BEACON FALLS –During a typical shift for Officer Caroline O’Bar in Beacon Falls, the “protect and serve” part of her job keeps her busy enough. But locals know the “serve” part also keeps her busy off-duty and all year long.
“When you work in a small town like I do, it’s important for everybody to know you and you to know them,” said Officer O’Bar, who has worked in Beacon Falls for around 14 years. Prior to that, she worked in Naugatuck for 12 years.
Because O’Bar knows people in the community so well, she also knows those people who may need a little extra help.
She said, “People know that if they contact me, something’s going to get done. I’m not going to let it go.”
O’Bar’s efforts started with a toy drive around the holidays, then grew to include a food drive around Thanksgiving. Now it’s grown to include a back to school backpack program, help with the local food pantry, and help with many other needs 365 days a year.
In the past, she’s helped parents get birthday presents for their children, she helped a family pay for a month’s rent, and she even helped a family get a new roof. Meanwhile, she also works with the elderly and veterans.
She does it all through donations from local organizations, companies and generous residents. Even the storage unit where she keeps the supplies is donated. The community trusts she will give these items to those who need it most.
“All I have to do is make a phone call,” said O’Bar.
She doesn’t do it for the notoriety, but it also doesn’t go unnoticed. Beacon Falls First Selectman Christopher Bielik tells FOX 61 her value in the community is immeasurable.
“It's just a magnificent testament to her that she does this just all on her own because she knows it's the right thing,” said Bielik.
He said, “We are absolutely blessed, no question.”
She has received several awards in the past, including first responder awards and community service awards. Most recently, the local rotary club gave her an award for “Service Above Self.”
“Those people don’t forget you. They always know who to call and who will come out,” said Officer O’Bar.
She said, “Police officers aren't the most liked people in the world right now, so if every police officer could go out and make a difference in one person's life that would make a huge change.”