It’s easy to start thinking of police officers as “the good guys” who are out to bust “the bad guys,” but there’s much more to their jobs than that.
Cops lead a life of service to their communities, rushing towards danger instead of away in order to ensure the safety of the civilians they swore to protect. Yet oftentimes they’re called upon to go above and beyond the call of duty, and when they rise to that occasion, they have the potential to impact countless lives. Below are two such instances when police officers did just that.
On a Monday afternoon in Austin, Texas, Officer James Riley was on patrol when a woman flagged him down. She’d seen a young boy walking by himself in the parking lot of a nearby grocery store and was afraid for his safety in the busy urban area. Officer Riley found the child and spoke with him, learning that the boy had left his younger siblings at home in search of a snack.
The officer drove the child home in his police car and then checked out the house, finding that the family was going through a hard time and had no food. Sensing an opportunity to help out a struggling family, Officer Riley spoke to the kids about not going out alone and then left the house so that he could head back to the grocery store.
At the store the officer bought a cart full of groceries and snacks for the kids, selecting items that could be made without turning on the gas stove and putting the kids in danger. He also picked up a few dinner items that the kids’ parents would be able to cook for them later. We can only imagine the gratitude these kids must have felt when they saw this bounty! No child should ever feel hungry in our country, and this officer knew that he had to do what he could to help.
The Austin Police Department later shared the story on their social media pages, asking the community to, “Please join us in commending Officer Riley for helping out a family in need. He showed true heart with this act of kindness and is just one example of how our officers work to make Austin a safe community.”
A few days later in Niles, Illinois, Officer Brian Zagorski was performing an act of kindness of his own. While out on patrol, the cop spotted a homeless man who had tripped because the bottom of his shoe came off. Officer Zagorski began to chat with the man, and after a few moments he did something truly incredible: he bent down and began to unlace his own shoes so that he could give them to the homeless man.
He also offered the man a bag of toiletries, which he politely declined. He was stunned by the officer’s kind gesture, telling everyone he met that he could not believe a cop had just literally given him the shoes off his own feet!
These are just two stories of the sort of kindness that police officers display each and every day. It’s easy to get swept up in the negative press that surrounds law enforcement, but reading stories like these reminds us that these brave men and women truly do “protect and serve” their communities in immeasurable ways.
Please share this story to thank our police officers for the many acts of kindness that often go unnoticed and unappreciated in our society. We see you and we are deeply grateful.
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