MIAMI (CBSMiami) – City of Miami Police officers were out serving the community in a different way Tuesday morning.

Armed with hand sanitizer and a grocery list, these cops went shopping for those who are most vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Major Albert Guerra says they saw a need and stepped up.

Right now, even a simple shopping run can be frightening, or potentially dangerous, for the seniors in the community.

“The bulk of our work is to protect and serve, and we are just putting an exclamation point on the ‘service’ part,” says Guerra.

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About a dozen officers each took a shopping list of five requested items from people at local nursing homes and headed out to Winn-Dixie.

“The officers being used for this are taking a lot of precautions like social distancing and wearing gloves,” Guerra explains. “They never actually have contact with any of the seniors. Once the items are purchased, they are taken back to the senior centers.”

The picked up things like waters, cleaning supplies, toiletries and some food items. Their work did not go unnoticed. Enclosed in one of the lists was a “thank you” note.

“That was unexpected,” Guerra says. “But it’s appreciated, and it’s very heartwarming for us. It just emphasizes for us that we are doing the right thing.”

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Karli Barnett