Tim Purdy, a Charlotte, N.C., police officer received the call about a high school student who was potentially suicidal. The officer was also told the teen had a history of “displaying violent behavior” due to his autism.
Purdy found the student sitting in a nearby parking lot and was aware of the fragile nature of the situation. He sat down next to the teen and began trying to talk through things with him and even got the teen to laugh. Purdy took the time to form a relationship with the teen that led him to getting the help he needed.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department posted a photo of Purdy and the teen talking to its Facebook page. Police department officials praised Purdy for being kind to the teen and for not using unnecessary force.
“There’s more to policing than making arrests and enforcing the law,” CMPD officals wrote on the caption accompanying the photo. “Sometimes taking those extra little steps makes the biggest difference in someone’s life.”
The CMPD’s Facebook post is below:
“Officer Tim Purdy was dispatched to a situation involving a young autistic high school student who left the campus and may have been suicidal.
Due to the young man’s neuro-developmental disorder, he also had a history of displaying violent behavior.
In order to build a connection with the young man, Officer Purdy sat next to him on the ground, talked things through and even got him laughing.
Officer Purdy established trust and a relationship that allowed officers to get this young man the help that he so desperately needed.
There’s more to policing than making arrests and enforcing the law. Sometimes taking those extra little steps makes the biggest difference in someone’s life.”
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