Protecting and serving often involves more than high-stakes standoffs and brushes with death: Sometimes it requires a human touch.
A bodycam video from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan has been making the rounds online after a deputy showed compassion and simple human kindness during a stop.
It all started when someone driving along a snowy road spotted a man in a car on the side of the road. Concerned for his well-being, the individual called authorities, and Deputy Jake Thorne was sent to investigate, according to the Times Herald in Port Huron, Michigan.
When Thorne arrived, he found a man going through a very rough patch. The man — referred to by the alias “Joe” — was dealing with a lot in his life, and that day it caught up to him and he pulled to the side of the road.
“Joe explained to Deputy Thorne that he was headed to work and had to pull over because he was feeling down and just needed a break,” a Feb. 4 post by the sheriff’s office said.
“He didn’t want to hurt himself. He was upset and had multiple stressful issues making him feel overwhelmed. Deputy Thorne asked what he could do to help…”
And Joe’s request was simple: “I could use a hug.”
“I’ll give you a hug,” the deputy immediately replied. “Seems like you got a lot going on, man. It’s all right. It’s all right, man. Seems like a lot to take on, you know?”
After giving Joe a hug, Thorne and another officer who had arrived offered to get him in touch with someone who could help him work through some things.
“Deputy Thorne was more than happy to help a fellow human and gave Joe a good strong hug as Joe was able to release some emotional tears,” the post continued. “For the next twenty minutes, Deputy Thorne and Deputy Parisek, both military veterans, sat with Joe and exchanged some stories, helpful remedies, encouragement, and even a laugh at the end.
“Deputy Thorne provided Joe with a few resources, including his own contact information, to help him get through the times when he was feeling overwhelmed. The two exchanged one last hug before going their separate ways.”
“Please remember that we are all human. We all have good days, bad days, and days that we feel we might not make it through. But you can. Never be afraid to reach out and make that phone call to hear a helpful voice on the other end. Macomb County Crisis Center can be reached 24/7 at 855-996-2264.
“We are proud to be the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office. This is who WE are.”
The video drew commendation from viewers around the world who were delighted to see such a compassionate response from law enforcement.
The sheriff’s department shared an update on Friday saying the support it received has been very much appreciated.
“We have received calls, emails, and posts from all over the U.S, and even Canada and Mexico!” the post said. “We wish we could respond to each and every one of you but that may be impossible. Please know that your kind words are very appreciated and we will continue to provide our best to our communities.”
It also said the man in the video was “doing better and still speaks with these deputies.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.