5th-grader seeks math problem-solving help from local Ohio police department

Local police went above and beyond, though there was a slight glitch.

ByABC News
February 20, 2017, 2:57 PM

— -- Police across the country are used to solving puzzles, but one Ohio police department recently got a plea for help from a local girl seeking to solve a puzzle of a more mathematical bent.

Lena Draper, 10, decided she needed some help with her fifth-grade math homework, so she took to the Marion Police Department's Facebook page on Friday and left a message with a few problems that she felt needed answering.

The department came to her rescue, messaging the girl back after she posted the math problem (8 + 29) x 15. Someone at the department wrote back, "Do the numbers in the parenthesis first so in essence it would be 37 x 15."

Lena followed up with another problem, "(90 + 27) + (29 + 15) x 2"

To which someone at the department replied, "Take the answer from the first parenthesis plus the answer from the second parenthesis and multiply that answer by two."

Though the department went above and beyond its duties, in a math faux pas, the answer given to Lena ended up being incorrect, as pointed out by a friend of Lena's mother. (The correct answer is to add the numbers in the second parentheses and multiply only that by 2, then add it to the numbers in the first parentheses.)

Lena's mom, Molly Draper, said she was tickled that the police department tried to help her daughter with her homework. "I didn't believe her and asked for a screen shot. I thought it was pretty funny. And I love that they went ahead with it," she told ABC News.

In response to the incident, the Marion PD posted on its Facebook page that it is a full-service police department that makes every emergency a cause to be answered.

When asked if Lena's math problem ever got answered correctly, her mom said, "I hope so. But we'll see when she gets her paper back."

For those in need of math equation help, remember the acronym PEMDAS, which stands for parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition and subtraction — the order in which mathematical operations should be performed in an equation.