Cops Console Traumatized Children

Cops Console Traumatized Children

By Stephen Owsinski

Every cop has heart and conviction before they enter the profession of law enforcement, and the humanistic virtues that shine are most illuminated when children are involved in traumatizing incidents and police officers pillar frightened and confused young souls, consoling them when they need it most.

Kids jolted in car crashes are gifted stuffed animals stored in a police cruiser’s trunk.

Students bullied at school are befriended by police officers and mentored through the obnoxious behaviors of others.

Youngsters who sadly witnessed a scary domestic violence incident involving loved ones are embraced by law enforcement officers mitigating the melee.

Some children happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, only to wind up in the comforting presence of a cop whose compassion makes all things right…

From the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO), an April 2021 blotter explains: “…after an incident at a local retail store that GCSO had to be called out for, Deputy Osorio stepped in to provide care for an innocent child who needed it.

“This [deputy] went above and beyond by lending a shoulder to cry on, offered snacks and games, and even watched some cartoons on his phone with her until a parent showed up. Without a doubt, this [deputy] made a positive impact on the situation and needs to be commended for comforting this small child in a time of confusion and distress.”

(Photo courtesy via the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.)

One of the other instances in which cops console children ensues after exhaustive searches for youngsters diagnosed with autism go missing, resulting in heartwarming recovery and sigh-of-relief breaths upon locating a boy or girl who wandered.

Indeed, there are questions stemming from such a situation…but LEOs initially answer by searching for and recovering the child, saving the day, and forging indelible memories for young souls to forever have a hero in uniform.

Also heartrending are the calls for service involving house fires and the first responders who ordinarily arrive before firefighters: cops expedite to these scenes and primarily focus on ensuring all people are evacuated from the burning structure, often carrying smoke-ingested persons to nearby safe zones where lung-based medical treatment is administered.

Imagine children in such circumstances, realizing a stranger in a police uniform just saved them. Sometimes, it is not a stranger at all…

Officer Next Door

An off-duty policeman and his wife were out walking when the telltale signs of a house fire captured their attention.

From a published account by WTSP, reporter Courtney Holland wrote “Off-duty Plant City police officer saves children from inside burning house,” adding, “Officer Michal Pietrusinski of the Plant City Police Department just so happens to live in the area and was walking outside when he reportedly saw large amounts of smoke coming from his neighbor’s house.”

Right out of the police academy, with tons of training under his belt, newly sworn Officer Pietrusinski drenched a shirt via an outdoor garden hose and covered his mouth to enable relative breathing amid heavy smoke, belly-crawling to search for the two boys.

Exposing himself to smoke ingestion, Officer Pietrusinski yelled out, “If you can hear me, come towards my voice.”

According to Plant City Police reports, both children are autistic and non-verbal.

He located one boy and got him outside to the child’s mother.

At this time, Pasco County Fire Rescue personnel arrived—more first responders saving children.

The firefighters located the second boy in a shower stall, with thick smoke wafting while running water sprayed his tiny body.

Officer Pietrusinski was treated for smoke inhalation and praised by his agency, commending him and recognizing how “He immediately sprang into action.”

“Officer Pietrusinski is a Polish immigrant who served 7.5 years in the U.S. Navy and four years as a Search and Rescue Swimmer. Pasco County Fire Rescue is proud of the brave actions of Officer Pietrusinski, firefighters from engine 16, and all others on the scene that day, who gave it all to save two children,” Ms. Holland reported.

In addition to the Plant City PD brass heralding Officer Pietrusinski for his bravery and courage by selflessly running into absolute danger zones to save children, seconds away from what could have been utter tragedy, the rookie cop was awarded several times for life-saving feats.

(Photo courtesy of the Plant City Police Department.)

The biggest achievement, though, is the salvaged lives of two children whose neighbor is now more of an uncle.

(Photo courtesy of the Plant City Police Department.)

In other situations, police personnel are the first to attend to meaty matters that young, still-developing mindsets are embroiled in, engendering an all-out search-and-rescue operation by cops who are routinely subjected to the most horrific experiences. When these stark instances involve a child, it surely hits home, evoking super sensitivities from men and women fulfilling public safety roles.

Kid Gloves

Police academies teach cadets interpersonal skills, generally.

Among many other demanding training blocks, police recruits endure long days of defensive tactics exercises, pummeling cushiony padding toward the goal of self-preservation —staying in the fight— requisitely doing so after being doused by OC spray in the eyes, swinging as if their life depends on it while their sinus cavities get roto-rootered.

The next day of training could entail the dynamics of investigating crimes against children, a completely different type of burn, and testing defenses of the heart and soul, giving rise to kid gloves and pursuant lump-in-throat moments.

We close with yet another way cops console kids, a dynamic imposed by health-related woes that can spiral the minds of young ones…compelling law enforcement officers’ sensitivities to scale the climate of violence and murderous mayhem against them.

In November 2023, several law enforcement personnel and certified police canines visited the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. A young patient named Teagan and her police friends were the beneficiaries of spending time together, evoking smiles upon all faces, and making memories. With the growing interest in officer wellness and the deployment of resources to accomplish a balanced police force amid horrific experiences, I find this brand an ideal method for cops to combat jarring psyches and restate their Why.

(Photo courtesy of Hartford Connecticut Police K9 Kady.)

As stated in our first line above, cops bring heart and conviction to The Job, especially benefiting children who deserve consoling after bearing witness to some unspeakable experiences not meant for their tender souls.

Public safety pros do much more than tie a child’s errant shoelaces…so much more!