Sharing is caring — especially when it comes to safety masks

Instead of giving out a speeding ticket, Minnesota officer gives doctor five new N95 masks

With empty freeways almost daring drivers to put the pedal to the metal, it’s not a big surprise that many communities have seen a bump in tickets being dished out to drivers ignoring the speed limit.

But what is a major surprise was the selfless gesture recently made by Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Brian Schwartz after pulling over a speeding driver on Interstate 35. The driver, Dr. Sarosh Ashraf Janjua, is a cardiologist at a Minnesota coronavirus quarantine unit, who was shocked when Schwartz handed her five new N95 masks instead of a speeding ticket.

“I burst into tears,” Janjua said in a Facebook post. “And though it may just have been the cold wind, I think he teared up a little as well, before wishing me well and walking away.”

According to the post, the topic of Janjua’s profession came up after Schwartz saw her Massachusetts driver’s license and what appeared to be two used N95 masks in the passenger seat.

“He asked me what I was doing all the way out in Minnesota, so I told him I travel here every month for my work as a locum cardiologist,” Janjua said.

Before his incredibly noble act, Schwartz made sure to give Janjua a stern warning. “He went back to his patrol car to look up my license, and when he returned, quite firmly told me it was very irresponsible of me to be speeding,” Janjua said. “Especially since I would not only take up resources if I got into an accident, but would also not be in a position to help patients.”

Before Janjua could even come up with an apology, Schwartz handed her the masks and went on his way.

As a sign of appreciation for the tireless work Janjua and others in health care have demonstrated throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the department posted a heartfelt response on Facebook. “Thank you to Sarosh for her hard work and dedication. Troopers are working hard during the pandemic and are thinking about all the first responders who are caring for Minnesotans during this critical time.”

As seen in the May issue of American Police Beat magazine.
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