BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A touching photo of an officer comforting a 1-month-old baby girl after her parents overdosed shows the essence of policing.
According to AL.com, Birmingham South Precinct police officers responded to a welfare check in a Birmingham apartment complex on Tuesday night after neighbors heard children crying inside.
When they arrived they discovered a 30-year-old man dead on the kitchen floor and a 35-year-old woman unresponsive on the couch. Both of them overdosed on unspecified drugs, leaving four children, ages 7, 3, 2, and 1-month, alone and frightened.
Rescuers were able to revive the mother with Narcan and she was taken to the hospital.
Officer Michelle Burton was one of the responding officers that night, and she knew it was her duty to comfort the children. So she called her husband, Jefferson County Sgt. Brian Burton, and told him she would be home late because the children needed her.
The moment was captured in a photo, and Officer Burton’s husband posted it on Facebook with the caption, “Last night, my wife Michelle Burton told me she would be late getting off work because of a call she was on where the parents of 4 small children had both overdosed. Michelle said the father was dead and the mother was critical. She spent the rest of the night taking care of these babies. She got home at 4 this morning. I’ve never seen her more beautiful than in this picture. What an incredible woman.”
The pictures started making its way around the internet, and Officer Burton is receiving a tremendous amount of praise. South Precinct commander Capt. Ron Sellers says the picture is an example of what officers experience every day on the job.
“A police officer’s job is very hard and very demanding. We come across a lot of scenes of a tragic nature, especially when children are involved. Our first priority is to help the injured, but then we turn our focus on the children to make sure they are safe and well-taken care of. We’re glad our officer was able to help here,” Sellers told AL.com.