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Boynton Beach police officer honored for paying veteran's water bill

Officer Clayton Harris helped Navy veteran whose water was shut off
Boynton Beach Police Officer Clayton Harris speaks to WPTV on June 22, 2021.jpg
Posted at 10:53 AM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 17:12:11-04

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — A Boynton Beach police officer is being honored for reaching into his own pockets to help an elderly veteran in need.

On May 14, Officer Clayton Harris responded to a self-neglect call at the Navy veteran's home. The man told Harris his water had been shut off because he didn't have enough money to pay his bill.

Harris reached out to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other organizations for help on the man's behalf, but didn't have any luck.

So Harris took it upon himself to pay the veteran's $163 water bill using his own money. The Boynton Beach Utilities Department then came to the man's home and turned his water back on.

"I did it, not even with this uniform. Just one human to another," Harris told WPTV on Tuesday. "Just trying to help out another human being."

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Boynton Beach police officer honored for paying veteran's water bill

Because of his kindness, generosity, and dedication, Harris was awarded "Officer of the Month" by the Boynton Beach Police Department in May.

"We do do more behind the scenes than what you see," Harris said. "We are truly here to help."

Harris, who's been with the Boynton Beach Police Department for 13 years, said he's gone back multiple times to check on the Navy veteran, and even brought him a care package.

"Some water, some supplies, toothpaste, snacks," Harris said. "One day I went and got him some ice. Got him ice and he pulled some money out. I'm like, no, I got it. It's just me trying to pay it forward and help out."

If you are interested in helping the elderly veteran, contact Stephanie Slater with the Boynton Beach Police Department at slaters@bbfl.us.

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