From Louisiana to North Dakota with hugs for deputies

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 4:19 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Some travel to North Dakota for the walleye, others for the musical, but one 12-year-old from Louisiana is in the state on a mission to thank those who serve our communities.

12-year-old Rosalyn Baldwin and her 7-year-old brother Phillip arrived in Bismarck to a crowd of Burleigh County Sheriff’s Deputies. They’re giving deputies they’ve never met big hugs. This tradition started about six years ago.

“In 2016, there was a shooting around Baton Rouge. And being a seven-year-old and hearing that about seven officers died is not a nice feeling,” said Rosalyn.

Rosalyn wanted a tangible way to show love to those who help others.

“As long as I can remember, I have always thought of officers as people who can help us,” added Rosalyn.

The mission has taken the family across the country. North Dakota is their 42nd state.

“Obviously, I am biased. I think our greatest asset is our people. I told them, we might be one of the last states you get to, but we are one of the best,” said Burleigh County Sheriff Kelly Leben.

Deputies say the gesture is comforting.

“People have to feel comfortable talking to the police. And I think it is cool for people to come from the outside and feel comfortable. So, we want to encourage our people to always understand we are here to serve and help,” said Sheriff Leben.

Rosalyn says she hopes to unite people around those doing good.

“Frankly, we have seen untrained, ignorant, and racist officers, which can make a very dangerous combo for someone in the community. But typically, that’s not your average officer. Otherwise, they would not be showing up to our houses or sitting on the street just to check up on the community,” said Rosalyn.

The family will be meeting with Bismarck, Mandan, and Lincoln law enforcement Monday. They’re heading to Montana and South Dakota next.

Rosalyn actually doesn’t want to be a police officer when she grows up. Instead, she wants to become an attorney.

If you’re interested in where Rosalyn heads next visit: