A photo of a police officer comforting a baby after a frightening rollover accident has captured the minds and hearts of Americans. The picture depicts an image of police officers that the public doesn’t always get to see — the parental, compassionate side of public service.
Dallas police officer Donald Boice had already responded to one fatal car collision on his shift when he heard yet another emergency dispatch. This time, a vehicle had overturned, with two adults and three children trapped inside.
Boice could scarcely bear the thought of yet another fatality. “Honestly, my thoughts were just, ‘Please, God. Not another one tonight,’” he recalled.
— Samhdz (@SamHdz25) May 27, 2018
First responders from the sheriff’s office were handling the call, and since Boice works for the Dallas Police Department and not the Sheriff’s Office, he wasn’t required to stop. But as a father of three boys, Boice felt compelled to stop anyway.
“At that point, you kind of go from cop to parent real quick,” Boice explained. By the time he reached the crash site, the three children– ages five, two, and three months — had already been removed from the overturned vehicle.
Not sure if this officer is with @DallasPD or @Dallas_Sheriff …. But it is an amazing picture from a traffic accident that happened over night. Please pray for those involved. @ChiefHallDPD @AShawDPD @DallasNLLEO @DPDChiefPughes @DPDStokes @CBSDFW pic.twitter.com/4xtnxpFxDp
— Dominique Erwin (@DPDErwin) May 28, 2018
Boice quickly assessed the chaotic scene around him and his eyes landed on the children’s mother. He offered to hold the woman’s baby while she received treatment.
“Both parents were screaming, ‘Please don’t let my baby die. Please don’t let my babies die,’” Boice recalled. He scooped baby Jackson into his arms and shielded him and his siblings from the trauma of the accident scene.
Boice began singing to Jackson, comforting him with a gentle smile and a soothing voice. The songs that sprang to mind were the same words Boice sang to his own children when they were babies.
Photojournalist Sam Hernandez noticed the heartwarming moment and snapped a quick photo. Hernandez posted the photo online, where it was quickly reposted by other officers.
While officers are charged with being authoritative law enforcers by occupation, they are still humans. Boice exhibited the heart of a father, loving a family during a time of crisis.
“That could be my child, too,” Boice said. “And I’d want someone treating my child the same way.”
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