GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Thankful, heartwarming, touched.
Those are just a few of the words Angelnik Thompson used to describe how she felt when a Gautier police officer stopped by to shoot hoops with neighborhood children Thursday.
Thompson posted a video of the encounter to Facebook that afternoon. Since then, it has been viewed more than 3,000 times while racking up dozens of positive comments from the community.
Thompson said the man in the video is Officer Travis Harkins; a regular patrolman in the area and always takes time to talk to the kids. Thompson noted that it's the first time she has seen him get out and play ball.
"My daughter ran in the house, and she was laughing and stuff. I asked her what was so funny, and she said, 'The police officer is outside playing basketball with us,'" said Thompson.
That's when she decided to grab her cell phone and record the game.
"They were trash talking each other, but in a nice kind of way," said Thompson with a laugh.
Thompson said she is thankful Harkins took 10 minutes out of his busy day to play with the kids because it shows the next generation that police officers shouldn't be feared; that police are there to help the community.
"It really touched my heart that he got out and played with them," said Thompson. "My kids were scared of the police until yesterday."
Thompson said she looks forward to seeing Officer Harkins again in the De La Forest neighborhood.