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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Cop Captured in Heartwarming Photograph Comforting Toddler He Found Wandering the Streets

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While many people are stirred to help those in need, there’s something especially heartstring-pulling when a case involves a child.

Perhaps we can imagine how alone and scared we would be in their shoes, or perhaps we have children and think of how sad it would be if our own kids were in such a predicament.

In 2016, when James Hurst (a police officer and a father) came across a lost toddler wandering the streets who really needed someone to comfort him, he was happy to help.

Hurst, part of the Savannah Police Department in Georgia, rescued the boy, just 1 year old, then waited with him as he got checked out at the hospital.

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When the boy began to grow distressed, Hurst’s instincts kicked in, and his experience with young sons of his own took over.

“It was upsetting, I mean I have two small children of my own,” Hurst told WTOC.

“It was just natural to want to soothe this child,” he said, according to WTHR. “I didn’t expect any of this, it’s been quite overwhelming actually.”

“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, he, 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.”

Someone snapped a photo of the officer on the hospital bed — the toddler sprawled out across his chest and wrapped in his arms — and shared it on social media.

While the picture has warmed many hearts, Hurst said he was just doing what “any human being with dignity that sees a child in need” would do.

According to Mike Cihla with WTOC, the officer wanted to reach out to those who read the story and thank them for their kindness, but he also wanted to point out how this kind of behavior should be standard.

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“To everyone that has shared, commented on or messaged me about the picture that was taken of me with the little boy in the hospital,” he said, according to Cihla’s post.

“I thank you for your sweet and kind words. My whole intention was to comfort a small child in need.”

“This boy did not need a police officer, he needed someone to love on him and take care of him for just a short while to feel better. Having two boys myself, I knew this child just needed someone there and that’s all I was trying to accomplish. I didn’t expect all this from everyone on social media.”

“This was not just a job of a police officer but any human being with dignity that sees a child in need. Sad part is that our country has gotten so bad that something so little gets this much attention. Thank you everyone for the kind words of sentiment!!!”

Still, many were impressed that he took the time to go above and beyond in such a nurturing way.

“This job is so much more than just chasing the bad guys,” Hurst added, according to WTHR, “it is about serving the citizens of the communities you work in and doing what they need you to do.”

According to WTOC, no charges were filed and the case was handed off to the Department of Family and Children Services.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking