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Photo of cop calming student goes viral

Officer Tim Purdy credited with diffusing potentially troubling situation

Officer Tim Purdy sits to calm upset high school student (Facebook / Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department)
Officer Tim Purdy sits to calm upset high school student (Facebook / Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A photo of a police officer sitting on the ground, talking and calming a possibly suicidal teen has gone viral.

The photo of Officer Tim Purdy of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department talking to the student was originally posted to Facebook on May 13 and has already garnered over 720,000 likes.

Purdy was called to the scene after the autistic student had left the high school campus.

The department said the boy also had a history of displaying violent behavior.

Purdy sat in a parking lot near the school to talk to the teen.  According to the Facebook post, the two talked things through and Purdy eventually got the boy to laugh.

"Officer Purdy established trust and a relationship that allowed officers to get this young man the help that he so desperately needed," the police department posted.  "There’s more to policing than making arrests and enforcing the law. Sometimes taking those extra little steps makes the biggest difference in someone’s life."