While a recent traffic stop in Cedar Park, Texas, could have ended with several citations, officers instead took the opportunity to help a family in need by purchasing three new car seats for the family’s young children.
Officers Justin Gower and Cale Hawkins pulled the car over for having an expired registration and a light that wasn’t in proper working order. Gower, who is a father, said as he was talking with the driver, he noticed three small children – 1, 3, and 4-years-old – in the back who weren’t in car seats. Gower said he was familiar with the driver and, in fact, Hawkins pulled over the same man earlier that month.
The driver was homeless and his family living in the car before recently moving into a hotel. And while the man was working and trying to save money to get back on his feet, it was a struggle with most of his money going to pay for the hotel room.
Gower said he knew issuing the man citations wouldn’t do any good and would only add to the struggles the family was already facing. But at the same time, he knew the kids weren’t safe. So Gower and Hawkins made a decision on the spot, pooled their money together, and as Gower continued to talk with the driver, Hawkins went to purchase three new car seats from a nearby Wal-Mart, where the manager offered Hawkins a discount on his purchase.
But Hawkins said, “Money is not the issue. It’s the issue of can you help them, and so that was the easiest way we saw, the fastest path to helping them.”
The family, who did not want to appear on camera, told reporters that the officers were a true blessing.
[ ABC 8 ]