Cop Helps Girl, 10, With Math Homework After She Messaged Police Department on Facebook

"I'm having trouble with my homework. Could you help me?" 10-year-old Lena wrote in a Facebook message to the Marion, Ohio Police Department.

A 10-year-old Ohio girl took to heart the old adage, "if you need help, find a police officer," seeking out local cops to lend a hand in solving her tricky math homework.

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Lena Draper, 10, of Heritage Elementary School in Marion, was struggling with the order of operations unit in her math class late one night, when she decided to go online to look for help.

“I saw [the Marion, Ohio Police Department] on YouTube, when a boy, a first grader, called the police with a problem,” Lena told “I thought they would know math, and they do.”

So, she decided to go out on a limb, and message the local law enforcement on Facebook.

“I’m having trouble with my homework. Could you help me?” Lena wrote in a Facebook message.

Lieutenant B.J. Gruber, who has been with the department for more than 20 years, wrote back and walked her through the equation.

“This is probably the most unique message I’ve ever had,” Gruber told “This is the exact environment we try to nurture – this sense among children that not only can you come to us if you have a problem at home or at school, if we have time, we can answer homework questions too.”

Gruber, who is a father of four, said being able to help a young kid in need was just an added bonus.

“I love the idea of feeling like we’re meeting needs within the community,” he explained. “I love kids.”

However, Gruber joked he could probably use some help next time a student asks him about homework.

“The fact that I gave her a wrong answer was kind of tough,” Gruber laughed. “Math’s the other side of the brain – I’m more of a creative type.”

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Even so, Lena’s mom Molly Draper said she was amazed at how willing their local police department was to extend a helping hand, even if it wasn’t a matter of public safety.

“I didn’t believe [my daughter] at first until she showed me,” Draper said. “I am glad they took the time, because they have other things to do, but I thought it was fantastic.”

Gruber said he plans to surprise her at her school on Tuesday with a T-shirt and other goodies, to show the police department is supporting her every step of the way.

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