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Man Snaps Candid Photo Of Police Officer’s Rendezvous On Side Of Road.

Darren Ballard Sr. of Tacoma, Washington, was stuck in traffic beside a police cruiser when he observed something unusual. Ballard’s attention was drawn to an on-duty sheriff’s officer, who took a photograph of him. At first glance, it does not seem to be much of anything. It looks to be a photograph of a sheriff’s cruiser parked on the side of the road. A closer look shows that the officer is also in the shot, sitting on an area of grass, almost completely obscured behind a tree.

While it’s tough to see, the cop is standing next to someone, and there’s a lot more going on in the image than meets the eye. Ballard had photographed a real act of compassion performed by a concerned cop. He said he couldn’t believe his eyes. He glanced over, and there was a cop in uniform sitting on the grass, having a sandwich with a homeless person, and he was just blown away.

UPDATE: From Pierce County Sheriff's Department spokesman Det. Sgt. Ed Troyer. This picture of our Deputy eating lunch…

Posted by East Pierce Firefighters IAFF Local 3520 on Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Just observed this officer enjoying a sandwich with a homeless person, asking for no recognition and just doing a nice thing, the Pierce County resident commented on Facebook, beside the photo. There’s many nice police officers out there… please share this, it changed his day! And they did share. The picture quickly went viral, with hundreds of shares from social media users, including one from the local sheriff’s department, where the constable works.

Further details about the officer and his unusual acquaintance surfaced when the video went viral. According to Pierce County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Sgt. Ed Troyer, who explained the tale behind the popular picture, the officer, who preferred to remain “unknown,” saw the homeless guy panhandling and started up a discussion with him. When their constable inquired whether he was hungry, he responded yes. So the constable sat him down and had lunch with him; Troyer posted on the department’s Facebook page.

Troyer says that such situations are typical, occurring “very often” in his department, which prides itself on showing kindness and consideration. Still, he appreciates the scene being shared. It’s excellent for the cops, who perform their work with zeal and dignity in the field, to receive a break with some good positive news for a change, he added.

Such honesty is not limited to Piece County. Elizabeth McClain recorded a similar image across the nation in Jackson, Tennessee, and it’s one she’ll never forget. Elizabeth felt sad for a homeless guy she saw sitting on the side of the road with his rucksack because he seemed hungry. Then, before she could react, a police vehicle pulled over, and an officer approached the guy.

Imagine this you are sitting on the side of the road and for whatever reason everything you own can fit in a backpack….

Posted by Elizabeth Mckeen on Wednesday, 2 January 2019

“Imagine sitting on the side of the road with everything you possess crammed into a rucksack,” Elizabeth said in a Facebook post accompanying the photo. “You’re lonely and starving. You bury your face in your hands, attempting to ignore the cry of hunger reverberating in your thoughts. “Then you hear the sound of an engine stopping,” she described what she saw. “You glance up to find a uniformed cop approaching you. Your mind races with ideas of everything you may be doing wrong. Unexpectedly, this officer sits down, pulls out lunch, and takes away not just your hunger, but also your loneliness.”

Elizabeth didn’t know the cop, but she knows he made a difference, not only for the homeless guy, but also for her and the way she thinks. This is the side of law enforcement that no one sees, she continued, reminding people that we are all human beings who deserve to be loved and respected. So share this, she went on. Show this officer that his gesture of goodwill was not in vain. Certainly, these cops exemplify what it really means to protect and serve. Perhaps their compassion and altruism will help people understand what the majority of officers are all about. Many people are eager to sit down with members of their community on a more intimate level, giving not just their assistance but also their friendship.

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