Police Officers Buy a Car Seat For Family Driving Without One Instead of Giving Them a Ticket

Police officers in Michigan had every opportunity to bust a family caught placing their 10-month-old on her mother's lap in the passenger's seat of the car while driving home from a McDonald's. This was obviously dangerous behavior and there are laws set up to protect children in cases like these. But, instead of ticketing them, the cops acted in the most humane, compassionate way possible: they bought them a car seat.

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The incident took place in February, after a concerned McDonald's employee called police while witnessing the family about to drive off without a car seat. Responding Officers James Hodges and Jason Pavlige could have easily and justifiably issued the parents a citation. But, after hearing the family explain they didn't have money for a car seat and had just moved to town and didn't know anyone from whom they could borrow, they probably thought: how would a fine solve this problem?

So, while one officer waited with the family, another took a ride to Walmart and purchased a car seat for the parents. They even installed the seat in their car and showed them how to use it.

The sweet and kind gesture would have gone unnoticed, if not for a Walmart employee, who recently reported the cops' Good Samaritan deed to their police station.

When questioned about why they went to great lengths to help this family, they had the greatest response: they reminded us that this is why most people get into police work—to help others.

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It's sad to think so many police stories we read about in the news are negative and highlight the actions of a few bad apples who abuse their power. In any profession, you're going to find employees (and employers!) who don't follow the rules and it's unfair to judge an entire group based on the foolish and even fatal ways certain officers have responded in situations.

But a story like this one reminds us that the job of a police officer should be to protect first, and punish and dole out consequences second. These guys certainly get it. Few people pursue paths with the intention of acting in a corrupt manner and I sincerely hope it's possible for us to get to a place in which officers are not automatically perceived as the enemy in many communities.

Are you surprised to hear about what these police officers did for this family?

 

Image via Jonathan Brodsky/Flickr

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