Opelika Officer extends helping hand to mother and child in touching courtroom moment


OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – Wednesday morning, a little boy inside an Opelika city courtroom needed someone to sit with him as his mom testified in a case. When Opelika Sgt. Richard Gross found out the mother needed an extra hand, he kindly volunteered his.

“The child’s mother was having to testify and had no one to help her. So, the officer entertained the child while she testified. The case actually worked itself out quite well,” Opelika Municipal Court Judge Ben Hand shared with WRBL News 3.

Soon, the little boy and the Opelika police officer were sitting side by side, hand in hand.

Judge Hand says Opelika Court Clerk Denise Rogers took the picture of the moment. Everyone in the courtroom recognized seeing the very best of humanity in the clasped hands of a child and officer.

Opelika Sgt. Richard Gross holds hands with a little boy as his mother testifies in court. Photo Credit: Denise Rogers, Opelika Court Clerk

“It reinforced my belief Opelika is the best community in the world and showed me how well we all work together for the good of all. The professionalism of the police department and the support of the citizens makes Opelika the most enjoyable place to raise a child and call home,” said Judge Hand.

Judge Hand asked for the mother’s permission to share the picture on social media, and she agreed.

Hand says the image of the officer and child will remain etched in his memory forever. It’s easy to see why.

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