The men and women who protect us from ourselves, our police and law enforcement agencies across this nation, are often painted in a terrible light. True, there are times when the light that shines on those who have sworn to protect and serve needs to be harsh. This is not one of those times.

As a kid, I was taught that if I ever needed help to go find a policeman. I don't think that logic applies to parents of today. That's a shame. Because almost every officer I have gotten to know through my job or through them doing their job have been amazing professionals.

The story we are about to tell you actually happened five days before Christmas last year. However, the lessons learned from it should stay with us all year long. This isn't a story about obeying the law, this is a story about doing what is right. It's about being human. And yes, our officers on the beat, they are human too.

WPTV News via YouTube
WPTV News via YouTube
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The incident in question happened in Somerset Massachusetts five days before Christmas. Workers at a grocery store called the Somerset Police to aid with a shoplifting complaint. Officer Matt Lima responded to the call.

Upon arrival on the scene, Officer Lima began to question two women. The women were accompanied by two small children. The officer asked store employees to keep the children occupied while he spoke to the two women.

WPTV News via YouTube
WPTV News via YouTube
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During his questioning Officer Lima learned that the women had indeed taken items from the store that they did not pay for. The women admitted to that fact. However, Officer Lima noticed that this was not a typical shoplifting case. He noted that the items in the women's cart weren't usually stolen goods.

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images
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In fact, all of the items in the cart were food items. That's when Officer Lima learned that the women had stolen the items so their family, including the small children, could have some semblance of a Christmas dinner.

What Officer Lima did next embodies the Spirit of Christmas and I believe the spirit of our best and brightest in law enforcement. He served the women with a notice, not to trespass but did not press charges.

He then took the ladies and the kids to another grocery store where he purchased a $250 gift card with his own money for them to use to shop for Christmas dinner for their family.

I'm not crying, you're crying. Here's the way television station WPTV presented the story to their viewers.

 

Maybe it's because Officer Lima has two girls of his own or maybe it's because Officer Lima is a genuine public servant who doesn't mind putting himself in other people's shoes even if he has to put himself in harm's way every day.

Sometimes the letter of the law is not the same as the ultimate law, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Officer Lima may protect us here on Earth but in my opinion, his actions show he is truly serving a Higher Power.

Merry Christmas

Light Up 2021

The holidays have returned, and so have the decorations. From inflatables and flashing lights on the front lawn to decorated mantles and fireplaces inside, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Thanks to everyone who submitted photos for Light Up 2021. Everyone who submitted a photo is entered to win $500, even if the image that was submitted had technical issues and wasn't able to be included in the gallery. Now sit back, relax, and scroll through your neighbors' and friends' decorations for 2021.