Teen who walked 2 hours to work surprised by cop who buys him bike
BENICIA, Calif. (KTVU) - A teenager from Vallejo was surprised with a bicycle from police officers after they learned he walked about two hours to and from work in Benicia.
Jourdan Duncan has been walking to work at Pro-Form Laboratories in Benicia's industrial park area since May. His car broke down and he did not want to ask people for rides.
"I don't want to feel like I'm a burden to people so I take the initiative to handle myself and where I need to go from point A to point B," he said.
Duncan estimated the walk to be about a two hour commute each way on foot. He goes up and down hills and on city streets to avoid the highway.
"It's four hours all together," he said. I got used to the walk. It's not hard to walk."
On Sept. 17, Duncan had finished his shift at night and began walking home when he was spotted by Benicia Police Corporal Kirk Keffer.
"I just happened to be going down industrial when I saw him walking," Keffer said.
"He said, 'So you walk from Vallejo to Benicia,' I was like, If I have no other way,'" Duncan said.
Keffer offered Duncan a ride home and the two got to know each other. Keffer talked about life as an officer and Duncan shared his aspirations to be an officer with the California Highway Patrol.
Keffer was so impressed with the teen's work ethic that he and members of the Benicia Police Officers Association surprised Duncan at work on Monday with a new mountain bike.
"We talked as a union and the board unanimously approved it. And we started the process of purchasing the bike," Sgt. James Laughter, President of the Benicia POA, said.
Laughter said they reached out to a local bike shop in Benicia, Wheels in Motion Skate & Bike, where they purchased the bike. Duncan also received a helmet, a light for his bike, and free tune ups.
"There's not a lot of 18 year olds out there that have this dedication we just wanted to make sure he know how much I appreciated what he's doing," Keffer said.
Duncan was shocked and grateful.
"You know, not all officers are bad," he said.
Duncan quickly learned how to handle the bike and said it has cut his travel time in half.
"This bike is my best friend," he said. "I love this bike."
The Benicia Police Department is working to give Duncan a ride along in the coming weeks to help further his goal of becoming an officer.