An Indiana police officer is one of several to experience a young boy’s heartwarming act of kindness in the aftermath of the deadly attack against officers in Dallas.
Dan Dickey is a police officer in the town of Porter, Indiana, and like so many across the country, he was shaken by Thursday’s shooting that left five officers dead and seven others wounded.
So when a young boy sought him out to give a special, heartfelt thank you, it meant quite a bit. He was driving in Chesterton, Indiana, on Friday when a car began following him, he said.
“I was off duty, so I was in plain clothes but I was in my fully marked car,” Dickey said. “I started to see a car following me, and every so often they would honk.”
He was nervous in light of recent events, but proceeded to pull to the side of the road.
“I pull over, and of course I’m thinking worst of the worst, either they want to come yell at me or who knows what,” Dickey said.
That was when he met a young boy named Damyon.
“Damyon jumped out of the car with a big old smile on his face and a Superman baseball hat,” Dickey said, “and the woman driving the car, his mother, said ‘he wants to give you something.’”
Damyon gave him a Mickey Mouse thank you card that said “Thank you for your service. Our hearts are heavy for the loss of your fellow officers. You are in our prayers.”
Dickey said that after handing him the card Damyon "said thank you and he was smiling ear to ear.”
“I was stunned because one, that doesn’t happen all that often, and two, they usually don’t chase you down in a car,” Dickey said.
When he and Damyon’s mom connected on Facebook he realized they had extended the same kind gesture to several other officers in the area. But when Dickey shared their story, he found out that officers in the Chesterton area were not alone.
“This is happening all over the country,” Dickey said, telling NBC 5 that his colleagues are sharing stories of “groups of kids going up and thanking police officers,” and that someone even bought his station’s lunch Saturday.
No matter what happens, Dickey said, “We’re still going to do our job.” But a gesture of kindness “absolutely plays a role in our attitude and how we go about the day,” he said.
“We feel like nobody has our back except each other most of the time,” Dickey said. “And then when you have the public coming up and doing that, to have a little kid like that come up and give you a card means a lot.”
“I think most officers know that the majority of the public does support us, but it’s easy to forget that with social media, even the media sometimes,” Dickey said.
Dickey has wanted to be a police officer since he was a child, and that’s part of the reason that Damyon’s gesture meant so much.
“Even with the risks of this job, I couldn't imagine doing anything else,” he wrote in his Facebook post.
“At times you can want to quit or want to leave,” he said. “But whether it’s a kid or a grown person, you are a hero to someone, and I think that’s what keeps us going.”