Two Georgia police officers are being hailed as “heroes” after their supervisor uncovered their anonymous act of kindness.
Sgt. Nick Boney and Officer Jimmy Wilson, of the Gwinnett County Police Department, spent a cold night in January “saving” a 1-year-old girl’s birthday celebration — but they never told anyone else about it.
Their actions, which included driving the girl and her mother home, buying them a cake and joining them in a rendition of “Happy Birthday,” were only discovered after a supervisor did a “random audit” of body camera footage, the department tweeted.
The video, which is now going viral after being uncovered nearly two months later, shows the officers helping the woman and her children into their squad car.
During a random audit of police body cam videos, a supervisor found this interaction (Jan. 10) between Sgt. Nick Boney, Ofc. Jimmy Wilson, and a woman whose daughter had just turned one. The woman was holding a bouquet of balloons trying to get home to her family on a cold night. pic.twitter.com/3pZKa2vGbB— Gwinnett County Police (@GwinnettPd) March 4, 2020
“It was obvious she was trying to get home, and it was extremely cold out,” Boney told the Washington Post. “I saw the balloons and I just wanted to help her get home quickly. It is quite a walk to the nearest neighborhood or apartment complex, and I didn’t want her to have to walk in the freezing cold that far.”
Boney and Wilson then went with the woman to buy her a cake before taking her home and celebrating the birthday alongside her family.
“Is it your birthday?” the officers can be seen asking the 1-year-old girl. “You’re so cute. Hi!”
“It was awesome to meet the birthday girl,” Wilson told the Washington Post. “My favorite reaction was seeing her and the rest of the kids blow the candle out. All it takes is a little love and compassion for one another — it was a special moment for me to give that family a memorable experience.”
The officers said they were inspired by the mom — who was walking home with her daughter’s balloons in the cold — and decided they had to do their part.
“What she was willing to do for her daughter and how she raised her children speaks volumes to the mother she is,” Boney told the Washington Post. “She obviously was bringing up [her girls] to know that police were their friends and that they could trust and have fun with them.”
It’s unclear if the officers discussed their actions with others in the department, but they certainly kept the event from going public until the recent bodycam discovery. According to Boney, nights like those are simply part of their job.
“Officers aren’t looking for credit — they just do this out of the kindness of their hearts,” he Boney said. “It’s really what many people do — it’s just not seen all the time.”
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