A first grader at Florence Baptist Temple was given the opportunity to give back to his community and to the Florence Police Department’s surprise, he chose them.
James Coffey Jr., called Junior by those who know him best, decided he wanted to do something nice for the officers at the FPD who suffered a tragic loss following the deadly mass shooting on October 3.
“He really cared about the officers and he heard about Sergeant Terrance Carraway’s death and saw me cry for these officers,” his mother Kady said. “Every year he gets to pick one place he can give back to, this year he picked the Florence Police Department.”
So the 6-year-old and his mom stopped by the store and grabbed four boxes of doughnuts and dropped them off at the police department.
“I had left and I was not far from home when they called me and asked me to bring Junior back,” Kady said. “I said give me 10 minutes, so I turned around and went back.”
When Junior and his mother arrived at the station they were greeted by eight officers, one even wearing a Chewbacca mask.
“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support and so impressed and overwhelmed by the sentiment that this young man has for the police department,” Lt. Mike Brandt with FPD said.
“I could see the love and the hurt from the loss of their family,” Kady said. “But I do believe Junior’s visit helped them a little more. I am happy he was able to make their day.”
Kady was right, Brandt says that the entire department is grateful for Junior and the rest of the Florence community for all they have done in the weeks following the shooting.
“We can see the impact that the shooting has had on our community simply by the response from those who live here,” Brandt said. “We have had so many people reach out and embrace us and this has been so helpful in our healing process. Especially for someone so young to be moved by this tragic event to do this act of kindness for us.”
When Junior was asked why he wanted to do this for the Florence officers, Junior said “It is so good to do something good. I thought it would be really good if I did!”
He was right, not only did this gesture bring happiness to the officers at FPD, but also to the mom who is very impressed with her son.
“I am happy to see my son care about our law enforcement the way he is,” Kady said. “I am happy he was able to bring joy to them in this sad time. Ever since he was able to do this, he is very thrilled with himself. I am a proud mother.”
When it was time for Junior to head home, his mother said the officers did not let him leave without stopping him one more time to say ‘Thank you!’ and she says now, Junior can’t wait to bring a smile to another face.