In a heartwarming incident that exemplifies the strong bond between Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies and the community they serve, a deputy responded to a call from a young boy who dialed 911 not because of an emergency, but because he simply wanted to hug a deputy.
On Wednesday, November 1, 2023, just before 1 p.m., Deputy Pracht responded to a disconnected call from a Riverview residence. Upon arrival, he quickly realized this was not an emergency call for service when the young boy’s mother explained what might have happened.
Body Worn Camera and Ring Doorbell video capture the moment the young boy races through the door to hug the deputy and proudly explain he knew how to contact him.
Deputy Pracht not only hugged the child but also took the time to kindly explain that 911 is reserved for emergencies, ensuring the young boy understood the importance of the emergency line.
"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,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “We are here to help, and we encourage parents and educators to teach children about the appropriate use of emergency services."
While 911 is reserved for emergencies only, deputies are happy to hug residents the upcoming annual HCSO Christmas Tree Lighting on November 29, 2023.