OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Several police departments have been in the news lately, and not all of it has been good. But one local officer is getting world-wide attention for a positive action.
A picture of Overland Park police officer Andy Black was taken at Oak Park mall and has since gone viral because of what the officer is doing in the photo.
“It was so beautiful, it just touched my heart so much, that I had to stop and just talk to him, and ask him if I could take his picture,” Jilli Nel said.
Nel is an artist, and normally stops to take pictures. She says this moment melted her heart. She decided to share the picture on Facebook, and it has since gone viral and both Officer Black and Nel have gotten messages from all over.
“Some people have turned it into, you know, this is a set up photo,” says Nel. “It wasn`t. It was just a pure moment that I had to capture.”
Officer Black has been working off duty at the mall for 25 years and was working Saturday when he got a call to help a woman who had suffered a seizure.
“By the time I got there, the lady had recovered somewhat, and was sitting on a seat with a small baby in a carrier at her feet,” says Officer Black.
He says the woman was disoriented and her husband was dealing with the paramedics.
“She was still shaking very badly, and I was afraid that she would drop the baby,” Officer Black told FOX 4’s Melissa Stern.
So he decided to ask if he could hold the baby.
“She had the baby and was putting the bottle in her mouth, and when she gave her to me, she handed me the bottle,” says Officer Black. “The baby started crying. I`m a grandpa. I took the bottle, and I fed the baby.”
“I looked and the next thing I saw Officer Black, and there he was, holding this little tiny bundle of joy, just feeding her, the two of them in their own little world,” Nel says.
Black has 12 grandchildren and 2 ‘adopted’ grandchildren. The two aren’t legally adopted, but they babysit them for his best friend at work, so he calls them his. They’ve been doing that for three years.
So, this wasn`t his first rodeo with kids.
Nel says lately there have been many negative stories regarding cops and racism. She says this picture shows a different story.
“They don`t realize that these are just people, they really are just people, and they`ve got hearts too,” Nel says.
We reached out to the parents of the baby in the photo but didn’t hear back. Officer Black says they thanked him for his kindness.