If you’re a police officer, you never know what the job is going to throw at you. One call could change your life forever. Officer Gaetano Acerra of the Sumpter, South Carolina Police Department got a call from a very upset 13 year-old named Cameron Simmons and went to see what was going on. The youngster explained that his mom was yelling at him for playing his older brother’s video games and that he now wanted to run away from home. You might think officer Acerra was going to give the boy a canned lecture about how you shouldn’t call the police over trivial matters, but his policeman’s sixth sense kicked in. There had to be more to the story.
Acerra had Cameron take him on a tour of the house. He couldn’t believe what he saw, or more to the point, didn’t see in the boy’s room. The room was almost empty! No bed, no dresser, none of the usual things you’d see in a kid’s room. His clothes were stuffed into a trash bag on the floor. Time for some more questions. As it turned out, Cameron’s mom was struggling financially after they moved from Texas to South Carolina to help care for a sick relative.
Acerra calmed Cameron down and convinced him not to run away. The story might have ended there had the kindhearted police officer not felt the need to do more. He went out and acquired various items for Cameron and his family. They were certainly surprised when Acerra showed up one day with a desk, chair, bed, TV, and even a Wii gaming console that someone donated. As if that wasn’t enough, he also had a full bedroom set for Cameron’s brother and an air hockey table for both kids!
Officer Acerra says he wasn’t motivated by a need for praise or recognition. “I put a smile on this kid’s face, and a friendship. I think that’s well worth it.”
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