One police officer has garnered worldwide admiration after a simple kind gesture towards an autistic high school student was captured by a colleague.
A photo of the incident was posted on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Facebook page, and has since been shared on the social media website more than 250,000 times.
The caption on the photo explains that the boy, who apparently has a history of violent behaviour as a result of his autism, had left his school's campus and "may have been suicidal".
However officer Tim Purdy sat next to the boy and, after talking to him for a while, was able to "build a connection" -- even managing to get a laugh out of him.
Following the establishment of "trust and a relationship", the officers at the scene were able to provide "desperately needed" help for the boy.
The post finishes on a poignant note, with its author noting that being a police officer is often quite different to what those on the outside assume.
"There's more to policing than making arrests and enforcing the law," it read.
"Sometimes taking those extra little steps makes the biggest difference in someone's life."