Darren Ballard Sr. was sitting in traffic in Tacoma, Washington he saw something unusual that caught his attention. When he took a closer look, he saw a deputy sitting near a tree in the bushes.

Te said the deputy was seen sitting next to someone and there’s a lot more going on in the picture than initially meets the eye. Ballard had captured a genuine act of kindness from a concerned officer. “I just couldn’t believe my eyes,” he said. “I look over and there’s an officer in uniform, sitting on the grass, sitting with a homeless guy sharing a sandwich and I was just blown away.”

Touched by what his two has witnessed, he snapped a picture and posted it on his Facebook page to give police officers their “props.”

Darren Ballard

Darren Ballard Sr. snapped this photo of an officer. (Photo Credit: Facebook)

“Just saw this cop having a sandwich with a homeless guy in the cut wanting no attention just doing a good deed,” Ballard posted. “There are good police officers out there people this made my day please share!!!!!”

“To sit there and get personal with him on a level, he’s just being friendly. It’s awesome,” he added.

The homeless man was later identified as James Haynes, who spoke to KING5.

“Sometimes we talk for hours, sometimes we talk for 10 minutes,” Haynes explained, adding that he and the officer have known each other for years. KING5 identified the officer as Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Huffman.

As it went viral, more information emerged about the cop and his unlikely friend. Pierce County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Ed Troyer explained the story behind the viral photo.

The deputy, who wishes to remain “anonymous,” found the homeless man panhandling and struck up a conversation with him, he explained on the department’s Facebook page. “Our deputy asked him if he was hungry the man said he was. So the deputy sat down with him and shared his lunch with the man.”

It’s as simple as that.

According to Troyer, these types of incidents happen “quite often” in the department.

Hundreds of people commented on the photo, thanking Ballard for capturing the “heartwarming” moment.

“I think this is fabulous. Cops are humans too — just like this fellow that happens to be homeless,” one Facebook user wrote.

“Most are good people. It’s nice to see this side of them,” another wrote.

Ballard agreed and thanked people for spreading the story.

“It’s nice for the police, who do handle their job with the utmost passion and respect in the field, get a break with some good positive news for a change,” he said.

Another similar scene in Jackson, Tennesse was also captured by Elizabeth McClain. McClain shared to social media something that she will never forget. After spotting a homeless man sitting at the side of the street with his backpack, Elizabeth felt sorry for him because he looked hungry. But, before she knew it, a police car stopped and an officer approached the man.

She captured in a Facebook post with a picture “You’re lonely and hungry. You put your head down to try and forget the scream of hunger echoing in your mind. Then you hear the sound of an engine stop,” she wrote, describing what she witnessed. “You look up to see a uniformed officer walking towards you. Your mind flutters thinking of everything you might be doing wrong. Suddenly this officer sits down pulls out lunch and not only takes away your hunger but your loneliness too.”

Darren Ballard

An officer in Jackson, Tennessee approaches a homeless man along the road. (Photo Credit: Facebook)

Elizabeth said that the officer has done a big difference not just to the homeless man the officer helped but also to her and the way she thinks too. “This is the side of law enforcement no one sees,” she said, reminding others that we are all human and deserve love and respect. “So share this,” she continued. “Show this officer that his act of kindness didn’t go unnoticed.” Indeed, these officers are excellent examples of what it really means to “To Protect and Serve.” Hopefully, their generosity and selflessness help others see what most cops are all about. Many are more than willing to sit with members of their community on a personal level, offering not only their service but their friendship, too.

Sources: Taphaps, The Epoch Times, King5, CBS News

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