Photo shows NC officer sitting down, showing compassion for autistic student

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A photo of a North Carolina police officer’s interaction with an autistic teenager has gone viral online.

The photo apparently shows Charlotte officer Tim Purdy talking to an autistic high school student who police said left campus and may have been suicidal.

The officer and the student are both sitting on the ground in a parking lot. Police said the officer talked things through and even got the boy laughing.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department posted the photo to their Facebook page on Friday and it has since gotten more than 344,000 likes and 115,000 shares.

“There’s more to policing than making arrests and enforcing the law,” according to the Facebook post. “Sometimes taking those extra little steps makes the biggest difference in someone’s life.”