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4-Year-Old Eats Dinner With Cop At Panera Bread (Photo)

| by Jonathan Constante

A Facebook post about a 4-year-old girl who decided to keep a lone police officer company while he ate dinner at Panera Bread is going viral.

The Hingham Police Department in Massachusetts is recognizing 4-year-old Lillian Israel after she sat with Sgt. Steven Dearth as he ate dinner at a local Panera Bread, the Daily Mail reported.

The incident occurred on March 11. Lillian was with her parents and younger brother when she spotted the police officer, and decided she wasn't going to let him eat alone.

The police department called it the "best dinner date" in a Facebook post:

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It means a lot to Police Officers when people say hi, especially when children approach us. Four year old Lillian came up to Sgt. Steven Dearth tonight to say hi and wanted to sit with him for dinner break. Of course, we gave her a Junior Police Officer sticker and had the best dinner date. She even asked to have a play date 'in a few days.'

The department awarded Lillian with a Junior Police Officer sticker. It didn't stop there.

After dinner, Dearth showed the little girl and her father his police car, which was parked outside, ABC News reported.

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"Lillian was absolutely thrilled!" the girl's mother, Nicole Ann, wrote on the Facebook post. "She was shaving a very tough evening before we got to Panera. Thank you so much Sgt. Dearth for making her night an awesome one!"

"Glad to hear her night go better. But it was our pleasure," the department responded. "She is such a cutie. So social too. It was one of the best nights we've had too. Our job involves people many times at their worst, so when we have opportunites like this, it does so much for us. Plus, she was just awesome!"

The Facebook post was liked more than 600 times in three weeks. Several social media users commented on the post, and commended the little girl for her actions.

"Hingham's finest really are the finest, and this little girl is a good judge of character!" wrote one commenter.

"She is quite a remarkable young lady, my granddaughter! very special night I'm sure!" wrote another.

Other commenters made bold predictions about the girl's future.

"A heartwarming story," wrote another Facebook user. "Maybe a future Law Enforcement Officer in the making."

The department responded to another comment saying that Lillian "wants to [be] a police officer too, 'but not now.'"

Sources: Daily Mail, Hingham Police Department/Facebook, ABC News / Photo credit: Mike Mozart/FlickrHingham Police Department/Facebook

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