Nevada State Trooper's Story of Compassion From the Gulf
Trooper Tom Urso
One hundred Southern Nevada law enforcement officers will soon begin their journey home. The officers have been patrolling hurricane-damaged cities on Mississippi's Gulf Coast.
Eyewitness News 8 reporter Brian Allen and photojournalist Mark Mutchler captured one officer's story of compassion while in Mississippi.
The officers serving in Mississippi come from several Nevada jurisdictions: Metro, Henderson, North Las Vegas, and the Nevada Highway Patrol. A couple of days ago a trooper named Tom Urso talked with the Eyewitness News 8 team and showed what it means to serve others.
Tom Urso is about 6'5" and 250 pounds. He seems like an imposing figure, and he can be when he has to be. But while patrolling the streets of Pascagoula, Mississippi, he showed that his job is less about policing and more about people.
Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Tom Urso said, "I see… again this is devastation, these poor folks have lost everything."
Look in any direction in Pascagoula and you can see what happens when a hurricane gets angry. A majority of the people there lost everything.
Tom Urso offers what he can -- words of comfort and help moving debris. He wishes he could do more. "It's very hard to talk to them, witness this type of stuff and hear their stories and not get emotional."
You can tell Tom Urso is in law enforcement for the right reason. He went down there not expecting any thanks. He went to offer compassion, and received it in return from nearly everyone he encountered.
The lesson he learned, in the midst of despair, is the human spirit is alive and well. Urso says with heartfelt emotion, "These people wanted help. They're thanking you for being there. They're thanking you for being there and it's hard to accept."
When Tom Urso returns to Southern Nevada, he is contemplating taking two weeks of personal time and returning to Mississippi to help out, to try and do more. But even he admits two weeks isn't enough.
Friday, July 25 2014 3:43 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:43:26 GMT
Local and federal Republican elected officials criticized the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's handling of the armed April standoff with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, blaming tensions on heavy-handed actions by the agency's law enforcement officials. More>>
Local and federal Republican elected officials criticized the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's handling of the armed April standoff with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, blaming tensions on heavy-handed actions by the agency's law enforcement officials.