For most of us, the cold weather is just uncomfortable, but for the men, women, and children who live on the street, the temperatures can be deadly.
On Thursday night, Hartford police officers Hiram Otero and Miguel Maldonado went to great lengths to protect the city’s homeless population.
Otero and Maldonado are part of the department's Cold Patrol, which is a team of officers searching the city for homeless men, women, and children.
“We're not going to be asking ‘do they have a warrant,’ that's not the focus tonight. The focus tonight is to make sure they're in a warm place, that they might have something to eat and that they feel at home," Otero said.
The officers search under overpasses, along train tracks, and near the river. They find abandoned camps and desperately try to convince disadvantaged people they know to come in from the cold.
As Otero and Maldonado work, they are motivated by the knowledge that just last night they rescued two homeless men, including a young guy named Sean who they interviewed on their iPhone.
Sean said he had been homeless for about one year, and has been on a wait list for a shelter for a month-and-a-half.
On Thursday night, every homeless person the officers spoke with had somewhere to stay, but the search continues into the wee hours of the morning.
The officers will go to places people would never even dream of visiting in the city, trying to make sure the cold doesn’t claim a life.
For more information on warming centers, call 2-1-1 or click here.
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