Cop's touching act for struggling family after finding boy buying snacks in shop

A police officer has been praised for his kind gesture to the struggling family of a young boy he found alone in a supermarket car park.

Texas policeman James Riley was working in Central West Austin, in the US, when he noticed the young child by himself outside the grocery store.

The boy told the officer he was there to buy snacks for his younger brother, The Austin Police Department explained on their Facebook page on Monday.

A police officer, concerned for a young boy's safety, drove the child home then later returned with groceries for his family. Source: Austin Police Department / Facebook

"Concerned for the child's safety, Officer Riley gave him a ride home," the Facebook post said about the June 3 incident.

"Once inside the residence, he found out that the family was going through difficult financial times."

After explaining to the children about safety, and cautioning them that they should not leave their home without an adult, the cop returned to the grocery store and bought the family a trolley full of groceries and snacks.

He thought carefully about the items, buying mostly foods that could be prepared without the boys having to turn on their stove.

"Please join us in commending Officer Riley for helping out a family in need,” the Facebook post read.

“He showed true heart with this act of kindness and is just one example of how our officers work to make Austin a safe community.”

Community members were moved by the gesture, responding to the thread to praise the officer.

"His parental instincts kicked into motion. I have the honour of calling him a good friend for close to 20 years. He's a great dad and good officer," one local wrote.

"Not only protecting the young citizens but serving God too. Well done Officer Riley!" another commented.

"Thank you for going above and beyond, especially for the youngest citizens of Austin,” another said.

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