For many kids turning 5, Disneyland tickets are the perfect birthday gift. Joyce, a teaching aide at a Long Beach elementary school, had Eddie, a kindergartner, in mind when she was moved to a thoughtful act of kindness. After befriending the child on the playground, she learned his mother, Tiffany, was a single mom to four young children. Joyce took to an online app to buy tickets to the Happiest Place on Earth for the family of five. After the transaction, she went to Disneyland to be sure the tickets were valid. To her dismay, the tickets were counterfeit. She was heartbroken, and without a gift for young Eddie.
Joyce went to the Long Beach Police Department to file a fraud report in hopes of identifying the suspect and recovering the $600 cost of the tickets, the amount of her entire paycheck. Officer Mills and Officer Silva responded, interviewed Joyce, and took a police report. Touched by her intended act of kindness, Officer Mills felt compelled to do something to turn this unfortunate situation around. After making a few phone calls, Mills was able to secure replacement tickets through undisclosed donors.
Although the investigation is ongoing, Officer Mills is pleased that Eddie will still get the birthday present that Joyce wanted him to have and enjoy with his family. Eddie’s birthday was Feb. 11. Officer Mills is a Recruit Training Officer. Through this experience, Officer Mills was able to demonstrate to his recruit/partner that some things cannot be taught in the academy.