Barbie Henderson was driving from Louisville, Kentucky back to her home in Clarksville, Tennessee when she got a phone call that no one ever wants to get: she received news that her sister died. Stunned, Henderson turned her car around to head back to Louisville, when she suddenly became overwhelmed with grief. Unable to continue, she pulled over and reflexively called 911.
Hillview, Kentucky Police Officer John Nissen responded and arrived on the scene.
Nissen, who has over 17 years on the job, and his a partner, a trainee, found the visibly distraught Henderson in tears.
"All we knew from the dispatch call was that there was a woman who was crying and needed help in her car," he told People magazine. "She opened the door for us when we approached, and I could see she was visibly upset. She let us know that her sister had passed away."
Nissen sat with Henderson and tried to comfort her.
"Out of safety, I asked if I could talk with her and see if I could get her cooled down a bit," He told People. "I turned the air vents towards her – it was over 90 degrees that day – held her hand, and she cried on my shoulder. I had her take sips of water."
Nissen stayed with Henderson for over an hour until her sister, Shonda Barlow Garner, arrived...
Garner was so impressed by Officer Nissen's actions that she took this photo and posted to it Hillview Police Department's Facebook page.
In the caption that accompanied the photograph, Garner wrote:
"Officer Nissen was more than an officer yesterday. He was a person with a heart to understand this was a lady who just lost her sister and heard the news over the phone. From there on he took care of my sister. As she cried, he listen to her and wiped away her tears. He made sure she drank water as it was extremely hot outside, and he spoke to the family on the phone each time we called until my arrival. When I arrived he wasn't standing on the side of the car. He was seated right next to her just as we would've been while she was grieving. What an awesome guy!!!!
During a time we hear so many negative things about the Police, I want the world to know my Police Officers care!!! They are thoughtful, compassionate, go beyond the standard and I appreciate them. The Barlow Family appreciates them!!
I'm a proud Hillview Resident!"
The photo quickly went viral.
For Officer Nissen, it was just another day on the job.
""I wanted her treated the way I would want my family to be treated if they needed help," he told People.
If you'd like to leave a message for Officer Nissen, you can comment on the photograph on Hillview Police Department's Facebook page.