A Louisiana 7-year-old is on a mission to show her love for law enforcement officers in every state, and on Monday, she made a stop at the Paducah Police Department.
Rosalyn Baldwin told her mother last year after the fatal shootings of five police officers in Dallas that she had to do something to show appreciation for her heroes. When later that summer, three officers were killed in Baton Rouge, there was no stopping her.
“It’s like somebody lit that match,” said Angie Baldwin, Rosalyn’s mother. “We were able to calm her, but she was like ‘mommy, daddy, you have to help me, this is my mission ... they need me, they need to know that they’re loved.’”
When Rosalyn told her parents what she wanted to do, Baldwin and her husband, a pastor, had to “practice what we’ve preached.” They’ve followed her lead and intend to support her until she’s reached every state.
Rosalyn started in January of this year at a station in St. Tammany Parish, La., Baldwin said. Rosalyn hoped to make it halfway through the United States in 2017. Kentucky was her 24th stop, and the family plans to visit Texas before the year is out.
Next year, the journey will continue, Baldwin said. Baldwin picks the routes, but Rosalyn decides the city they visit in each state.
“This isn’t me, it’s her and it’s God,” Baldwin said. “I’m a glorified taxi driver.”
Everywhere she goes, Rosalyn is met by grateful officers that are sometimes moved to tears, Baldwin said. Paducah was no different.
The department posted on Facebook Monday that they “received a wonderful visit today from a 7-year-old bundle of love.”
Baldwin said when Rosalyn tells officers that she loves them, they know that she means it.
“She had a blast today, they’re her heroes,” Baldwin said.
Rosalyn even composed a song about Kentucky, which she had not yet done for any other state. She demonstrated the tune, which starts with “Kentucky, Kentucky, I love Kentucky,” for the Herald-Leader over the phone Monday night.
“All I know is she’s in this for God and for (the officers),” Baldwin said. “If there wasn’t any kind of recognition, she wouldn’t care.”
Some people assume that Rosalyn doesn’t understand the controversies surrounding police, but she’s not shielded from the news, Baldwin said.
“They think she’s doesn’t know things that happen, like Ferguson and Minneapolis, and she knows,” Baldwin said. “She says momma, ‘I don’t know how they can think all of the officers are bad when it’s just some of them.”’