HJW Celebration photo

This photo of a Decatur police officer and a child received hundreds of likes and shares on Facebook. 

You may have seen the photo being shared on Facebook last week: A Decatur police officer walking alongside his bicycle and a young boy at the Decatur Celebration.

Hunter James Wiseley, 18, snapped the photo on Saturday night and shared it on social media. “This photo is gonna mean something different to different people, and that's kinda the point,” he wrote. “What I'm hoping for is that it is something positive. That's what the world needs.”

More than 100 people shared Wiseley's original post in the following days. The popular Central Illinois Facebook page 217 Problems also shared the post, where it gained more shares and hundreds of likes.

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Speaking Thursday, Wiseley said he was surprised by the response. He said he took the photo because he was struck by the trust between the little boy and the police officer, and the peaceful appearance of the scene.

“We had this entire Celebration, this entire four-night weekend that went completely – for the extent of what we're used to happening as a country nowadays, which is an awful thing to say – it went fine,” he said. “I just find that awesome. I really wanted to share that. We're this medium-sized city in Illinois and we're doing OK.”

What Wiseley saw as a special moment was just part of the job for officers working Decatur Celebration. The man pictured in the photo was Officer Donald Larson. In another photo posted on the Maroa-based Pig Out Concessions Facebook page, Larson and Sgt. Tony Tertocha appear to be reuniting the little boy with his family.

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Regional Editor

Regional editor for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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