Longwood officers buy car seat for family following traffic stop

Officers say they hoped to make positive impression on child

LONGWOOD, Fla. – Officers with the Longwood Police Department got results for a family during a traffic stop.

Officer Steven Bryant said he saw a vehicle turn into the wrong lane, so he pulled the car over. When he looked in the backseat, the traffic stop suddenly changed tone.

"Hey, we are humans, we have a badge, we have a job to do, but I am a human being and I'm going to emphasize with you," Bryant said.

During the traffic stop, Bryant said that he noticed a young child in the back without a car seat. He said the child's father told him he had just picked up his son to take him back to St. John's County.

"He was having trouble with the funds, he had to put in gas, get food, so he was not able to afford a car seat at that time," Bryant said.

Bryant said that's when he decided instead of writing the father a ticket, he wanted to get results and ensure the child traveled safely.

"I said, 'Hey man, what about running up to Walmart to purchase a car seat for this kid?'" Bryant said.

The officer then drove to Walmart, in full uniform, and purchased a car seat for the family.

Bryant and the child bonded during a quick conversation and even posed for a picture together.

"He has a 'Ninja Turtle' shirt on, which all my friends will tell you, I'm a huge 'Ninja Turtle' fan, so that sat well with me," Bryant said.

Splitting the cost of the car seat with Cpl. Ryan Short, the two officers said they hoped to make a positive impression on the child.

"This is not the first incident of him going above and beyond what’s expected, so I'm just grateful that I happened to be there at the time, and he came up to me and told me what was going on, so I can help," Short said. "No amount of money is worth a child's life, so that's what I think Officer Bryant had on his mind when he went out and purchased the car seat. I'm just thankful we were both in a position where we could both help out."

Bryant said his actions were simply a testament of who he is as a person.

"It's just kind of the way I was raised by my parents and my grandma. Always treat somebody how you want my family to be treated, how I want myself to be treated," Bryant said.

Both officers said the father was surprised to have received a car seat instead of a ticket.

They also emphasized that they didn't do the good deed for attention, and instead hope they left a lasting impression on how positive law enforcement can be.

About the Author: