ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In April, officer Michael Werner was called to a Northwest Albuquerque home because a teenage girl said she was not being fed, was in fear for her life and wanted to hurt herself. She said she had been abused and neglected by her parents and grandmother, and was about to be homeless.
So Werner, a 20-year veteran with the Albuquerque Police Department, spent the next several hours trying to find somewhere for the 16-year-old to go. He found her places to stay for several weeks, attended meetings with the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department, acted as her educational advocate, and drove her to and from school.
Now, the girl is living with a foster family in Edgewood, attending school, going to doctor’s appointments and seeing a therapist. She calls Werner her “cop dad” and was with him on stage Monday afternoon when he received a True Blue Award from the Daniels Fund charitable foundation for going above and beyond the call of duty.
“I see her every other day,” Werner told the Journal after the ceremony. “I take her to school, pick her up, take her out to eat. I will be part of her life until I’m dead.”