People are getting emotional over a private moment captured between a police officer and a little boy, calling it a remarkable act of compassion.
In a Facebook photo shared Wednesday by the Phoenix Police Department, Officer Rusty Baubie, 51, who has served as a school resource officer for the past four years, is seated on the floor of a local middle school next to a boy who is crying with his head in his hands.
“There are many roles of today’s police officers, oftentimes it is just being a friend,” read the department’s caption. “School Resource Officer Rusty Baubie #8258 takes the time to comfort a student.”
The original photo was posted Aug. 2 by Facebook user Edna Guerrero, allegedly a friend of Baubie’s, and it received almost 1,000 reactions.
“I am so grateful to have captured this tender mercy,” stated Guerrero’s caption. “A student was having a difficult time, was screaming and [inconsolable and] crying, saying sad and negative things about himself. This officer looked through the eyes of this student and immediately showed mercy. This officer spoke softly to the student letting him know that he did matter, that he was important, that he was loved. This officer helped this student understand that we all make mistakes and that those mistakes do not define who we are and we just learn from them and move on.”
Commenters lauded the officer’s sensitivity. “This is seriously amazing. Thanks for sharing. Thanks to him for having such a kind heart and for going the extra mile” and “…We need more officers like this. Some kids don’t have that support or role model at home…thank you, officer, for helping this student.”
According to Sgt. Armando Carbajal, a public information officer at the Phoenix Police Department, the moment occurred by happenstance. “Officer Baubie was going about his daily duties when he came across a young student leaving the school administrative office,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “The boy was traumatized, so Baubie lent an ear and tried to calm him down.”
Carbajal says the 13-year police veteran, father, and husband of 27 years is humble and doesn’t have a social media account. “Police officers are there to provide safety and to teach,” he says, “but this was one duty that you can’t put on paper.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- Police flip a coin to determine fate of hair stylist who was speeding to work
- Video of police dog performing CPR goes viral
- Dog gets carted off in cop car, becomes internet hero