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Oak Park officer escorts 84-year-old man to get his first COVID-19 shot

OAK PARK, Ill. – An Oak Park official went out of his way Thursday to ensure a senior could get their first COVID-19 vaccine shot.

Gary Barnes, 84, lives to the beat of officer Traccye Love, whom she patrols Oak Park.

He was a regular at their monthly community police meetings.

When COVID-19 hit, she was able to help him attend the meetings virtually, and they got even closer during the pandemic.

So Love made it his business to check in with him on duty or in his spare time.

On Thursday, she escorted him from his home to the Oak Park vaccination site, where he received the first of two COVID-19 vaccine shots.

“‘Let me go online and see how we can register you,’ and from then on I’ve completed the process for him,” said Love.

Love said she would join him again in 28 days for a second shot.

Officer Love said she and her colleagues see themselves not only as police officers but also as community liaison officers.

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