Hillview officer praised for consoling woman along I-65
HILLVIEW, Ky. (WDRB) -- A lot of people are quick to judge police officers on how they treat the public.
But what happened Friday on the side of Interstate 65 is something one family will never forget.
"For some odd reason, I couldn't think," Bobbie Bell said.
Bell was on her way home to Tennessee on Friday afternoon, July 24, when her trip down I-65 quickly came to an end.
"I just couldn't focus. I was screaming and hollering and crying upset because I got bad news."
She got a call that her older sister had died unexpectedly. The news hit Bobbie really hard. She got off the nearest exit, turned around and headed back to Louisville.
She couldn't concentrate or drive, so she pulled over and called 911.
"I was crying at the time,” Bell said. “I was telling them to have someone come and get me. I can't drive, I'm scared and I'm nervous. I can't drive."
Hillview Police Officer John Nissen was first on the scene.
"We could see that the lady was visibly upset," Officer Nissen said.
With flashers on and the highway traffic flying by, the officer got into Bell’s front seat and calmed her down.
"We're all in this world together, and we should try and help one another instead of hurting one another," Officer Nissen said.
He sat with Bobbie in her car on the side of I-65 for more than an hour. He wiped the sweat from her face, held her hand and talked with her until her sister showed up.
"When I got there ... what I saw, it was just amazing to me,” Bell's sister Shonda Barlow Garner said. “Because I expected him to be standing on the outside of the car, but that's not what he was doing. He was sitting in the car with her right next to her."
Garner says the officer’s actions showed care and compassion to a complete stranger.
"At that time, he was not a police officer. He was family," she said.
The three reunited Sunday at the Hillview Police Department sharing laughs and hugs.
"People don't have to care about you," Garner said. "People don't have to go above and beyond, They don't have to do that, especially in this day. And when people do that, you say thank you."
"That man right there -- Officer John -- man he's a blessing in disguise," Bell said.
"I just did my job, but it makes me feel good to know that I was able to help them in their time of need," Officer Nissen said.
The family thanked the officer and the entire Hillview Police Department that posted the story on its Facebook page.
It’s already been shared more than 1,600 times.
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