Patrolman Jeff Purkett and his partner were wrapping up their business after responding to a call in Burlington City, New Jersey, when Purkett noticed 10-year-old Alex Orourke playing ball in his front yard. Purkett immediately stopped his patrol car and got out to play (video below).
“I'm a big kid at heart," Purkett told WXTF. "If I see anyone with a ball I usually want to get out and play with it."
Alex, his younger brother Dominic, and Purkett tossed around a football and the children's surprised parents captured the moment on camera.
"I see the smile on his face he started having fun he started going out for passes I said I got some time I could do this," Purkett said.
The video of the encounter has since gone viral and Purkett’s colleagues are happy he’s being praised.
"That's Jeff," Lt. John Fine said regarding the incident. "Jeff is a very strong family man."
The Orourkes also believed the simple game of catch was good for their sons.
"We watch the news and they hear what's going on," they said. "And all that's all over is what the cops are doing bad to people. That's not always the case. It's not. And I believe my kids know if they were in trouble they could go to a police officer.”
According to a post by the City of Burlington Police Department’s Facebook, Purkett made two complete passes, but no touchdowns during the pick-up game. Still, Purkett seemed delighted by the experience.
"Did I make that big of an impact on that little child?" he said. "It blessed my heart to hear that."