KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Wednesday afternoon was like any other of the many afternoons Kingsport Police Officer Seth Brumfield stood watch over an intersection by a school. There's a shortage of crossing guards in Kingsport, so when they are needed patrol officers help direct traffic and usher kids across busy streets near schools.
It rained heavily Wednesday as school ended for the day. A student at Thomas Jefferson Elementary walked home and stopped on the corner of E Street and E. Center street to wait for traffic.
That's when Officer Brumfield noticed the boy didn't have a jacket. "Traffic was kind of backed up, the intersection was kind of busy and it was going to be a minute," said Brumfield. "I didn't want him to get any more wet than he already was."
Brumfield didn't think twice about handing over his rain jacket, and certainly didn't expect a nearby person' picture of his gesture -- posted on our WCYB Facebook page -- to generate so much attention. "He was getting wet. He didn't have a jacket. I've got kids. It's the right thing to do," said Brumfield.
Brumfield told News 5 the boy wanted to know if Brumfield's radio was waterproof as they waited for a break in traffic. When it was time to cross the street, Brumfield took the jacket back, and the boy headed home. "I think anybody would have done it," said Brumfield.
Thomas Jefferson Elementary principal Brian Partin told News 5 the boy they think is in the picture was out sick Thursday, but Partin said the photo is moving. "When you see something like that that was just not prompted and someone just reaches out it warms your heart to know that the people that are serving our community really truly care about our children," said Partin.
For Brumfield, Wednesday was just another day on the job. An extension of the "serve" part of "protect and serve." "There's a lot more to being a cop than just taking people to jail."