When Captain Neil Fetner of the Clanton, Alabama police department pulled over Kristen Lawrence and her 3-year-old son Carter at a driver's license checkpoint, he found himself engaged in a lively chat with the toddler who was excited to tell the officer that they were on their way to dinner.
"When I was talking to mom, he let me know real quick that he was on his way to Arby's," Fetner told local news station WIAT. He described the conversation with Carter while Lawrence assembled her license and proof of insurance.
"I said, do you like curly fries from Arby's? And he said, yes!" Fetner said, adding, "I was joking and I said, you going to bring me some curly fries back?"
"A vehicle pulled up to our driver's license checkpoint and the driver handed me a small bag of curly fries from Arby's," Fetner wrote. "The driver stated that her son wanted to make sure that the policeman got his curly fries for dinner. It is small things like this that make me proud to wear my badge. It is refreshing that parents are still raising their children in a positive manner. I am very happy to know that there are still people in society that appreciate the sacrifices made by law enforcement. I don't remember the motorist's name or their exact destination, but I really appreciated the kind gesture tonight."
Kristen Lawrence recounted her son's thoughtfulness at the Arby's drive-through. "He said, Mama–policeman needs fries," she told WIAT. "He needs fries. He's hungry."
Facebook responded, reuniting Fetner and Carter to "ketchup" at Arby's.
845,000 people saw the post and word quickly spread. The Lawrence family was treated to lunch by Captain Fetner and Clanton Police Chief Keith Maddox. The department named Carter an honorary police officer.
"It is refreshing to know that families are still teaching their children core values in life," Fetner said on Facebook. "I often reflect on Proverbs 22:6. 'Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is grown, he will not depart from it.' "