Officer Brian Dougherty’s kindness in assisting and comforting a child who had been in an automobile accident.
The incident occurred one afternoon in Coral Springs, Florida. A child passenger was involved in a three-vehicle crash. Fortunately, only two people were injured slightly.
Police arrived at the crash scene to manage the removal of cars involved in the collision, record the incident, file a report, and determine who was at fault. They are also responsible for ensuring that everybody was safe.
Upon arriving at the scene, Officer Dougherty approached the automobile and realized the scenario could be stressful for the boy and asked the boy to follow him. He reassured the child ‘s guardians that he came to assist them.
Janet Balestriero, who used to be a Palm Springs resident before living in Pompano Beach, was driving home after a doctor’s visit when she witnessed the accident. She noticed Dougherty’s action took a photo of the touching scene.
“It was an act of kindness,” said Balestriero. She then decided to share it on Coral Springs Police Department Facebook page, “I found myself smiling at that scene wondering if anyone else even noticed this Officer’s kindness. Just wanted to thank all the Officers and Fire Rescue that showed up today. It’s good to know you are there,” Balestriero wrote in her post.
Officer Dougherty was seen taking the child to the sidewalk and sat there talking about their favorite cartoon characters while playing with a toy fire engine. The officer spoke to the boy so softly and with such kindheartedness.
Balestriero’s post received a lot of online notice. It has been shared over 500 times and has received over 1,000 responses.
Facebook user Pamela Wagner commented: “Thank you officer for your act of kindness, although you probably thought nothing of it. Just calming and reassuring a little boy! A compassionate heart you have sir!”
Officer Dougherty has worked with the Coral Springs Police Department since 2016, according to the department. In addition, he was a participant of the department’s SWAT unit. “[We’re] so proud of our officers. Things like this happen often, but are rarely reported on,” Clyde Perry, Coral Springs Police Chief, modestly said.
Balestriero hoped to do something else in Dougherty’s honor after writing about him on Facebook. She was a participant in The Kindness Rock Project, which allowed people to paint, discuss, and “gift” happiness to others by painting notes on a rock.
Balestriero’s group was planning to donate a stone to the gracious officer. Officer Dougherty’s badge number would be on it along with and a small Disney character. They would then hand it over to the Coral Springs Police Department. “A single act of compassion can have a ripple effect,” said Balestriero.