After A Burglar Ruined A Boy's Birthday, This Cop Used His Own Money To Buy Cake And Presents

05/27/2014 06:48 pm ET | Updated May 27, 2014

"To serve and protect" may be good enough for most cops, but for Derek Pratico, that's only the beginning.

Pratico, an officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in Florida, took that motto a step further earlier this year, opting to serve cake and protect birthday presents, after a burglar made off with a birthday boy's original gift from his mother.

According to a copy of the police report, obtained by Jacksonville's First Coast News, Officer Pratico responded to a call about a burglarized car on March 27. The unnamed victim was said to be extremely upset because, in addition to ransacking her car, the burglar had stolen her son's birthday gift, and she couldn't afford to replace it.

The next day, Pratico returned to the scene, reports the Florida Times Union, having purchased a new birthday present, card and cake for the boy, and a $100 gift card for the boy's mother. USA Today adds the gifts were all purchased with Pratico's own money.

"I believe children deserve presents on their birthday," Pratico told First Coast News, explaining his actions. "That's just the way I was raised."

Pratico's generosity went unknown until the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office commended him on the agency's Facebook page earlier this week. The post has since gone viral, prompting Pratico to explain, "I did not do this for any recognition, I just felt it was the right thing to do at that moment."

So much for the old "good cop, bad cop" routine. More like "good cop, great cop!"

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