TSA officers Patti, right, and Jimmie Klatt, center, see Robert Frazier's generosity every day at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and wanted CBS 5 News to Pay It Forward to the officer. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Frazier maintains his upbeat attitude even in the face of prostate cancer, and donated the $500 award to cancer research. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Not much attention is paid to Phoenix police officers by people flying into or out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
But one particular officer's caring and giving attitude has drawn the deserved attention of TSA agents who think he deserves a special recognition.
"How you folks doing today?" said Phoenix police Officer Robert Frazier as he recently greeted passenger.
For many people, interacting with someone wearing a badge at an airport is not usually a positive experience.
A passenger can be stressed, in a hurry and if they aren't being given directions, they often are being told they can't take something on an airplane.
But every once in a while they will meet an officer like Frazier, affectionately known by his co-worker at Sky Harbor as "Boston".
"You are going to go down there, that's door number two," a polite and grinning Frazier tells another passenger.
"I truly believe this is one of the best jobs in the Phoenix Police Department," Frazier said.
Frazier's legend has grown for more than his cheery disposition.
When TSA rules dictate a passenger can't take a precious item home, such as a child's souvenir bat from his first Cactus League Game, Frazier will offer to ship it to them, paid for out of his own pocket.
"It's just something that I enjoy doing and when you see an upset child at the checkpoint because something is being taken from them, and I'm able to get that item to them and explain that they are going to get that back, and to see the smile back on their faces, that in itself is rewarding enough," Frazier said.
Frazier once overnighted a snow globe given to a couple by their grandchildren when they renewed their wedding vows in Tucson.
And just last week, he bought an airplane ticket for an elderly woman whose daughter dumped her at the airport without a valid driver's license or credit card.
"Oh my gosh, it makes my heart melt," said TSA Officer Patti Klatt. "I don't want to get all choked up, but it just makes me so grateful that there are people out here that can care about people they don't even know."
As TSA officers, Patti and Jimmie Klatt see Frazier's generosity every day, and wanted CBS 5 News to Pay It Forward to the officer.
"What's going on?" Frazier asked as the Klatts approached him with the CBS 5 News camera crew.
"I would just like to take the time to read something to you," Jimmie Klatt said.
"He is always pleasant, cheerful, professional to his fellow officers, stakeholders, vendors, the traveling public, always with a kind heart, especially to the elderly and children," Jimmie Klatt read.
It was a touching moment for Frazier.
"Thank you so much," he told the TSA officers.
"This is your Pay It Forward, sir," Patti Klatt said as she handed him five $100 bills as CBS 5's Pay It Forward recipient.
Frazier's actions are so much more impressive when you realize that at this stage in his life, he has every right to be selfish.
"I'm doing good," he said. "Blood counts are near normal."
Frazier recently was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He's doing better, but treatments are expensive.
And rather than use the money to pay for the treatments or to replenish his shipping budget, he's giving it right back to fund cancer research.
Frazier is giving the money to 21st Century Oncology Cancer Research in Scottsdale.
"Um," Frazier started as tears began to well. "Hopefully it helps somebody else ... fight cancer."
But back to his job:
"If I can make them understand that cops are human too, that's what it's all about," he said.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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