MADISON, AL (WAFF) - Members of the Madison Police Department went above and beyond the call of duty while on patrol one night to help a mother of three going through a tough time.
Their act of kindness has now grown into a big show of support from the department, as well as the community, to make the holidays brighter for the needy family.
Patrol officer Troy Vickers said he was deeply moved after a traffic stop when he spoke to the woman he pulled over and discovered what she has been going through.
"It's a widowed mother of three and she cares for her elderly mom. They're having a hard time since her husband died last year and the children are having a hard time," he said.
When Vickers stopped the woman, she was having to choose between fueling up her car or buying groceries so members of the force stepped up to assist her.
"I wound up filling her tank. Another officer with me gave her some money for groceries and it's just taken off from there," Vickers said. "You have to look beyond us being officers. We're people also. We have families and we understand how hard it is out here. We try to have some compassion and sympathy for people as we do our jobs as police officers."
Vickers' unit decided to take it a step further and do even more for the family by adopting them for the holidays. They've been gathering gifts and things have really taken off as others found out about it and joined in.
"Citizens have contacted me that they want to help. Our dispatchers at the 911 Center have also reached out to me because they want to assist. The three girls are going to have a wonderful Christmas," Vickers said.
Madison Police Chief David Jernigan tweeted about the heartfelt efforts by his officers, touting their generosity.
"This is what Christmas is all about," the chief wrote.
Patrol Sgt. Christie Gover also said she's very proud of her fellow officers and she's overwhelmed by the outpouring of goodwill from the public and other members of the department.
"It's what the holidays are for, to come together as one, to be a family and to help the community," she said.
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