It was a little gesture of compassion on the part of a police officer that might have gone undetected if it hadn’t been for one stranger who was affected by the scenario.
Janet Balestriero pulled over after seeing a three-car accident in Coral Springs, Florida. But in the midst of it all, she saw something that moved her — a police officer conversing with a small child.
The child’s parent was involved in the accident and was speaking with police authorities. Meanwhile, the officer sat comfortably by the side of the road with the small youngster.
In situations like this, parents can easily lose track of their children; luckily, this officer realized that this boy’s parent was most likely shocked and preoccupied by the occurrences. He also realized that such a traumatic situation necessitated some diversion strategies on his side.
While the dramatic clean-up of the incident unfolded around them, the officer opted to sit peacefully by the side of the road with the small child and speak about his favorite Disney character, a toy firetruck between them.
Balestriero captured the scene on camera and shared it on the Facebook page of the Coral Springs Police Department.
“It was a nice gesture,” Balestriero stated. “In a world gone insane, I try to find a little compassion every day.”
Officer Bryan Dougherty, who has been with the Coral Springs Police Department since 2016 and is a member of the SWAT squad, was shown in the photo, which quickly went viral.
“So proud of our officers,” said Coral Springs Police Chief Clyde Parry on Facebook. This sort of thing happens all the time, but it’s rarely publicized.”
“No one was significantly harmed,” Balestriero said, adding that she was driving home from a doctor’s visit when she was involved in the incident.
Balestriero noticed Dougherty chatting to the youngster as his mom dealt with the accident while she waited for her turn to speak with an officer.
Balestriero is a part of the Kindness Rock Project, which invites individuals to leave messages on rocks for others to locate and collect. Someone in her group intends to paint a Disney character on a rock and deposit it at the Coral Springs Police Department, along with Dougherty’s badge number.
“A single act of kindness may cause a chain reaction,” she explained. “We must perceive the goodness that exists in the world.”