A police officer’s respectful approach to handling a group of young adults was caught on video (below) and quickly went viral.
In the clip, Sergeant Erickson of the Elgin Police Department in Elgin, Illinois, is seen speaking to a group of young people who were hanging out on commercial private property. The owners of the property reportedly called to complain that the group was speeding and possibly loitering in the area.
“Please. They will call and they will complain. The chief will get on me again," Eric says in the clip. "Then I’ll get on my guys again and I’ll have to do stuff that I don’t want to do. For example, write everybody for everything. I don’t want to be that guy.
“I didn’t [inaudible] when I was a kid, and I really don’t want to give [tickets] to you young kids that are just having fun. So we need to keep it safe in Elgin, cool in Elgin. We can’t loiter here unless we’re buying something.
"We can’t turn it into loitering. If the store people put up signs and tell us they want to enforce it. I’d rather come here and treat you like adults and say, guys, please don’t loiter. Is that cool? Does anyone have questions?”
The group returns the respect to Erickson, even going so far as to joke with him about the speed of police cars. He concludes his talk with the group by making it clear that he sees them as equals.
“I’m addressing you like adults because you are. Now if you show me a little respect back I’d really appreciate it,” he says.
“If you grab your food and do your chat and kind of break off, that’d be great," he adds.
After video of Erickson addressing the group went viral, his respectful approach to policing and handling the situation was praised across social media.
“I like the way he handled the situation giving the people the rules with the opportunity to be mature and responsible for their behavior,” one viewer commented.
“Always fun when cops come by we always respect them. Give respect to get respect approached us like we are mature an not Kids,” another wrote.
Watch the exchange below.