Offers hug instead of ticket to distressed driver
In a recent display of empathy and compassion seen by many on social media, a deputy from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) in Kansas chose to offer a hug to a distressed driver instead of a traffic ticket.
The incident, captured on body-camera footage, took place on August 5, when JCSO Deputy Anthony Bussell pulled over a driver for speeding.
However, upon approaching the vehicle, Deputy Bussell noticed that the driver was in tears and appeared to be grappling with personal challenges.
The driver, visibly emotional, reached out to the deputy for help.
“Can I have a hug? I need a hug. Can I have a hug, please?” the driver asked, his voice trembling.
Without hesitation, Deputy Bussell responded humanely.
“Sure. Sure. Yeah,” and the driver stepped out of his vehicle to embrace Bussell.
During the moment, the driver apologized, to which Deputy Bussell reassured him.
“No, you’re good, man. I promise you, it’s going to get better.”
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office later released the body-camera footage on social media, praising the dedication of their personnel who serve and support the community.
In a Facebook post accompanying the video, the department stated: “Sometimes, all you need is a hug.”
“The men and women of the JCSO come in contact with people every day who are going through their own battles. We strive to be compassionate while serving our community. This is our pledge to you,” the sheriff’s office wrote.
The encounter between Deputy Bussell and the emotional driver has garnered widespread praise on social media, with many users commending the deputy’s warm response.
“We need more people like this! Mental health is real!” one individual commented.
However, not all responses were positive, with a few expressing concerns about officer safety.
“Absolutely the most dangerous thing I can imagine from an officer safety standpoint. Was he speeding from a homicide … a robbery? Never let anyone that close to you. There is always a weapon in any encounter … and you brought it,” one user wrote.
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office consists of almost 500 sworn deputies, operating two jails and an internationally accredited crime lab offering a full complement of law enforcement forensic services.