-- One Maryland police officer is being applauded after he compassionately responded to a young mother who was accused of shoplifting for her son.
The Laurel Police Department told ABC News that rookie officer Bennett Johns responded to a call at a local grocery store July 22.
There he learned a 20-year-old mother, who was with her young son, "was caught by security attempting to steal two packs of diapers," a statement from the department added.
"After she purchased some groceries she did not have enough money left over to buy the diapers," the statement continued. "Officer Johns considered the situation and then made the decision to purchase the diapers out of his own pocket so that the young child would not suffer."
The police department told ABC News that the officer "did cite this young woman for shoplifting, but we referred her to social services because we wanted to make sure she and her toddler were taken care of."
The department added that the young woman, who did they did not identify, is now receiving support from social services.
In a statement, the department thanked Officer Johns, who was sworn in last May "for not just fairly enforcing the law, but also showing empathy to an innocent child put in a difficult situation."