Andy Servaes ended up sacrificing his dinner but didn’t think much of the time lost. Thanks to a note on Facebook, the Platte City Police Department officer received plenty of thanks and recognition for what he considered a small act of kindness. A chance encounter with a family from Dunlap, Iowa on Friday, Aug. 7 led to a viral social media post that caught Servaes off guard.
The Citizen originally published the photo from Victoria Smith’s Facebook post in last week’s edition but has since received more information on the story from Smith and Servaes.
“I was very surprised how far the picture went and that it was even posted,” Servaes said. “No way did I think it would have been such a big deal simply because most members of the Platte City Police Department take time like this out of their day to take pictures and answer questions from local and non-local people.
“Myself and my partner have done this several times that’s why I was really shocked of the outcome of this one.”
Smith and 12 others were returning from a family vacation in Branson, Mo. when they stopped at Arby’s that night, the oldest on the trip 99 years of age and the smallest at nine months.
Servaes and his partner were inside the restaurant when one of the family members, still five hours away from their final destination, noticed their police cruiser’s headlights were still on. When Servaes went to shut them off, Thomas Palmer, 9, and Logan Trucke, 5, — both nephews of Smith — were showing interest in the patrol car.
According to Servaes, he noticed and asked if they wanted to come and look inside.
Servaes activated the emergency lights and allowed them to ask questions about the car and items on his belt. He spent about 10 minutes with them, even taking the picture that led to some internet fame.
The two partners then responded to a call with Servaes never placing his order for dinner.
At 8:58 p.m. that night, Smith posted the picture on the Platte City Missouri Police Chaplaincy’s Facebook page with a note thanking Servaes for his time. Eventually, that post led to almost 1,000 likes, nearly 300 shares and 59 comments.
The post read in part: “You made their night!!!! Thank You!! We could use more officers like you!!!”
Many of the commenters also thanked Servaes, who has spent nearly two years on the force in Platte City. Many took the post as another reminder that not all police officers can be lumped together with those making national news for violent confrontations with citizens.
Servaes even took time to respond as well.
“It was my pleasure Victoria R. Smith; they are great kids, and I’m sorry I missed the chance for the picture with the baby,” Servaes responded on Facebook.