“It was just human instinct.”

A Georgia police officer is in the spotlight for showing kindness to a hospitalized toddler. The police officer, James Hurst, an officer with the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department, was tasked with escorting the toddler to a local hospital for a medical care after the child had been found wandering around outside without an adult, according to KTLA.

During an exam at the hospital, the child began to get agitated. Instead of maintaining a professional distance, Hurst allowed his humanity to shine through. He picked up the boy and comforted him up.  “I just knew this child needed somebody to be there for him,” the officer said according to KTLA. “It was just human instinct; humanity. The hospital staff was taking great care of him [but] he was sobbing and crying. I picked him up and within minutes he was asleep on my chest.”

“I just knew this child needed somebody to be there for him,” Hurst said of his compassionate act, according to a release from the Department. “It was just human instinct — humanity. I asked the hospital staff if I can hold him to comfort him and soothe him a little bit to try to calm him down, to continue getting medical care and they said that was fine,” he told WSAV.”

Someone at the hospital snapped a picture of the boy sleeping on Hurst’s chest. The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department uploaded the picture to its Facebook page.  The photo went viral with thousands of likes and shares.

Hurst mentioned in the release that his actions simply exhibit another side of police work.

“This job is so much more than catching bad guys,” the officer said. “We do what we need to do for the citizens. All the officers I work with … would do the exact same thing.”

As for the child, he’s safe and in good condition, according to the press release. The case is now in the hands of state social service authorities with the Georgia Department of Family & Children’s Services.

We’re grateful to all law enforcement for the work the do.