ST CHARLES, Mo. — When Gregory Santoni decided to become a police officer, he knew there were times that he would be uncomfortably unpopular.
"A lot of people don't believe in what we do," he said.
But Santoni has been undeterred.
He's been a patrol officer in St. Charles County for 18 years while also serving 26 years in the Army, both active and reserve.
Part of his job of course is making arrests but he prefers making friends.
John Prokovich is an 84-year-old who lives in St. Charles County. He said the last eight months have been a struggle.
He's a disabled vet and doesn't have use of his left arm. And last December, he lost his beloved wife Sharon, who was both his companion and his caregiver.
"She buttoned my shirts, cooked my meals, washed my clothes. I'm lost," he said with a lump in his throat.
Then, a few weeks ago, things went from bad to worse. Storms hit St. Charles County, knocking down trees and the power to John's house. Panicked, he called 911 and that's when Officer Santoni showed up.
"And I looked around the house and I said, 'You're going to need some help cleaning this up,'" said Santoni.
Officer Santoni stayed until the power was restored..
And then he came back the next day.
"I kept coming back day after day," he said, "to let him know that I cared. And he said, 'I have no way to pay you,' and I said, 'I'm not in it for the money. I'm here to help.'"
Sometimes, he comes alone. Other times, he brings friends and family members to help.
"I never had anyone help me out as much as he has," Prokovich said.
There is still a lot of work to be done but no matter how long it takes, Officer Greg Santoni is on the case.
"I saw an opportunity to use my skills and my family's skills and make things a little easier for him, "Santoni told us.
After months of feeling lost, John Prokovich called the police and found a friend.
"If that can make him smile, I'm cool with that," said Santoni.