A reminder that there’s plenty of good news to share

Published 6:25 pm Friday, April 8, 2016

As newspaper staff members, we have a responsibility to keep our readers informed about what is happening in the community. Sometimes, the news isn’t pleasant.

There is no pleasure to be found in reporting about criminal court cases, wrecks and the like, but we do believe that residents have a right to know about these things.

It can start to seem as though the bad news outweighs the good, but then comes along a story so simple yet powerful that it can serve as a reminder that there’s still plenty of good out there.

Local police officers were working a traffic checkpoint on April 4 when a mother and her 3-year-old son stopped like many others had before and after them.

The boy, Carter Lawrence, innocently told Clanton Police Capt. Neil Fetner that he was on his way to Arby’s, and at the conclusion of a brief exchange, Fetner jokingly asked if Carter was going to bring him back some curly fries.

Carter did just that.

Determined to find the boy and repay his act of kindness, Fetner posted about the incident on the CPD Facebook page, resulting in over 14,000 “likes” and over 9,000 shares—and contact with Carter’s mother, Kristen.

Fetner treated Kristen and Carter to lunch on April 6, and spent time with the youngster, who was already enamored with police, showing him a police vehicle and demonstrating the lights and siren.

Carter will surely remember his encounter with one of Clanton’s finest, but this story will go beyond that.

The story was viewed more than 6,000 times on ClantonAdvertiser.com and undoubtedly countless more times in the printed newspaper.

Carter is a local celebrity, his parents are receiving due credit for teaching respect for law enforcement, and local police are being praised for their effort to serve the community.

This is the kind of story that brings the community together, and I was honored to have the opportunity to share it.

Stephen Dawkins is managing editor for The Clanton Advertiser. Look for the next installment of his column in a future edition of the newspaper.