to pawn it again next week? Same cops go out and rebuy the ring over and over again?

    • Jamie MacMaster
      January 28, 2015 - 10:20

      Exactly, RonRon. If everybody who commented here was to take the same amount of time and effort and send a quick email to local politicians, maybe something constructive would be done to solve the actual problem. Mayor and council can be contacted at MPP Jim McDonell can be contacted here:

  • Linda Hebor
    January 27, 2015 - 19:57

    l have never been so touched by the actions of these police officers !! It is so good to hear such caring people exist ! You guys went way beyond the call of duty ! God Bless You Men !

  • Tony
    January 27, 2015 - 19:14

    What a great job, Officers. Maybe the most important and lasting benefit of your kindness is the AWARENESS that you have brought to the plight of some of our elderly. They have indeed earned the right to be properly cared for- they have spent their lives building this country. If they need some help in return, what could be fairer.

  • Kim Morin
    January 27, 2015 - 18:25

    Thank you for your humanity in this situation. This poor man must have felt so alone. Thank you again.

  • Marie
    January 27, 2015 - 17:58

    It is actually nice for a change to see something positive about the police instead of the pages and pages dedicated to a few bad ones. For the person who said "if they want recognition, the should do something more like such as risk their lives to save someone else's life", seriously dude they risk their life everyday they put on their uniform. Every single day they walk out of their from doors their families are never guaranteed they will be home for dinner. We all need to show them more support. I thank all men and women in service that protect our lives day in and out.

  • Karen G
    January 27, 2015 - 16:49

    don't you wish that this kind of story would inspire "copy cat" behaviour the way that stories of violence and terrorism seem to encourage same? we need MORE feel good stories with Happy endings- so- the challenge is on- Can you do a better deed?

  • Pat McPherson
    January 27, 2015 - 16:10

    Bless everyone of those officers for getting involved and helping out. It takes a village to raise a child and I'm very much afraid to look after the elderly as well. Our present system is sadly lacking.

  • Jamie MacMaster
    January 27, 2015 - 15:48

    It baffles me that this story ends at this point. Why was an elderly couple in an advanced western society living in such dire straights? Are they the only ones? Could it be that there is something very, very wrong with our much-vaunted social safety net? Is it possible that things might get worse as our province slides deeper into debt and the population ages? Is there any real curiosity left in any of our press and politicians? Just thinkin', you know....

    • G's Friend
      January 27, 2015 - 17:28

      No, they're not the only elders living in these dire straits. And the cost of living in Cornwall is relatively low compared to other areas of this province. Let's thank McGuinty, Wynne, et al for doing their part in this saga, with their p!ssing away health care dollars, and increasing goods and service costs with their Green programs. Cornwall's Mayor and Council will, no doubt, be leading the investigation, along with the author of this article, into the causes of and the solutions to this abominable state of affairs. Thanks to the police officers and civilians who stepped in to help this couple.

  • Michelle
    January 27, 2015 - 15:33

    Well no doubt that is lovely but with the cuts to CCAC and the crowed nursing homes this couple and many more are in for more trouble to come. Perhaps we can use this as a to bring attention to the plight of seniors through out our country.

  • mike
    January 27, 2015 - 13:35

    heroes all!

  • Ra
    January 27, 2015 - 13:30

    In tears. Amazing work. Wish there were more people like them in the world. We need more caring.

  • Theresa
    January 27, 2015 - 13:20

    What a wonderful thing that these police did for this couple, I know how hard it must of been for her husband, it makes me mad because the elderly people put their life in their country, but they are not getting enough money from this country to live on .

    • KHoover
      January 28, 2015 - 09:25

      While it is wonderful that the Cornwall Police stepped in to help this couple now, what happens next month, or the month after ?? Are there no Social Services organizations that can assist in this situation. Someone else mentioned "where was their family". Not every couple has children to fall back on, and being older, they may not have the family left to assist them. Unfortunately, as our population ages, there are going to be more and more couples/people in this type of situation, which is very sad. It should not be happening in Canada !

  • norma cleverdon
    January 27, 2015 - 12:23


  • Carmie
    January 27, 2015 - 12:19

    Yet another act of kindness! Warms my heart.....I love it! The world needs so much more! P.S. To all the negative bloggers.... It really doesn't matter who or where it's coming from, or who's being recognized for it - The important thing here, is that it's being done! Don't always look for something to complain or bitch about....GEEZE! Try and show some appreciation for a good deed for the love of God! WOW!

