A photo of a North Carolina police officer helping a possibly suicidal high school student went viral Friday after being posted on Facebook.
Officer Tim Purdy was sent to assist the teen, who left his high school campus and “may have been suicidal,” a post on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Facebook page said.
The teen had a history of violent behavior because of a neuro-developmental disorder, according to the post.
In an attempt to connect with and assist the youngster, Purdy sat down next to the boy and began talking with him. At one point, the officer even got the teen laughing.
The result was that Purdy was able to gain the boy’s trust and establish a relationship that allowed police to get him the “help that he so desperately needed,” the post stated.
“There’s more to policing than making arrests and enforcing the law. Sometimes taking those extra little steps makes the biggest difference in someone’s life,” the department said.
By early Saturday afternoon, the post had been liked more than 375,000 times and shared over 125,000 times.