Police officers can come across all kinds of situations when patrolling the streets. For one police officer in Arkansas, he thought he was seeing things when he found a pregnant woman and her toddler sleeping on the sidewalk. He learned the heartbreaking truth as to why she had been sleeping there, so he went out of his way to help the lady there and then—positively impacting her life from that day forth.
Tommy Norman, a police officer in North Little Rock, shared a photo on his Instagram account of a pregnant mom and her toddler sleeping on the sidewalk on June 13, 2017. He wrote: “After my coffee stop I begin making my early morning rounds. As I enter into the neighborhoods I see this. I initially passed because I thought I was seeing things.”
Recalling the situation to KTHV, Norman said, “I see a baby stroller but I didn’t see anyone laying next to the stroller.”
“So, I turn around and I see Jessica with Kayla laying asleep on her chest,” he added. “It took me a minute to gather myself.”
The officer later learned the name of the pregnant woman, Jessica, and that of her then-2-year-old daughter, Kayla.
“It’s something I’ve never seen before,” Norman said.
Norman woke the mother up, and when she saw him, she was afraid.
View this post on Instagram
After my coffee stop i begin making my early morning rounds. As I enter into the neighborhoods I see this. I initially passed because I thought I was seeing things. This is not a post asking for assistance. It’s an image I decided to share to show that real life stories exist in communities across the world. Heartbreaking yes but hopefully an image that encourages others to get out & make a difference in their communities.
“He woke us up,” recalled Jessica. “I was scared I was in trouble or something.”
Norman learned that Jessica had fled from a “crazy, domestic violence marriage” in March 2017 and stayed at a local shelter. However, the duo had stayed the maximum amount of nights allowed at the shelter. So, they had no choice but to sleep on the sidewalk, as Jessica thought it was safer to be around people.
“I didn’t want to sleep on somebody’s porch, because, somebody might shoot you. That’s somebody’s private property. That’s why I lay on the sidewalk. I know it’s a busy street. So, probably nobody would want to mess with us,” said Jessica.
Seeing the heavily pregnant Jessica, Norman took her and her young daughter to a hotel so they could get some quality rest.
In the Instagram post, Norman explained his reason for uploading the photo: “This is not a post asking for assistance. It’s an image I decided to share to show that real life stories exist in communities across the world. Heartbreaking yes but hopefully an image that encourages others to get out & make a difference in their communities.”
I’m calling this a TISSUE ALERT
His post soon went viral and people started responding by donating food and other items to Jessica.
“It’s amazing how many people have stepped up to make a difference to change this family’s life. Hopefully this family now realizes how many people around the world love them,” Norman said.
Days after, Jessica met Norman once again after giving birth to baby Xavier.
Baby Xavier is five weeks old! Please continue to keep this angel & his family in your prayers! Thank you!
Georgia Mjartan, who was the executive director of Our House at that time, said that there are actually 21,000 homeless children in the state of Arkansas, and the community has to know how to help them.
“People ask me all the time what should we do when we see someone that’s homeless? I tell them to know the resources in their city, know that Our House is out there and know the different programs that are out there,” she said. “Five dollars is fine but give them five dollars and a resource of a place for them to go that cannot just change their life for a night but forever.”
Despite Norman’s great job, where he’s helped make a positive difference to this family, he’s agreed not to post any more scenes he comes across whilst on duty to social media.
“There’s a policy in effect at the police department that prohibits you from posting on-duty that is now going to be enforced,” said Norman.
Norman’s work unit, however, certainly recognizes the great contribution he’s made to the community.
“The department greatly supports the work that Officer Norman has done and will continue to do in our community,” read a police statement.
And Jessica couldn’t be more appreciative of Norman’s warmheartedness.
“There’s still good people,” Jessica said. “Everybody’s been showing love. And, sending baby items and things for Kayla, and sending prayers and tears, and everything. It’s so beautiful. I’ve never felt this way in my life.”
Not only did people all over send shipments for the family but Jessica also started to work at Wingstop on July 7, 2017. Norman uploaded a message on his Facebook page, writing: “A big thank you to Pam at Wingstop for giving Jessica a chance! Tomorrow is Jessica’s first day on the job!”
A big thank you to Pam at Wingstop for giving Jessica a chance! Tomorrow is Jessica’s first day on the job!
In September 2017, Norman updated his followers about Jessica’s situation saying that she had found a home for herself. He also thanked people across the world for helping him to get Jessica back on her feet.
Norman continues to offer his kindness to people in need. In an interview that was published on Hormel Foods website in February 2019, he shared that when he joined the police department, he saw plenty of people in need.
In his over-20-year career, he has never fired a weapon on someone. Alluding to that, he said, “That uniform and badge are powerful, but it takes so much more,” he said. “A lot of it has to do with how I treat people.”
Norman also has a message for everyone. He said: “You just can’t sit home in your recliner with your feet propped up, expecting to make a difference. You have to get out there. You have to get to know people who are different.”
A big thanks to Paul Rainwater for providing me with a custom made suit! Means a lot!
Watch the video:
Meet Kayla, Jessica & soon to be baby boy Xavier!
تم النشر بواسطة Officer Tommy M Norman في الثلاثاء، ١٣ يونيو ٢٠١٧
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Author: EMG Inspired Staff