  • Carmie
    January 27, 2015 - 12:19

    Another act of kindness! Warms my heart.....I love it! The world needs so much more! P.S. To all the negative bloggers.... It really doesn't matter who or where it's coming from, or who's being recognized for it - The important thing here, is that it's being done! Don't always look for something to complain or bitch about....GEEZE! Try and show some appreciation for a good deed for the love of God! WOW!

  • D Smith
    January 27, 2015 - 11:05

    Mixed emotions...Very happy that this couple was helped in such troubled times in their lives, good for them! smile emoticon What is sad is that there needs to be recognition of the officers who helped, being published by name...why? And that $250 ($20 each person), was all that was donated to this couples needs. Seems to me they need more help than that, and what a shame, this had to be brought up at City Council in the first place. Do something nice for someone...AGREED, getting a CITY wide pat on the back for it.....Boo! And lastly, I understand the pawnshop is a business, but the pawn broker could and should have just given it back to the couple. The only true hero of this story is the husband, doing what he needed to do for his wife. That is what real love and selflessness is.

    • Tolly
      January 27, 2015 - 12:44

      What you fail to recognise is that whilst this may seem like a simple act that required practically little effort, there was still an essence of compassion; something that media often fails to report. Everyday there are countless wrong doings that are often over stressed, and an equal amount of compassionate acts that go unnoticed because there are people that don't gain enough attention or don't seek it. So when it does gain attention, there are people opposed such good deeds. We NEED this positive reinforcement to show that there are good people out there and with a 'general' negative opinion on the police forces, it allows good behaviour through senseless acts. What this article highlights is that there is a serious need for reconciliation and reforment in the budgets for elderly pensioners, and those with mental health. So yeah, I agree with your statement, the husband did a selfless act but I also think the police went above and beyond their social duty and simply did what a good person would do.

    • Jason
      January 27, 2015 - 12:55

      I side with your comment. If they want recognition, they should do something more such as risking their lives to save some life. This is hardly anything to be recognized by. Since enforcement is being under scrutiny due to all the negative images of their actions, they want to counter balance with anything little positive thing they've done. come on... they basically gave our tax money to that poor man. Do more cops!

    • F Simmons
      January 27, 2015 - 12:58

      Really? They did it because they care. Not because they were looking for something in return or to be awarded. They are human beings with their own families and spouses. You don't know the whole story, only what is published. They did it to serve and protect. They are protecting the love the man has for his wife by bringing back the memories they share. She has dementia and doesn't understand. What have you done to help anyone lately? Yes, it was only $20 each but it is more than any other work place will fork out at the last second to help someone in need.

    • Tom d
      January 27, 2015 - 13:17

      These guys reached into their own pockets. what have you done? With the way cops conduct themselves in the States I'm more than happy to give these guys a pat on the back for what I consider excellent community police work.

    • anon
      January 27, 2015 - 13:42

      I agree, it is sad to see an elderly couple suffer, they have worked their entire lives and can't even afford food yet our MPs just took an 11% pay raise. To have to pawn something as personal and sentimental as your wedding ring just to eat brings tears to my eyes. Is there something that I can do, some sort of fund account so those of us who would like to give so this man doesn't have to make a decision like this again in the future. I'm sure it broke his heart to walk into that pawn shop and brought him to tears to walk out without his most precious possession...He should receive commendation for the sacrifices he has made for his wife!!!!

    • Catherine Duchesne
      January 27, 2015 - 16:07

      Really? You find negativity in this story, they went above and beyond, and you think they should not be recognized! Please share the last time you did something nice for someone, if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing!

  • Maureen Kolodie
    January 27, 2015 - 10:59

    Well done, Cornwall Police Officers! Maureen Winnipeg, MB

  • Sue
    January 27, 2015 - 10:55

    Very caring, great job guys!!!

  • Joan Boor
    January 27, 2015 - 10:16

    It is people like these police officers who remind us that there are definitely good people in this world. Thank you to all of you for helping this couple out and getting in touch with the organizations that can give them some help and support. My question is...where was this couple's family?

  • denise lalonde
    January 27, 2015 - 09:46

    i think that was very kind of the police to do that for them thanks guys

  • Debbie Kingston
    January 27, 2015 - 09:44

    Thank you so much for informing the public of the kindnesses of our police force. We all need to remember these men and women are humans with hearts. They set for us a good example of caring.

