Officer Joe McMahan of the Slidell Police Department in Louisiana, was driving around on patrol when he was flagged down by a woman and young boy, who asked if they could give him something, the Conservative Tribune reports.
When he had pulled over, the 9-year-old boy named Jayden Witsell, handed him an envelope that read “Police lives matter” written on the front and “God bless” on the back. Inside was a St. Michael’s coin, representing the patron saint of law enforcement, and a letter that read: “Keep this coin in your pocket. Thank you for putting your life on the line to keep me and others safe. God Bless.”
McMahan was immediately grateful for the boy’s gesture, which he said brought a smile to his face and warmed his heart.
McMahan shared his gratitude in a social media post:
“It has been a long time since someone said thank you in this magnitude. This is what I remember about becoming a police officer 16 years ago. The brave young man was able to stand up when everybody else is looking down at us.”
Despite the good encounter between the two, McMahan said he regretted not getting a picture of him and his “hero.” So, police tracked Jayden and his mother down and invited them to the police department.
They met with Officer McMahan again so he could return the thanks and then take a selfie, showed in a video on USA Today.
McMahan told Jayden, “When you did something like that, you became my hero.”
A little more than a month ago, Jayden and his mom started riding around with envelopes that say “Police Lives Matter.” In them, are cards with a hand-written ‘thank you,’ plus the coin. The goal is to give them to any officer, deputy or trooper they spot.
“He just come to me and said, ‘Mom there’s too many bad things going on in the world. People just don’t have respect for law enforcement officers and I want to do something nice for all the police officers,” his mother Angelique Witsell said.
Jayden said, “To me, police lives just matter.”
Witsell says he’d like to work for the DEA or the FBI when he grows up, but might also want to become a state trooper too.