Two years ago, Officer Jody Thompson was pulling into the parking lot at the Poteau Police Department in Oklahoma to drop off his partner when he overheard a dispatch about a case of physical child abuse.

Thompson wasn’t on duty at the time, but he responded to the call and offered assistance. Before he joined the department 16 years ago, Thompson was an investigator for the district attorney’s office, where he handled dozens of abuse cases.

After responding to the call and finding the abused child, who was named John, Thompson made sure he received the medical attention he needed.

“I sat with him,” Thompson said. “And when he was admitted into the intensive care unit, I sat all night until the next day.” Thompson refused to let John out of his sight. He knew from the first moment he saw him he wanted to take care of him for the rest of his life.

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