SUNNYVALE, Calif. (KTVU) - We took a ride around Sunnyvale with Detective Mary Cayori, and saw the city through her eyes. When she sees a couple of young children crossing a parking lot she stops, to say hi.
But as we drove away she was clearly disappointed. She wasn't in her usual car so she didn't have the junior officer stickers she always carries. "Oh wish I had my stickers," she lamented.
When a rummage through the glove box yielded a stack of those very stickers, her smile bloomed and she quickly turned around to make sure the kids got one. She kept grinning when on little girl put one on and she told them "we're twins." It was hard to see who got more joy out of the interaction.
And you could tell it's not the first time she's done this. It's kind of just what she does. Something her colleagues have noticed and something that she doesn't think is a big deal.
They saw it last winter when the rains came and she started buying supplies for the homeless.
"It's kind of like one of those people in New York who just pops their trunk and says what do you need I got ya," Cayori explained. For her, it's not above and beyond, it's why she became a police officer.
"There are so many reasons the majority of it is to be able to help people," says Cayori, "I know it sounds like the cheesy answer but it is to help people who are unable to help themselves."
Maybe it's in the blood. Something that was just meant to be. "My parents are both police officers," says Cayori, "My mother and I worked as the police department in San Jose together for a few years so it's kind of neat. She understands it's my calling and I enjoy my job everyday
Like all Sunnyvale police officers Detective Cayori is also a firefighter, and an EMT. She sees a lot and has been on the job for almost fifteen years. "I think I just maybe noticed the need more and once you've been doing this job a little longer you have humility."
So last winter, when the rains came and the winter never seemed to let up, Detective Cayori packed her first bag of supplies. "A blanket and so for when it rains they can put a blanket underneath," she explains, "and these little ponchos over their blankets."
And when she saw someone who was homeless she'd ask them what they needed. "They were grateful," she says, "I start walking up and they say hey, hey, hey I'll leave and I said no, no, no you're fine just do you need anything can I do anything for you."
The bag has been refilled many times although she doesn't keep track of how many times. "I have no idea just when I ran out of something I would go to Target or Walmart and buy it in bulk."
And even though the rains are gone, the bag still stays, just in case she sees a need. These days she's no longer on patrol and is now investigating sexual assault cases. "Someone's got to do and again it takes a special person and not a lot of people like to do it but I like to protect our children," she explains.
It's tough and complicated work but Detective Cayori still finds joy in the simple things. Like stopping on corner to give a homeless woman some cleansing wipes. Cayori told us she wished she had water in car but said "I can give her some wipes at least at that might keep her clean and cool."
It's not part of the job. But it's just part of how she does job. Big cases and the little moments, all wrapped up together.