She was comfortable doing so because she’s formed a special friendship with a 19-year veteran officer at the department. Officer Michael Allen first met the young girl while working a private detail at Stop & Shop two years ago.
“Her parents came in and Elena just walked up and started talking. She asked about every item that was on my duty belt and wanted to know what it was for. And of course, the last question is, ‘Can I get your hat?’ And she ended up getting the hat,” said Officer Allen.
They continued to chat every week when Elena’s mother Jessica Sauve would go grocery shopping.
“Every time we go there she runs right toward him and that’s where she’ll stay. She’s like, ‘Bye!’ I’ll see you when you come check out,’” said Sauve.
When asked why she likes Officer Allen so much, Elena said, “He’s my friend and he keeps people safe.”
That friendship means just as much to Sauve, and that’s why she brought Elena and her 9-year-old daughter Callie to the department Monday for National Police Week.
“He didn’t have to take the time. He didn’t have to bond with her. He didn’t have to talk to her,” said Sauve.
She said because he did do all of those things, Elena now trusts all of the police officers she sees around Hartford and believes they are all her friends.
“I know she feels safe because now she’s like, ‘Oh. I’ll just call the police if something bad happens,’” said Sauve.
The family delivered a basket full of 'Thank you' cards and candy to the department. They also handed out paper tickets to each and every officer they met that read, “You have received this ticket for being awesome.”
Officer Allen said, “This is the benefit of doing the job.”