Officer James Hurst may be a rookie in the police force, but he’s certainly no rookie when it comes to compassion. A picture of Officer Hurst soothing an abandoned toddler has gone viral, with people praising him for his kindness and care for the poor child.
Officer Hurst and his colleagues were called out to Cuyler-Brownsville neighborhood, Savannah, after reports of a 16-month-old boy wandering the streets. Residents were concerned for the safety of the child; they didn’t know how long he had been wandering or where he came from.
Hurst, who has two children back at home (one of whom has Down Syndrome), found it very upsetting to see the child wandering alone. They picked up the toddler at 10am and took him straight to the emergency room to check him over. The little boy became, understandably, very upset and distressed. Officer Hurst’s heart ached and he knew he had to try help.
The boy, obviously, being so small, became very upset. He was crying. He was sobbing. I asked the hospital staff if I can hold him to comfort him and soothe him a little bit to try to calm him down, to continue getting medical care, and they said that was fine. So I picked him up. Minutes later, I was standing and he was asleep on my chest, and with all my body armor and my gun belt, became very heavy holding this small child. So that’s when I decided to sit down on the bed and make it easier for him and me.
Picking up the toddler and holding him, Officer Hurst managed to soothe him and calm him down. The poor toddler was overwhelmed while being checked over, but Officer Hurst’s fatherly-instincts kicked in and the toddler quickly fell asleep on his chest.
The Officer just did what he thought was the right thing to do, but since the picture of him cradling the child went viral, he has been overwhelmed by people’s reactions. People have been praising the Officer for his kindness.
The toddler is now safe and in good health, in the custody of the Georgia Department of Family & Children’s Services. Hopefully, it won’t be long before this child is placed in a safe and happy home.
As for Officer James Hurst, he doesn’t believe that he did anything special. He says that police officers do things like this every day and he hopes that the picture can raise awareness of all the good that the police do.
It’s what we do, every single day; not just me, but the 600 officers that are on this department. This job is so much more than just chasing the bad guys. It is about serving the citizens of the communities you work in and doing what they need you to do.