Hodgenville, KY – The Hodgenville police chief is publicly backing one of his officers who was accosted by a citizen for stopping by a local store to help his mother while he was on duty.
“Here’s your tax dollars hard at work in Hodgenville, Ky,” Matt Thompson wrote in a recent Facebook post shared by Hodgenville Police Chief James Richardson on Monday. “Whoever drives unit #133 is placing price tags on merchandise behind the register. #hodgenvillecitypolice.”
Thompson included a photo of the officer’s patrol vehicle parked in front of the store windows.
Chief Richardson said on Monday evening that he’d just been made aware of Thompson’s post, and that he wanted to thank him “for sharing” about the officer’s actions.
“Officer [James] Sherrard’s mother works at Circle K. With the amount of overtime we have had to put in to maintain 24/7 coverage, he stopped by to say hi and helped her for a few minutes while he was at work,” the chief wrote.
“I have zero problem with this. HPD promotes a family atmosphere and I encourage our officers to spend as much time with their loved ones as possible,” Chief Richardson continued. “Officer Sherrard has earned the right to stop by and see his mom for a few minutes after the amount of time he has spent on the job the past two weeks. He is still ready to respond to calls regardless.”
The chief’s response to Thompson’s post had over 1,000 comments and had been shared more than 2,000 times as of Wednesday morning.
“I love your response Chief Richardson. We need more like you and Officer Sherrard in the world,” one comment read. “I love seeing our men & women in blue doing good for their community, too many people are quick to put them down but it’s acts of kindness such as this that shows just how awesome they truly are!”
Another Facebook user praised the chief for backing his officers.
“Chief, I applaud you standing behind and taking care of your people,” the commenter wrote. “You gave me a little hope today that maybe this kind of leadership isn’t a thing only of the past. Thank you sir!
One person questioned whether or not Thompson’s original post gathered the reaction he’d been hoping for.
“I wonder how Mr. Thompson feels now that his original post basically blew up in his face? Does he feel special trying to take police officers down?” the comment read. “And just what has Mr Thompson done today to help the community? Besides try to shame a hard working officer? Kudos to the officer for seeing his mom and helping her for a few minutes. We all should take note and make time to help those in the community.”
Another Facebook user expressed appreciation for Officer Sherrard’s mother.
“We appreciate a woman who raised a hero and we’re glad he stopped to give his mom some love!!!!” he said. “Kudos officer!!!!!”
One community member noted they were perfectly fine with any officer who wanted to help someone else, “especially their mom.”
“We should use this act of kindness as [an] example for us all to live by,” she added.
A woman identified by other Facebook users as being Officer Sherrard’s mother noted that Thompson didn’t seem to have a problem with her son helping her out when he was the person who was being served inside the store.
“You didn’t have any problem getting [waited] on, so why are you worried about a police officer helping out for a second?” she wrote.
Officer Sherrard joined the Hodgenville Police Department (HPD) after serving at the Hardin County Detention Center, according to the HPD’s website.