FORT WAYNE, Ind. - An Indiana police department is getting a lot of attention right now after one of their officers showed an act of kindness to a little boy. He helped the child tie his shoes.
Officer Ricky Howard regularly patrols the area. On Thanksgiving, he noticed a little boy. "He basically was running and his shoes weren't tied and I said, 'hey little man, you need to tie your shoes,' he said, 'I don't know how' and I said, 'do you want me to do it?' and he got real happy about it, said 'yeah', I got out, tied his shoes and I left, that's it."
It took just long enough for Melissa Caballero to snap a picture while she waited for her family to arrive. Howard said he didn't notice Caballero taking the picture, nor did he know the little boy. He also didn't know why the picture was posted to social media or why it got so much attention. "You get to know basically everybody out there, kids love cops, so this is what we do," said Howard. "It was a good thing, I guess, with all the negativity going on."
Howard's wife, Freta, soon caught wind of the story. "I'm amazed, first of all. It opened up a new way of thinking about how you see policemen in our neighborhoods. So I'm excited about how this has just caught fire. Maybe he's the next police officer, maybe he'll be the next police chief, who knows?"
Howard has been on the force for 29 years, and is retiring next year. "He's about to go out to go out on a very high note. So, this has just made it more festive for our family," said Freta.
Caballero's post to Facebook thanked the officer for showing youth that cops aren't the bad guys. But Howard has a message for her too, "If this is what it took to get people to understand we're not all bad, thank you."