Jenny Brown: Officer finds suicidal teen, sits down and becomes the friend the teen so desperately needs


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Our police officers defend and preserve our freedom and liberty. They enforce the rules and laws of society and ensure everyone lives on an equal, fair playing field.

But our officers do far more than just that. Often times, their actions go unnoticed by the community, and recently, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department chose to highlight an officer who went above and beyond the call of duty.

Officer Tim Purdy was dispatched to help an unnamed teenager who left school and may have been suicidal. The teenager had a history of violent behavior, and he was diagnosed with autism.

When Officer Purdy arrived on the scene, he spotted the teenager sitting alone and approached him. Knowing the teen needed a friend in this situation, Officer Purdy tried his best to connect with him. He tried to make him laugh and over time, established a trust and relationship that “allowed officers to get this young man the help that he so desperately needed.”

The police department posted a photo of Officer Purdy comforting the teen, and it quickly went viral on Facebook with over 250,000 shares.

On Facebook, The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department writes,

“Officer Tim Purdy was dispatched to a situation involving a young autistic high school student who left the campus and may have been suicidal.

Due to the young man’s neuro-developmental disorder, he also had a history of displaying violent behavior.

In order to build a connection with the young man, Officer Purdy sat next to him on the ground, talked things through and even got him laughing.

Officer Purdy established trust and a relationship that allowed officers to get this young man the help that he so desperately needed.

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 police department shared this photo to show how its officers do far more than just make arrests. Many of their actions go unnoticed, but they leave profound impact on members in the community.

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