CHEYENNE — There were more hugs than usual June 11 at the Wyoming State Capitol.
But these weren’t just any old hugs; they were hand-delivered by 11-year-old Louisiana native Rosalyn Baldwin, who is traveling across the county to show her support for local law enforcement agencies.
Her goal is simple: to spread love through hugs with law enforcement in all 50 states – but it clearly meant a lot to the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office, the Cheyenne Police Department, the Pine Bluffs Police Department, Wyoming Highway Patrol and the Wyoming State Parks law enforcement officers that Friday morning.
“This is truly the spirit of America,” Laramie County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jeff Barnes said.
Rosalyn started her mission with support from her parents when she was just seven years old, feeling called by God to share her love with law enforcement.
Her mom, Angie, said she felt like it was important to say yes to the Lord, although she realized Rosalyn’s goal to “hug every police officer in the world” may have been a little too broad. They settled on hugging law enforcement officers in all 50 states, and what started as a calling quickly snowballed into something much bigger.
To date, she’s shown her support for law enforcement agencies in 37 states, including Wyoming.
“I hope police officers know that they’re extremely important and that they should keep doing their job,” Rosalyn said. “We need them in our communities.”
That message got through to CPD Chief Mark Francisco and Wyoming State Parks Law Enforcement Chief Dennis Cease, who both said Rosalyn’s mission was one of the most touching experiences in their decades of serving in law enforcement.
Laramie County Sheriff Danny Glick shared the same sentiment, saying that this shows the world they can stand together and stand for what’s right.
“It does my heart good,” Glick said. “It’s so important that we stand together and carry this message forward.”
To repay the kindness Rosalyn showed them, local law enforcement agencies, by way of NuVision Credit Union and Emily Jackson, arranged for the Baldwin family to take in everything southeastern Wyoming has to offer.
The family will be treated to a tour of Terry Bison Ranch Resort, a shopping spree at Boot Barn in the Wrangler Building downtown and enjoy a classic Cheyenne meal at the Rib and Chop House.
While the Baldwin family has had so many fun experiences along the way, Angie said Rosalyn and God’s mission remains the same: to bridge the divide between law enforcement and citizens and to change the outlook on police officers.
“We have to come together,” Angie said. “We have to understand that some of the unjust things – they don’t like it either; they don’t like the mess that happened in Minnesota.”
“Some of the stuff that’s really wrong reflects on them,” she continued. “But I know so many good ones, and I know they would take a bullet for us.”