In a surveillance video captured at the home of a local family and posted to the police department’s Facebook page, the boy is seen tossing a football on his front lawn as a patrol car slows down and pulls up along the curb. He approaches the car with caution until an officer identified as Field Training Officer Tommy Bilancione steps out and signals for the boy to throw him the ball.
According to the boy’s mother, Sarah Prusinski-Petrovski, Bilancione had driven by and turned back around to check if the 10-year-old had someone to play with. When he replied, “No, sir,” Bilancione kindly stayed for a few minutes to keep him company.
“I wasn’t outside when it happened. It was all by chance,” Prusinski-Petrovski tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “My son ran into the house after it happened to tell me.”
Prusinski-Petrovski decided to check the surveillance footage and send it to the department to express her gratitude after seeing her son “grinning from ear to ear.”
“It was not an opportunity for political purposes. Just a thank-you,” she says. “Personally we are happy to see the police portrayed in a positive way.”
Thousands of people have watched the video, with many expressing their appreciation for the officer, who has a very favorable reputation within the community. The department’s Chief Jon Rogers adds, “We are proud to have officers like FTO Bilancione wearing our uniform and representing our chosen profession of law enforcement. He embodies what we call ‘SPD Pride,’ and our officers continue to make community engagement a priority every shift.”
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