It sounds like the stuff of nightmares. No senior citizen would want to deal with the stress of dealing with the cops, let alone while they’re trying to enjoy a birthday party with their loved ones. Yet this was what happened to Simone Dumont as she was celebrating turning 93 years old.
Perhaps more dramatically, it was Simone’s daughter Anne who called the cops on her own flesh and blood in the middle of her birthday party. On the surface, it would appear to be one of the most cold-hearted acts any person could perform on a parent.
Both mother and daughter seemed very surprised as the cops pulled up outside Simone’s home in Augusta, Maine. “What did you do?” asked Anne, as an officer approached the family. Indeed, Simone seemed to have no idea what possibly could have warranted a police officer’s appearance at the house.
Anne helped her mother out of her chair so that she could address the police officer. Next, from there, the officer began to lead Simone towards the patrol car. Was this 93-year-old woman about to be arrested in front of her loved ones on her birthday?
Yes! Well, sort of. This was actually all an elaborate prank played by Anne, with the help of Augusta Police Department, as a surprise birthday present for her mother. It was a unique birthday present to say the very least.
As stressful as this might seem for a woman closing in on her mid-90s, Simone loved the experience, once she realized that it was a set-up. She is a huge fan of the TV series Cops and has seen all episodes to date.
Officer Paul Doody of Augusta Police Department gently helped Simone into the back of the car, so that she could get a look around the vehicle. She was then allowed to sit in the front seat and sound the siren of the car. It was clear that she was loving every minute of the experience.
Doody and Simone shared a hug after the tour of the patrol car was over, then he led her back into the loving care of her family. A night in a cell would be unnecessary for this law enforcement-loving senior citizen. In fact, she was gifted the legitimate insignia of a junior cop.
Simone was supposedly still telling the tale of her experience months later, showing off the photos of the experience to her loved ones, while boasting that officer Doody was “my cop.” It certainly seemed that Doody made Simone’s day. In fact, Simone reportedly told Anne that the experience “made her life.”
The story appeared to capture the imagination of the local community too. Anne uploaded pictures on her personal Facebook page a few weeks later and the post attracted more than 800 likes, 300 shares and hundreds of comments supporting the gesture.
Anne took her Facebook friends on a bit of a rollercoaster ride while telling the tale. The beginning of her post read, “On July 9, 2018 Mom got arrested. Yep, arrested. I told you guys that she was the bad one, but you didn’t believe me!! She influenced all of us, but we held strong. Now that she is out of jail, I can post this….kidding, she didn’t go to jail….”
One commenter wrote, “A very great and kind thing to do to make an elderly lady very happy. She will always have good memories about this birthday.” Another added, “Great job APD for making this wonderful woman’s day by making her dream come true.”
And that wasn’t all, as the story went viral. One commenter enthused, “I found your story on Yahoo News and after the truly horrific, sad and aggravating stories in the news these days it made me happy to see how your local officers were able to make your moms birthday so memorable.”
The official Augusta Police Department Facebook page was among those to have shared Anne’s post, stating that those involved were very proud to have played a part in the celebrations and sharing how much love they had for the town and community in Augusta.
Explaining the events, Anne told Inside Edition, “I kept it small because she doesn’t like surprises and she doesn’t like to be in the limelight.” She continued, “She might have been nervous, but the officer was very gentle and kind with her, and she kind of went with it. She thanked him and gave him a hug.”
Anne was keen to make clear the admiration that her mother has had for law enforcement officers for many years. “She is so amazed [by] what the cops have to go through. The perps lie, try to get away with what they did or try to run away, fight back or shoot at the cops,” Anne said.
Cops is a documentary that has run on American TV since 1989. It follows real-life police encounters with the public, giving viewers a grasp of what life as a police officer is like. And it turns out that Simone’s appreciation for the police grew out of her obsession with this show.
Other similar documentaries have been popular on American TV throughout the time that Cops has been on air. And they show the great work that cops do throughout the United States. However, the police do seem to get a lot of negative media coverage as well.
Augusta Maine Police Department’s Facebook page shows an organization trying to turn that media tide. The department states its mission clearly, “We take pride in providing extraordinary service to the citizens and visitors of Maine’s capital city.” And certainly its social media presence seems to have struck a note with the public, garnering 15,000 likes for the page.
Certainly, widespread stories such as Officer Doody’s involvement with 93-year-old Simone are very useful for the reputation of Augusta’s police force and that of cops across the country. Consequently, congratulations are in order for all of those who made this happen.