Police have been under extreme scrutiny recently as cases of abuse of power have been flooded into our awareness. Eric Garner's death via a police chokehold for selling cigarettes on a sidewalk, Michael Brown's death via police shooting, Freddie Grey's death in police custody caused by negligence that led to spinal injuries, and 12-year-old Tamir Rice's death via police shooting are just a few examples of the horrific and devastating events that have led many Americans to distrust the police.
After being made aware of these heinous cases, it's easy to forget that the police force, like everything else in life, cannot and will not ever be perfect. Those who abuse their power create an unforgettable stigma that over-shadows the fact that there are still amazing, kind, devoted, and just police officers working to protect the general public each and every day. The Halifax Police Department in Halifax, Canada recently went viral for exactly that reason: they reminded hundreds of thousands of people why most police officers don't deserve the bad reputation.
3-year-old Declan Tramley loves to ride his red, plastic motorcycle at the Halifax ferry terminal where plenty of real motorcyclists congregate. The police monitor this area closely because motorcyclists often park illegally, so when little Declan parked his plastic motorcycle in a 'no parking' zone and walked away, Halifax Regional Police Officer Shawn Currie saw an opportunity to have a little fun. He wrote a fake ticket to Declan which initially left the toddler mortified, but soon became a point of pride for the young motorcycle enthusiast.
Onlookers admired the wonderful interaction between police officer and little boy, snapping pictures of Declan's adorable reaction that quickly went viral, including this image posted by the Halifax Regional Police Department themselves!
Officer Currie's action was quite simple - nothing more than a light-hearted joke - but its power is undeniable. As he says in the video below, "It's nice to show the different sides of police, we're not always making arrests and hauling people away." This idea clearly resonated with the thousands of people who have seen Declan's story; it's nice to be reminded that there are officers whose hearts are in all the right places.