It’s easy to fall into the belief that authority figures aren’t out there to help or assist, but rather to scold and punish. This is often how we perceive our law enforcement officers, slowing down when we see them drive next to us on the road, drinking a little less wine when they’re sitting two tables away at our favorite dinner restaurant, and making our gait a little less unique when walking down the street as they stand at the corner. However, we forget that the officers are around to help us, keep society in tact and functioning smoothly, and most of all, to give us that little bit of help when we need it. They are the caretakers, in one sense, of society.
That being said, being pulled over by a police officer for a traffic violation does not typically end without a ticket being issued. A girlfriend might have the occasional story of being let go with a warning, or a husband might have a funny story of speeding to the hospital with a pregnant wife, but we all know it: it’s rare that one gets off easy when stopped by a traffic cop.
Hayden Carlo – a resident of Plano, Texas – had a surprise outcome when he was stopped by an officer for an expired registration. The officer – who has asked to remain anonymous – asked Carlo whether or not he had known his registration had expired. Carlo decided to be honest–yes, he knew. Then why not get it renewed? Carlo admitted to not having the money to renew his registration. He simply could not afford it. In tears and sincerity, Carlo said “…it was either feed my kids, or get this registration done.” As routine, the officer went back to his squad car to fill out the ticket. When he came back, he handed Carlo the ticket, folded, with something between its folded edges. The officer walked away quickly. Then, Carlo says, “I opened it up and there’s a hundred dollar bill. I broke down in my car–what else could I do?”
Though helping Carlo with his finances is definitely not within the parameters of a law enforcement officer’s job description, the officer still gave Carlo that little boost to get him through the day. Where Carlo was stuck, the officer helped him up. Though Carlo couldn’t not get the ticket for his registration violation, the officer made sure Carlo would be able to take care of the penalty; that way, Carlo would have one less problem stacked against him. So, the next time you see an officer on the street, don’t look the other way. Give him or her a smile. A relationship goes both way. Give a smile, they’ll give you one back, one way or another.