With so many awful stories about cops making the headlines, it has to be noted that there are some good ones.
Officer Jody Thompson happens to be an incredible one.
The Oklahoma officer, who works for the Poteau Police Department, made the soul-stirring decision to adopt a young boy and his baby sister.
Thompson first met the little boy whilst investigating a child abuse allegation in 2015.
When Thompson arrived at the address he was stunned to see a severely underweight eight-year-old boy called John.
His wrists were bound by belts and he had bruises all along his back. The little boy had a huge bump on his head, having been submerged in a trash can full of cold water.
John only weighed 61lbs.
Officer Jody said: ‘He did not have a spot on his body that didn’t have a bruise or abrasion. It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen.’
Thompson affectionately wrapped the boy in a blanket and took him to the Oklahoma Children’s Advocacy Center.
‘I sat with him, and when he was admitted into the intensive care unit, I sat all night until the next day.’
Officer Jody was immediately connected to John, knowing that the two would be in each other’s lives forever.
‘When I’d seen him in that house shivering and his hands tied – just soaking wet and confused – I knew at that moment the only time I would be satisfied and sure that he was safe is if he was with me,’ Thompson said.
The officer called the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) and registered to become a certified foster parent.
He brought John home a few days later.
Officer Jody didn’t tell his wife Jeannie and their children Ryan and Charley – aged 15 and eight at the time – that he was bringing John to live with them.
But the family welcomed John to their home on April 30, 2015.
There house got even bigger when Officer Jody and his wife found out they were expecting their third biological child.
Then seven months later, the DHS contacted the family and asked them if they wanted to foster John’s sister Paizley who was born while in jail.
Officer Jody said: ‘We literally picked her up in the hospital the next day when she was a day old and brought her straight home.’
‘Never in my life did I dream of having a large family, but God had different plans and so here we are. And I’m loving it all.’
John’s parents – who are both incarcerated and awaiting trial – relinquished their parental rights to their son. The family adopted him in August.
On February 16, after the parents rights were terminated for Paizley they were able to adopt her.
It was a tough trial with John having to testify during the trial about the abuse he had endured.
But the family has done their best to put those memories behind them, instead focusing on John’s accomplishments at school.
‘John is amazing. He’s a straight-A student, on the honor roll, in the gifted and talented program, involved in the local drama club,’ Thompson. ‘That kid’s very resilient. He bounced back from this.’
This past Tuesday, Thompson was honored with a certificate of commendation from the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigations, with his son John right by his side.
‘Jody’s actions as well has his families are second to none. The example of love and compassion he has shown to this young man and his sister is an example everyone should follow,’ Poteau Police Chief Stephen Fruen said in a statement.
‘It’s men like you that make me proud of our law enforcement brothers and sisters. You are very deserving of this commendation. I am proud to serve with you.’
John has recently decided to share his testimony in hopes of helping fellow abuse victims.
Officer Jody said: ‘We went through something bad, but we’re not going got let it define who were are. We’re not going to let this hold us back. Always have compassion, you never know what you’re going to walk into.’