The police department in Sumter, South Carolina received an unusual call that day. A boy had called the police to tell them that he was planning to run away from home.
Officer Gaetano Acerra was dispatched to check it out and arrived at the house where the boy, named Cameron Simmons, lived. It turns out that Simmons, who was 13 years old at the time, had a fight with his mom and that’s why he wanted to run away.
Initially, Acerra told the boy that he had it good because he had a roof over his head. But when the officer looked in the boy’s room, he found out one of the reasons why the boy wanted to run away and he knew he had to do something.
It turns out that Simmons was sleeping on an inflatable mattress that would deflate through the night. For all intents and purposes, the boy was sleeping on the floor and it caused his back to hurt.
As a police officer, Acerra knew that as long as there were no signs of domestic abuse and that no law was being broken, his job was over. But as a human being, his heart went out to Simmons he knew he couldn’t leave it at that.
He promised the boy he would do something and, true to his word, Acerra came back a few weeks later.
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We can only imagine how surprised Simmons must have been to see Acerra coming back with a queen-sized bed, TV, a desk, and even a Wii game console that someone donated when they heard Acerra’s story. Acerra even gave Simmons his personal cell phone number so that the boy could call him anytime he needed help.
Acerra says he didn’t do it for the recognition or the accolades. He said he just wanted to do the right thing. But the praise was well-deserved.
Sometimes people forget that being lawful is different from being right. And it’s good that there are still police officers who recognize the distinction and in this case, it made all the difference in a young teenager’s life.
Watch the video here.
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