SAN ANTONIO - A photo shared on Facebook late Monday night displays the moment after a young girl sprinted to a patrol vehicle just because she was happy to see a San Antonio police officer.
Officer Cliff Burns, who is assigned to San Antonio Police Department’s Eastside Substation, is seen in the photo posing with the girl after she told Burns she wants to be a police officer when she grows up.
In the post, the five-year SAPD veteran said, “This kid doesn’t know it, but she made my night.”
“She came sprinting up when she saw my car at a Valero and she was so HAPPY to see a police officer,” Burns said in the Facebook post.
Burns said in the post that the girl was “curious, energetic, and sweet” with the interaction leaving a lasting impact on him as “things have been kind of dark around here lately … I really needed this.”
In less than a year, SAPD has had to mark their badges twice with a thin, blue line, signifying the loss of an officer who has died in the line of duty.
Detective Benjamin Marconi, a 20-year SAPD veteran, was shot and killed during a traffic stop outside of Public Safety Headquarters in November 2016.
Seven months later, the department suffered another loss Thursday when nine-year SAPD veteran Miguel Moreno was killed in a shootout after responding to a vehicle-burglaries call just north of downtown San Antonio.
For members of the San Antonio community, the interaction between the girl and Burns could not have come at a more appropriate time.
As one user said:
“Your job totally sucks sometimes and it warms my heart to see a child welcome you and admire you. Kudos to her parents. Thank you for the job you and your fellow officers do each day. Be safe.”
Others shared similar comments by saying they hope the girl “contacts you in 15 years when she is an officer and reminds you of this day.”
A theme of the comments section suggests the photo has not only helped Burns, but also others who are mourning the loss of two fallen SAPD officers.
“What a great story! I hope you will keep in touch with her and encourage her. Future Explorer and SAPD officer!! Yes, it's been a sad year for all of San Antonio. We all needed to see this,” a Facebook user said.
The post has received more than 2,000 likes on Facebook.
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