The story of a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who calmed an autistic and potentially suicidal high school student has gone viral with 700,000 likes on the department’s Facebook page.
To build a connection with the student, Officer Tim Purdy sat next to him on the ground, talked things through and even got him laughing, police said in the May 13 posting.
Because of the student’s neuro-developmental disorder, he also had a history of displaying violent behavior, police said.
“Officer Purdy established trust and a relationship that allowed officers to get this young man the help that he so desperately needed,” CMPD said in the posting. “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 #CMPD #compassion.”
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Purdy is scheduled to appear at a news conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday to further discuss how he handled the situation.
The department’s posting also has generated 244,600 shares.