National Night Out in Greenville sparks special friendship
Most of us have fears growing up.
It could be heights, bugs, or monsters. Sometimes we don't get over those fears.
One boy from Pitt County has been able to conquer a fear at only five years old. All it took was one visit to Greenville's National Night Out last summer for Josiah McMurran to have a fresh outlook and to put his worries behind him.
"Josiah was hesitant," said his grandmother, Diamond Diaz-Matthews. "Like, don't stop, they're going to take us. When I rolled down my window to give the officer my license, he's like officer, don't take me, I'm in my seat belt!"
Josiah had a slight fear of police officers.
Diaz-Matthews wanted him to have a more positive outlook on the role officers have in the community. She took him to National Night Out and quickly he and Officer Jenna Wines developed a close bond.
"He was like -- want another picture," Wines said. "He had this contagious smile and great attitude and was so bright and everything."
"For me to see this bond between a 5-year-old and a police officer just captures my heart," Diaz-Matthews said. "I wouldn't trade it for a million years."
"She brings me to the park," Josiah said. "She brings me to her house."
"It shows him that I'm not just a badge," Wines said. "Not only am I here to help you, but I'm here everyday."
They said it takes a village to raise a child.
"She's my friend and my police girlfriend," Josiah said.
Diaz-Matthews says we need more officers like Wines and her role in the community.
"I'm glad she came into our lives," she said. "I'm glad she became a police officer when she did. She touched my life and she touched his."
In a world so divided, these are relationships that strengthen a community.
"It's awesome," Wines said. Like I can't believe that I can give that to somebody. That he wants to see me, he wants to come out, and I feel the exact same way."
"He adores her, he loves her," Diaz-Matthews said. "When she leaves, he cries."
Diaz-Matthews says Wines will spend a few days a week with Josiah while the schools are closed due to the coronavirus.