PRINCETOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — What started as a little boy’s fear of the police turned into the beginning of a brand new friendship.
Marissa Balch says she had been watching the news and her son Dominic was playing nearby.
“And he must have been paying attention when I thought he wasn’t.”
She says she didn’t think his eyes were focused on the TV when a story about police brutality came over the air.
“He turned white. And he looked at me and said, ‘Mommy the cops are going to come and get me and hurt me.’ I wanted to put his mind at ease.”
Marissa decided to turn the situation into a teachable moment. She hopped in the car with Dominic and his brother and headed to a place where she knew she would find members of law enforcement – the nearby New York State Police Princetown Barracks.
Trooper Adam Dolce met them at the door and Marissa explained what had happened.
“She asked if I could help her and just talk to Dominic. I’m a father of three, so I could relate to her being a parent and her concerns. I just wanted to leave a very positive experience with him,” he said.
The understanding Trooper didn’t miss a beat. He invited the 5-year old to climb into his cruiser, he offered up his Stetson, and even flipped on the flashing lights.
“And then he had a conversation with him. You know, ‘You’re my friend, I am your buddy. I am here to protect you.’ And at the end of the conversation Dominic said to me, ‘Mommy, he’s my friend.’ He went above and beyond, and he deserves all the recognition in the world for taking time out of his day and help me, and most importantly, my son,” Marissa said.
“It’s a joy to be a police officer and just see that he was excited and left here with a good impression,” Trooper Dolce said. “And hopefully, maybe some day in the near future, he will be a future New York State Trooper. We will see.”