One evening when he was out on patrol in North Little Rock, Arkansas, police officer Tommy Norman saw something that he later said was like something out of a movie, not real life. A very pregnant woman was asleep in the middle of the sidewalk with her 2 year-old daughter resting on top of her. When he woke her up, she was afraid that she was about to be taken downtown and booked. Officer Norman isn’t your typical policeman: he’s known for his sometimes playful camaraderie with the citizens he serves and also for having a compassionate streak. Really, he just wanted to know how she’d ended up sleeping on the sidewalk.
The woman, named Jessica had a heartbreaking explanation. She’d been in a “crazy, abusive” marriage but had finally escaped with her daughter Kayla. A local women’s shelter had been able to take them in, but only for so long. Now she and her daughter had no place to go. She figured that sleeping on a sidewalk was safer than curling up on someone’s porch — for all she knew, a suspicious homeowner might come at her with a gun.
Officer Norman could have dropped them off at a homeless shelter but he knew they’d only be able to stay for a night. So instead he checked them into a motel so they could at least be somewhere safe while they collected themselves. He posted a video of the exhausted woman and her confused, frightened daughter on the internet. The response exceeded anyone’s wildest expectations. People donated food, children’s items, and in the end, seven months’ rent money!
If he’d left things there, Officer Norman would already have deserved a medal, but he did follow-up work, too. While she started in on the job hunting process, he helped her find permanent housing for herself, Kayla, and newborn Xavier. Some stability is exactly what the family of three needed.
What did you think of the way this kindhearted officer went above and beyond the call of duty? Let us know in the Facebook comments. Don’t forget to like and share!