Story of this Cop Holding Distressed Toddler!

There are times when it’s not about training; it’s simply about being human. Every day, police officers all over the world leave their homes and families in order to protect and serve the people of their community. It’s their sworn duty to help others, yet there’s much more to the job than simply playing “cops and robbers.” Police officers are there to encourage public safety, educate, and uphold the law.

Officer James Hurst of Savannah, Georgia was just doing his job one day when he found himself in a position where it was not his cop instincts that kicked in, but his fatherly instincts. Hurst is the father of two sons, one of whom has Down syndrome, so he understands what it’s like to be small and helpless in a very big, scary world.

One day, when Hurst had only been on the job for about a year, he responded to a call about a child wandering in the busy Savannah streets. His caregivers were nowhere to be found, and the 16-month-old was understandably upset. Hurst immediately picked up the little boy and brought him to the Emergency Room at the Memorial University Medical Center.

The concerned cop then stayed by the boy’s side as staff members checked him out. Although he was uninjured, the toddler was terrified by the ordeal, and he began crying and wailing uncontrollably. The officer looked around, but there was no one there to comfort the distraught child. So he did what came naturally to him, and what any good dad might do in the same situation: he picked up the crying boy and held him tightly to his chest.

The toddler’s cries quickly changed from sobs to whimpers, and he was soon nestled quietly against the stiff body armor hidden beneath the officer’s uniform. “Obviously, the boy, being so small, became very upset.” He was sobbing. He was in tears. Officer Hurst explained, “I asked the hospital staff if I could hold him to comfort and soothe him a little bit in order to try to calm him down and continue getting medical care, and they said that was fine.”

“So I went and got him. Minutes later, I was standing, and he was sleeping on my chest. With all of my body armor and gun belt, I was very heavy holding this small child. So I decided to sit down on the bed to make things easier for him and me.” The image of Officer Hurst comforting the young boy quickly went viral after the Savannah Police Department shared it on their social media pages.

Everyone who saw the image praised Hurst’s compassion, but for him, it was just another day at the office. “I just knew this child needed someone to look after him,” the officer explained. “It was just instinct; it was humanity.” The hospital staff was caring for him well, but he was sobbing and crying. I picked him up, and he was asleep on my chest within minutes.” This is yet another example of the kind of humanity that the world desperately needs! Thank you, Officer Hurst, not only for your service, but also for setting a good example.

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