School resource officer helps paralyzed student get wheelchair ramp

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Parker High School Resource Officer Ronald Brown knows how to protect and serve. The Birmingham police officer’s job at Parker High School requires him to know the students he protects each day. So last month, when one of his students was injured in a drive-by shooting in West End, he did what he does best, look after his students. 

“My daughter was shot about a month ago while laying in her own bed and I really didn’t have the means to build a ramp,” Renita Woodard said. 

Her daughter Jemerial uses a wheelchair to get around because the shooting left her paralyzed.  

However, getting in an out of the house has been a struggle because the family didn’t have a ramp to get Jemerial from the house to the car.

“We would have to go up and down the step in front of the house, it would be painful because she has a spinal cord injury,” Woodard said.

Officer Brown heard about the need and got resourceful. 

“I was raised on the fact that if you say you’re going to help somebody, do it all the way to the end,” Officer Brown said. “And that’s what I wanted to do.  Being a police officer, I felt this would be a great thing to bridge the gap between the police department and the community.” 

He connected the student’s family with the Trinity United Methodist Wheelchair Ramp Ministry.  A three-member team showed up this week to build the ramp.

“They were a victim of a horrible incident,” volunteer Ken Deal said. “There are good people out there that want to do good things.  That’s the message I’d like the Woodard family to know, that we’re here to help them. Everyone is not bad in this world.”

The ramp comes at a good time for the Woodard family.  Renita Woodard said Jemerial will start school in August at UAB, and will need the assistance. 

“We really needed some help, and I am extremely grateful,” Woodard said.

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