GALVESTON, TX - There is a new class of officers still in training to soon start patrolling the streets of Galveston.
Among them is a 29-year-old single mother who’s keeping a promise she made two decades ago to another cop she says saved her life.
This story would start with pictures of a young girl, her two brothers and a single mom in Kansas City. But those photos were never taken. The moments are just memories.
“We lived on the streets, we lived at people’s houses. My mom would be gone for days doing drugs,” said Officer Klynn Scales.
It wasn’t the best of neighborhoods and not the easiest start to a life. But today, Officer Scales is soon to be on patrol, thanks to another policeman and his promise.
“I really feel like he’s my guardian angel, my hero,” Officer Scales said.
The 9-1-1 call about her mom’s drug problem that connected her and this man is a dark memory. He’s Kansas City Police Sergeant Jeff Colvin, and for weeks after he answered that call, he came back to check on a scared 9-year-old girl. He promised Officer Scales he’d do that every day.
“I told him I want to be a police officer, I want to be like you. He was like, ‘If you want that, the first thing that you have to do is protect your family, make sure that they’re OK, and do really good in school,’” she said.
Good advice was not all this Kansas City cop had to give. He knew the address the night he heard this on his radio.
“I was there. It was a DCFS call when it came out, recognized the address and went over there and found her in the poor state,” Sgt. Colvin said.
Officer Scales says it was this sergeant who got her to the hospital. Doctors there said she was so malnourished, she was barely alive. After almost a month of care, the state got involved. The visit with her favorite officer stopped. Adopted, Officer Scales and her two brothers ended up in Galveston County.
It wasn’t until just two years ago, these two reconnected.
“Told me that I was the only positive influence, the only person that really seemed to care when she was a child,” Sgt. Colvin said.
Two months ago, when Officer Scales graduated and became a Galveston Police officer, she insisted Sgt. Colvin be there to pin on her badge.
Sgt. Colvin says he doesn’t feel like a hero.
“I’m not sure I saved her life,” he said. “Most people would look at her, and look at her 9-year-old self and say, ‘This girl doesn’t have a chance in the world.’”
Officer Scales said as her career goes on, she hopes she will be able to work one-on-one with kids growing up like she did. Her message to them will be they can beat the odds, because she is proof.