Over the weekend, the Laurel Police Department in Maryland received a report of a theft at a local Giant grocery store. Rookie Officer Bennett Johns responded to the call and learned more about the incident.
The shoplifter was a mom who was stealing $15 worth of diapers for her 2-year-old son. After listening to her story, Officer Johns decided to go above and beyond the call of duty.
The officer decided to reach into his own pocket and buy the woman the very diapers she was attempting to steal. While he still had to issue the woman a criminal citation for theft, he felt compelled to help her out in her time of need.
He said, “This mother was going out of her way and doing everything she can to provide for her kid and I can respect that. I can sympathize with that as well so that is why I felt compelled to help the mother in purchasing the diapers for the kid.”
The officer told Fox 5 DC that he was raised by a single mother. He said that he could relate to the woman’s experience and that he felt compassion in the moment.
He said, “I see [the toddler] and I see myself growing up with a single mother and I want him to have a better life too.”
Officer Johns’ boss, Laurel Police Chief Richard McLaughlin, said that he hopes these kinds of stories occur often in his department.
He said, “I’m very proud of my officers. All of my officers and particularly this one. I think it speaks volumes that they are doing the right thing for the right reason when nobody is watching.”
The mayor of Laurel commented as well, saying that he hopes all of the city’s employees help out citizens regularly.
He said, “They do many things that the general public doesn’t really see. They work hard at it. I can tell you that and we are going to continue to make sure we reach out to the community.”
What do you think about this story? Do you wish stories like this were more common? There are people all around us who we can extend kindness to today, we just have to look for the opportunity. Have you heard about the miraculous recovery of a former Navy SEAL who suffered a brain injury? The video that his wife just posted is heartwarming! Watch it here.