The moment officers in Raleigh, North Carolina, pulled up to a five-year-old’s birthday bash, his grandmother wondered what was going on.
Five officers arrived, according to Tosha Holder, who was keeping an eye on the children, WTVD reported Friday.
Little Eli was partying with his friends outside the Aria North Hills apartments and the noise disturbed a resident who called police, complaining that people were arguing.
“As the officers were talking to the children, I walked up. And then he stopped talking to children and he came up to me and he was telling me why the police were there,” Holder said, adding she explained it was a child’s birthday party.
Moments later, the officers went to chat with the children and they told them whose birthday it was, “Then the police said, ‘Well, how about we play with y’all?’” she recalled.
Video footage showed the officers having fun with the children as residents watched and laughed.
“Everybody, this is Raleigh’s finest. Give them their props. These are essential workers,” the person recording said:
A disturbance call at these Raleigh apartments turned out to be a group of children playing at a 5-year-old’s birthday party. These five RPD officers turned it into an opportunity for fun.
“They said, ‘Well, how about we play with y’all?!’” #abc11 pic.twitter.com/VHZU1eozga
— (@JoelBrownABC11) April 29, 2022
Social media users expressed their joy at the scene, one person writing, “Really awesome. Way to make a child’s day. Thank you.”
“Glad for a positive outcome,” another commented.
According to Holder, Eli said it was the greatest birthday party he ever had.
“It’s been a total change in the kids since just that one experience. The kids have totally earned respect for police officers,” she added.
The Raleigh Police Department’s website says its core values were service, courage, fairness, integrity, and compassion.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the department said Chief Patterson was overjoyed the officers had a good time with the children.
“Every opportunity to engage with the community in a positive light is a win for the RPD and those we serve,” Patterson stated, and also wished Eli a happy birthday.