HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — When a Florida deputy was dispatched to a home for a 911 call on Wednesday, he found himself in the midst of a great lesson — and an even more heartwarming incident.
That afternoon, Hillsborough County Deputy Scott Pracht responded to a disconnected call from a home in the Riverview area. When he arrived, he quickly realized the call wasn’t for an emergency when a mother explained what might have happened.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said a young boy had called authorities — not for an emergency, but for something we all need sometimes — a hug.
“Did you call this gentleman? Did you call the police?” the mother asked her son when the deputy arrived.
Pracht’s body camera and the mother’s Ring doorbell captured the sweet moment the boy raced through the front door to hug the deputy and proudly explained he knew how to contact him.
“Well, I wanted to give him a hug,” the boy replied and proceeded to hug Pracht. “I know what your phone number is — it’s 9-1-1,” he said.
Pracht not only hugged the young boy but also took the time to kindly explain that 911 is used for emergencies, ensuring the child understood the importance of the emergency number.
“Yeah, but do you know what that’s for? It’s if you’re in trouble, if you need help, or if somebody you know is around you and that’s in trouble and needs help. It’s very important. You have to be careful when you call that number, okay?” Pracht explained.
At the end of the deputy’s visit, he relayed the cute incident to his fellow deputies, saying, a “kid got on the phone playing. Just wanted a hug.”
“We deeply appreciate the genuine kindness shown by this young child. Our deputies are more than willing to share a hug and spread love to children in our community. However, it’s essential for everyone to remember that 911 is a lifeline for emergencies,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “We are here to help, and we encourage parents and educators to teach children about the appropriate use of emergency services.”
The sheriff’s office said that while 911 is reserved for emergencies only, deputies are “happy to hug” residents at the upcoming annual HCSO Christmas Tree Lighting on Nov. 29.