Police officers have sworn to protect and serve the communities they are part of. While the exact definition of that may be debatable, one Texas police officer has set the bar quite high. After spotting a little boy in Austin, Texas “getting snacks” for his younger siblings, the cop knew that he had to do what he could to help the family and give them some hope for a brighter future.
The cop with the big heart is Officer James Riley. He was on patrol a few weeks ago in the Baker section of Austin when he received a call over the radio about a young boy who was walking alone in a parking lot.
Officer Riley decided to take a gentle approach with the young boy. Because he wanted to establish trust and build a connection with the child, Officer Riley started talking with the boy who told the cop that he was simply walking across the parking lot to reach the convenience store because he was “getting snacks for his younger sibling.”
Riley understood that the boy was trying to do a good deed for his hungry sibling, but the cop had too big of a heart to let him go about his business. Instead, he drove him home and was riddled with worry being “concerned for the child’s safety.”
Riley didn’t feel much better once he realized where the boy lived. He saw that the child and his family were “going through difficult financial times.” That’s a problem everyone in American can understand – especially those who have ever been laid off or worked through the last recession.
Because Officer Riley hated to see the boy come back to his house empty-handed, the cop had stopped him from getting the snack for the hungry younger sibling – he decided to open his heart, and his wallet, and grab the family a cart-load of groceries.
Protecting and serving the community was never intended to include the expectation for a police officer to open his or her purse and pay for something like this. But that’s exactly what Officer Riley did – and the needy family could not have been more grateful to the cop’s generosity.
“He took it upon himself to go to HEB and bought a basket full of groceries and snacks that the boys would be able to fix without turning on the gas stove,” Austin police reported on Facebook. “He also got some things that a parent would be able to cook for them.”
Riley was so generous with his support, he made sure the whole family would not go hungry for a few days.
Always the cop, Riley also used the opportunity to speak about safety and about the dangers of a child wandering around Austin alone without adult supervision. They say Austin is weird for a reason – a good reason – and Officer Riley did not want the kids getting caught up in that hullabaloo.
It’s inspiring to hear stories about police officers going above and beyond their call of duty.
What is your reaction to Officer Riley’s generous move?
Every time you share an AWM story, you help build a home for a disabled veteran.