Officer moved to act after hearing one family's struggle: "What can I do to help?'

Posted at 7:49 AM, Dec 28, 2022

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The job of a police officer extends beyond writing traffic tickets and making arrests.

Henrico Police Lt. Matt Pecka recently met a single mother and her two sons during a Kids and Cops Holiday shopping event.

When he discovered the family didn't have a permanent address, Lt. Pecka took them under his wing.

"I reached out to the social worker to have a dialogue asking, ‘What can I do to help?’ For me, it was rewarding just knowing the impact for everyone involved. It’s social services and it's child protective services," Pecka recalled.

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Pecka, who is the Henrico Police spokesperson, brought the children to their first basketball game.

Players with the University of Richmond men's team signed posters and gave the boys gifts.

He also brought the family to their favorite restaurant, Outback Steakhouse.

Pecka and the boys have more in common than they initially realized.

The boys' father recently died from cancer.

"My father passed in 2015 and so it’s important for everyone to feel love," Pecka said. "It’s an opportunity to engage with the community and just make sure the kids have what they need around the holiday season."

CBS 6's Brendan King heard about Pecka's goodwill and wanted to add to the assistance.

CBS 6 Gives honors folks who do so much for the community with the hope others will be inspired to pay it forward.

Brendan handed Pecka gift cards to deliver to the family.

"Hopefully, this interaction will be memories for them forever," he responded.

“You clearly are an example of that,” Brendan told Pecka. “I hope when people see this segment that they are also inspired to do good just like you are.”

Pecka said he planned to see the family through the holidays and after.

“I greatly appreciate it. It has been an exciting opportunity to meet them," he said.

The CBS 6 Month of Giving made possible by Virginia Credit Union is underway. Watch for a new surprise every day in December on CBS 6 News at 6 a.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. Have an idea about who we should surprise next, click here to email our team.