  • geoff Stephenson
    January 27, 2015 - 08:46

    It has been brought up by myself & a few others before, during & after the election that we need to do something for those who suffer from this horrible disease. Maybe now, some people will listen.

  • Johannes Jahnke
    January 27, 2015 - 07:21

    Good work!

  • Susan
    January 27, 2015 - 07:21

    What a lovely gesture! This should make the news...instead of the bad publicity we had recently.

  • Tom
    January 27, 2015 - 07:14

    Great job CCPS, well done.

  • sue
    January 27, 2015 - 06:54

    May have been only a couple hundred bucks Andre, but that is not the point. The officers did not have to do this, but because they are worthwhile, decent human beings, their actions made a world of difference to this desparate couple in crises. What have you done lately for the betterment of your fellow man?

  • Giselle McDonald
    January 27, 2015 - 06:14

    It,s sad when you have to pond an article to buy food.This should not be happening in CANADA!!!!! God bless the officers who helped this poor couple out.

  • Loretta Ward
    January 27, 2015 - 05:40

    That is awesome ! Great job everyone!! A little happiness goes a long way! Keep up the good work;) Loretta

  • patricia page-cameron
    January 26, 2015 - 23:52

    This story has touched my heart it is so nice to know that our city police did this for them it shows that our police force does care and do have a heart . So when it comes to crime and violence for those of you who do not like them just remember they are just doing their JOB . May god bless each and everyone of you .

  • Fenchyman
    January 26, 2015 - 23:39

    We do have a good police force in Cornwall. I am always amazed how they give in the community. Boys & Girls club, Children treatment center. Thank You for the kindness to all involve.

  • Alison
    January 26, 2015 - 23:25

    What a wonderful story! I'm glad the extra steps taken by the officers will result in the couple getting help. Hopefully this article will encourage people to donate to our local agencies to ensure help is always available.

  • Christina
    January 26, 2015 - 23:09

    thanks you to all of the officers involved, that helped that poor couple.

  • andre cardinal
    January 26, 2015 - 23:09

    Are you kidding me? Commendation for what? A couple hundred bucks?

    • Phil Doyon
      January 27, 2015 - 04:57

      It depends on what you spend on an engagement ring.

    • anon
      January 27, 2015 - 07:45

      and what good deed did you do today? this isn't about the money... it's about people helping people. how about you help me and f**k off

    • Ben Watkins
      January 27, 2015 - 09:55

      Seriously Andre? Someone went out of their way, when they didnt have to do anything, to HELP someone, and you cant understand why people want to commend them for it? Considering there are so many cops that would rather shoot someone than help them, it should be obvious why these men/women deserve commendations. If we dont support those doing good in our communities, how can we expect everyone else to start doing good in our communities?

    • annoyed
      January 27, 2015 - 14:12

      Really, do you know what a commendation is for an officer. A nice piece of paper for saying thank you for the effort. A corporations way of saying thank you for an extra effort is a bonus. These guys and gals went above and beyond, not for the publicity. None of these folks were thinking about what they would get out of it. Get your head out of your butt buddy.

  • Suzanne
    January 26, 2015 - 21:45

    Wow !! Verry Nice To Reed The Goodnes in Peaples Heart This Kind Jesture Will Come Back To You ! Over And Over Again Good Bless You !

  • Tina
    January 26, 2015 - 21:38

    This is the kinda news I love to read. So much hatred anymore, happy to see that there are still many kind people in this world that will go above and beyond. WTG, Cornwall Police for giving heart and soul!

  • Denise Riley
    January 26, 2015 - 21:31

    Glad to hear a feel good story coming out of my birthplace. Does Cornwall have Go Fund Me on Facebook where they could get help for this couple?

  • Catherine Stapley
    January 26, 2015 - 21:30

    Was there really ever any doubt that our police force here in Cornwall would go above and beyond? We have amazing officers and staff at the station and this only confirms what some of us already know! Great job!!!

  • Candace
    January 26, 2015 - 21:16

    I also am caring for a spouse with Dementia and know just how this husband feels. I would like to express my undying gratitude to the Officers from the Cornwall Police Service for what they did for this couple. They are truly guardian angels in disguise.

  • Ron
    January 26, 2015 - 20:59

    I think these officers did a really great deed. i truly think they should be thanked, but a commendation for it....really. they did it out of the goodness of there hearts..just leave it at that