Note: we are republishing this story in light of recent reports across the country that suggest more and more Americans are having positive interactions with police officers despite changing attitudes about police departments and wider conversation about police reform.
A Belleville, Illinois, woman took to Facebook to share a card she was given by a police officer who pulled her over following her father's death.
Gina Penny-Headen shared a photo of the card to Facebook -- which was sent to her by Deputy Dan Hill of the St. Clair County Police Department after he pulled her over.
"While I sat and waited I was reminiscing about my dad like always lately. The officer returned to my car and said its your lucky day, we were born on the same day and year, slow down and have a good day. I smiled and said thank you. He walked away and I broke down and started crying," she wrote in an accompanying post.
Hill then returned to the car and approached Penny-Headen. She said he startled her by knocking on her window.
"I told him I was sad, I just lost my dad. He said take a minute and [breathe]. He talked to me a minute then helped me back into traffic," she wrote in the post. Following that interaction, Penny-Headen was shocked to receive a card in the mail from the officer who stopped her.
"Mrs. Headen," the officer wrote in the card. "My condolence on the loss of your father. I'm sure he was a great man who loved his family. I pray that your tears of sadness become tears of joy in remembering his legacy."
Hill also quoted a Bible verse underneath his message to Penny-Headen.
"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. And death shall be no more. Neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away," was the verse.
Many readers applauded Hill for going above and beyond to comfort Penny-Headen in her time of grief.
"Now, this is a policeman that I admire. He must be some kind of great guy," one reader commented on Facebook.
"There are a lot of good guys in blue we just don’t get to hear about them because of the media," another wrote.
"That's what every Christian should do !! It's called compassion," another added.
"A good Christian cop, I felt proud for this officer, good man," another commented.
One reader even recalled a similar incident they experienced, written in a post on Penny-Headen's photo.
"Gina, on Tuesday I burst into tears on the Metrolink coming home because I had a heart stress test on a treadmill at Barnes, then had what felt like to me a near-heart attack, then on the way home on the Metrolink, saw a man wearing a suit, and exact same Florsheim dress shoes my dad would wear to work. Made me think of my dad, too," the reader wrote.
Sources: Gina Penny-Headen/Facebook